Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Guinea, Mexico, Nicaragua, etc. are just some of the countries in our world recognized as very poor economically, technologically, and physically. We cringe when we see pictures on TV showing conditions which we cannot fathom. We look away from pictures of children who are starving, their bellies swollen. “Something needs to be done.” we think.
In Matthew 26:6-12, Jesus, as he ate at the home of Simon the leper, encountered a woman who poured the costly ointment from an alabaster box on his head.This was a deed of honor in those days, but his disciples were indignant, saying it should have been sold and given to the poor. Jesus’ answer to them has puzzled me a bit. He said, “ For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.”
The question is, why do we have the poor always with us?
Why has this plague lasted age after age causing homelessness and starvation?
- People throughout history have proven to be pretty selfish. It is a me, me, me society we live in today also. We tend to overlook that which is outside our own little bubble.
- Many of these impoverished countries are controlled by governments that oppress the people. They are run by men who are only in it for the power and greed.
- The topography of the country is extremely harsh and lacking, leaving the people to eke out an existence.
- Some of these countries are torn apart by countless wars that strip away the means for a good lifestyle.
These are legitimate reasons that surely contribute to a poor society. However, they all fall under one underlying reason and that is we live in a fallen world. This is the number one reason why we will always have poor people among us.
What is meant by a “fallen” world? When Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3), not only was man cursed, but the whole world and the world system. The once perfect world that began at creation was placed under the consequence of sin. Mankind is no longer perfect. Our world is no longer perfect. Though we long to be, we will only reach that status in Heaven when Satan is finally destroyed and Jesus reigns in Heaven and on Earth. What a day that will be! Are you looking forward to it?
So, this world will always have the poor countries. But we ask God, “Why don’t you DO something?” There is a song by Matthew West on the Christian charts today I would like you to listen to. Tell me what you think.
I firmly believe we are created with a purpose to glorify God while on this Earth. God loves us so much He gave His son, Jesus, to die for us. (John 3:16) Once we become Christians we are not to sit back and wait for Heaven! What about the part of His Word that admonishes us to be Christ to others? To put on LOVE? (Col. 3:14) To let our good works shine before men? (Matthew 5:16)
I surmise the BIGGER question is; What are you and I doing about the plight of the starving and poor?
God has a work for His church to do and there are things being done. They may make the news, like the organization of Samaritan’s Purse, which has helped countless people all over the world. And there are many cases of people helping people that don’t get recognized. But that’s okay, they are doing it anyway, giving God the glory. Many churches, big and small, are sending teams on mission trips to build or rebuild, feed and evangelize because that is their purpose. They get it! Even here at home, churches and organizations are reaching out to communities to do what they can. That is all God asks, for us to offer up what we have. When we reach out to help the poor and hungry near and far because of His love He will bless our efforts.
Another movement I rather like is “Pay It Forward,” where you pay for someone’s meal, coffee, etc. just to let them know there is good in this world. Let’s try it! It can make someone’s day. It can help them realize God does love them. God will reveal to us who is in need. Remember, Jesus didn’t run from the poor, He ate with them!
Dear reader, the plight of the poor and starving is indeed a daunting one. What can you suggest? What is your church doing?
Feel free to let us know in the comments.
Let’s all pray and ask God today what He would have us do. It will be a privilege!
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