Our God has a heart for those who are disadvantaged and suffering needs. Here are some descriptions of God in that respect. Deuteronomy 10:17-18 “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.” Psalms 146:9 “The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down.” Psalms 68:4-5 “Sing to God, sing praises to His name; extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name Yah, and rejoice before Him. A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.”
God, through Moses, commanded the Israelites to care for the disadvantaged. Deuteronomy 24:17-22 “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow’s garment as a pledge. But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing. When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this thing.” Just as God redeemed the Israelites who were slaves in Egypt, so God redeemed us when we were slaves to sin. Since God has been merciful to us, we should be merciful to those who are disadvantaged. If you remember the story of Ruth in the Bible book of Ruth, Boaz recognized Ruth as a disadvantaged individual and blessed her with the gleanings from his field and more. When God blesses us with an excess, He calls us to share that blessing with those in need.
God is concerned about the poor; here are the commands to the Israelites relative to the poor. Deuteronomy 15:7-11 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’” God wants us to remember the poor among us. The apostle Paul had the following interaction with the church leaders in Jerusalem. Galatians 2:9-10 “And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.” We too should be eager to remember the poor. Proverbs 19:17 “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.”
Jesus gave the following description in Matthew 25:31-40 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” When we serve the disadvantaged and those in need of our brethren, we are in essence serving Jesus himself. 1 John 3:17 “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” Helping your brother in need demonstrates love for God and love for your brother.
Since God is interested in helping the disadvantaged, our worship of God should include helping those who are in need. James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
God has a heart for the disadvantaged. I encourage you to also have a heart for them and be eager to help.