If you go to your electronic bible program and search on the word poor, you will soon find out God’s heart and thoughts on social justice. Using the ESV Bible on my e-sword I keyed in the word poor and found 170 verses with 178 hits of the word. It begins in the Torah/Pentateuch and runs through the Prophets and into the New Testament. Israel is warned not to cheat, take advantage or malign the poor in any way and on the positive side they are told to actually help them out. Exo 23:6 "You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. And….Exo 23:11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. There are so many more that you really need to do the exercise and search it for yourselves.
Now, let’s look at what the Psalmist says about the poor. Here is a verse that shows the thrust but there are so many that you really should look for yourself Psa 41:1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; there are all kinds of promises to those who consider the poor and the word translated consider is sakal which means to prosper or treat prudently. There is ample evidence that God’s heart is compassionate to the poor and that it only makes sense that the body of Christ should be preoccupied with social justice on a regular and ongoing basis.
Read Amos chapter five or Isaiah three through five; Martin Luther King Jr. quoted Amos five in his famous …I have a dream speech. I believe that he was trying to draw a prophetic comparison between the religious white people of the south and Israel. God was telling Israel that he hated their songs and celebrations….He was tired of their feasts…their rituals….then He said to them “let justice run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” This is a quote from Amos five. Look at Isaiah three: Isa 3:14-15 The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: "It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses. (15) What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?" declares the Lord GOD of hosts. It is very easy for me to see the application of this passage into today’s society. There is really a need for the kingdom of God to operate on principles of social justice.
I am confident that if the people of God would busy themselves with social justice issues…they would soon find out… that they were too tired to spend time missing the mark. That is why God’s kingdom is called a kingdom…it is different than the world’s kingdom and the principles that guide the kingdom are love and faith which is manifested in social justice.
You can find posts that explain various positions of this blog in the following areas: Introduction, The Word of God, Realized Eschatology,Jew – Gentile Distinction. These are just a few of the blog posts but, I encourage you to look through them or, you can get a free PDF of the blog through the latest Saturday.