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 Form 4 CRE lessons on Christian approach to wealth, poverty and money

Christian teaching on Poverty in the Old Testament

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Answer Text:
Christian teaching on Poverty
Poverty in the Old Testament
-The Bible talks about the poor than poverty.
-The poor are discussed in two dimensions.Those who are materially poor and those who are spiritually poor.
-The materially poor were those who were socially and
economically deprived.They suffered social injustice and inequality and some were sold into slavery.
-The Israelites viewed poverty as an evil, a punishment from God for some fault or failure.
-God is depicted in the Old Testament as being concerned with the poor. He admonishes the Israelites to
take care of them: “For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land. (Deuteronomy 15:11)
-The prophets also emphasized that God condemned the oppression of the poor and disregard for
the plight of the widows and orphans.
-Prophet Isaiah is commissioned by God to be the voice of the voiceless (Isaiah 61:1).
-Prophet Amos, Jeremiah and Ezekiel too advised the Israelites to obey God’s commandments by showing concern for the poor.They condemned the rich for
exploiting the poor and oppressing the widows and orphans.
-With time, the Israelites changed their view about poverty.
-In the wisdom literature, it is realized that the poor person is not necessarily righteous.
-The painful experience of poverty often led the poor to accept their condition with trust in God who loves the disinherited and will save them.
-This submission to the will of God is what is referred to as ‘spiritual poverty’ in the Old Testament.
-It is an acceptance of the condition of being vulnerable because God loves the poor.
-The poor are the good, honest people who put their trust in God.