Why Are People Poor?
Why does God allow so many of His children to be poor? He could make them all rich if He pleased; He could lay bags of gold at their doors; He could send them a large annual income; or He could scatter around their houses abundance of provisions, as once he made the quails lie in heaps around the camp of Israel and rained bread out of heaven to feed them. There is no necessity that they should be poor, except that He sees it to be best. "The cattle on a thousand hills"1 are His--He could supply them; He could make the rich, the great, and the mighty bring all their power and riches to the feet of His children, for the hearts of all men are in His control. But He does not choose to do so.
He allows them to experience need; He allows them to struggle in poverty and obscurity. Why is this? There are many reasons. One is, to give us, who are favored with enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus. We show our love to Christ when we sing of Him and when we pray to Him; but if there were no needy people in the world, we should lose the sweet privilege of displaying our love by ministering by our gifts to His poorer brethren. He has ordained that in this way we should prove that our love stands not only in word, but indeed and in truth.
If we truly love Christ, we will care for those who are loved by Him. Those who are dear to Him will be dear to us. Let us then look upon it not as a duty but as a privilege to relieve the poor of the Lord's flock, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, "As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."2 Surely this assurance is sweet enough, and this motive strong enough to lead us to help others with a willing hand and a loving heart--recollecting that all we do for His people is graciously accepted by Christ as done to Himself.
1Psalm 50:10 2Matthew 25:40
verse 1 Exodus 28
verse 2 John 7
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.