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In America, poverty is a political football, with competing ideological factions laying out one government program after another, or seeking to modify one government program after another, in an attempt to "help the poor". In all this wrangling, the poor are all but forgotten.
Which is the sin, for God asked people to remember the poor. And God did not give that responsibility to bureaucrats in a far away city, who can only locate the poor if they have an address; that responsibility is a charge to everyone who names the Name of Christ. Nevertheless, we fail on at least two fronts.
The first is that we have largely abandoned the responsibility of caring for the poor to those who do not know them, therefore denying those in poverty the compassionate interaction with those who know and care about their situation; we fail to understand that the caring touch has greater human value than a check.
The second is that we have chosen to believe a lie given us by government: that poverty could be eradicated anywhere. A governments' pronouncement of a War on Poverty did not and could not invalidate Deuteronomy 15:11, or Matthew 26:11, or Mark 14:7, or John 12:8.
God never intended for poverty to go away; He simply expects His people to do something for those who are in that situation.
When the disciples wanted to send the multitude away, to the towns, to the mercy of others, to fend for themselves, Jesus did not suffer it. Rather, He said to HIis disciples, "You give them something to eat", even though they had nothing to give.
Perhaps it is a matter of whether you believe God, or the government, knows best how to address the needs of the poor, and to which one you offer your allegiance.
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