However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. Deuteronomy 15:4-5
Yet only a few verses later we read: “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land” (verse 11).
It sounds like a contradiction but in these verses, we see God’s ideal and the reality. God’s ideal is, “There need be no poor people among you” because he “will richly bless you.” God desires to bless his people and provide for their needs. However, for this to happen the Israelites had to trust God and demonstrate their trust by following his commandments. While there were individuals who did live this way, the majority didn’t. Consequently “there will always be poor people in the land” because the majority didn’t trust God. Neither Moses then or us today, can legislate for people to trust God.
Our culture is vastly different from Moses’ and the cause and effect of our lack of trust in God isn’t as closely connected. Today, many Christians worldwide struggle with a lack of resources, that isn’t related to their level of trust in God.
Regardless of why people are needy, it’s good for us to share our resources, as we are able. If God has blessed us, then let’s pass those blessings on to others.