In Timothy Keller’s book, Generous Justice, he describes the character of God as it’s revealed in the Old Testament.  God is on the side of the poor and marginalized.  Justice reflects His very character.  For this reason, we too should care for the vulnerable ones.  Consider Psalm 146:7-9:

He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly.  The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. 

This of course, is one example of hundreds that depicts the character of God as one who is on the side of the marginalized.  Keller writes,

Israel was charged to create a culture of social justice for the poor and vulnerable because it wasthe way the nation could reveal God’s glory and character to the world.  Deuteronomy 4:6-8 is a key text where Israel is told that they should keep God’s commands so that all the nations of the world will look at the justice and peace of their society, based on God’s laws, and be attracted to God’s wisdom and glory. (Page 9)

The People of God were to be known as a reflection of the very character of God.   God’s people were commanded to not to have neglected poor among them.  They would be a society of people that would care for the poor, orphan, widow, and marginalized and would then reveal the heart of God.

Keller describes Jesus’ care for the poor by saying;

Jesus, in his incarnation, “moved in” with the poor.  He lived with, ate with, and associated with the socially ostracized (Matt 9:13).  He raised the son of the poor widow (Luke 7:11-16) and showed the greatest respect to the immoral woman who was a social outcast (Luke 7:36) (page 44) His own mother prophesied that he would “fill the poor” but turn the rich away empty (Luke 1:53) (page 45)

It is undeniable that the scriptures are filled with narratives and commands to care for the poor, widowed, orphaned, outcast and marginalized.  There are far more passages that command the people of God to be a community of justice than living moral lives.

What are we, the people of God, doing to care for the marginalized?  Is the church a society of people that declares it’s passion to care for the oppressed?  It is clear that God is on the side of the poor.  Do you think God is on also on the side of the rich?  Please share your thoughts.

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