Do not harden your heart against your brother

Deuteronomy Bible Background

03.11.2017 – Old Testament: Deu 15.7–8

To read the Bible in a year, read Deuteronomy 14–16 on March 11, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

Sometimes the poor bother us, but usually it is because the person truly is not poor, or has made bad decisions leading to poverty, and has not learned and continues to make those foolish decisions. However, there are some of the poor of whom this is not the case. The Lord told Israel,

“If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs” (Deuteronomy 15.7–8). 

Moses used the word “lend,” as opposed to simply giving, but perhaps I make too much of the word. It seems to me that such a person will be able to pay it back, and if that is the case, the lender could not loan expecting interest from a brother, as revealed in other parts of the law.

Questions:

  • Do you seek to help people?
  • What happens if the person will not help himself?

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