Blessed is the one who considers the poor

God consistently shows His concern for the poor in the Bible and ask us to be considerate to them. Jesus showed his concern for the poor in his message in Nazareth: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Thousands of years ago, the Bible set strict rules for lending and stricter rules if the borrower is poor. “When you loan something to your neighbor, don’t enter his house to seize what he offered as collateral … If he is a poor man, don’t go to sleep with his collateral in your possession. Be sure to return his garment to him at sunset so that he may sleep with it, and he will bless you. It will be a righteous deed in the presence of the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 24:10, 12, 13 (ISV) .

Still the poor are often abused and exploited.  There is a crisis in India for a few weeks. Overnight, the majority of the currency notes have been made obsolete and people are facing difficulty in converting their own money into valid but difficult to find currency notes. People have died in the crisis and the poor who have limited access to banks have been put into a great predicament. The government claims that it has to restrict their citizens from withdrawing their own money for their own good and most people seem to be infatuated that this move will somehow stop “black money”. Very few seem to bother about the hardship that many are facing. Farmers are unable to sell the produce or buy seed, poor people especially those who live in remote areas cannot repeatedly leave their work and families in search of a working ATM or bank, those who need medical help do not have the “right” notes to pay. The list is endless.

Among the people that I have personally communicated about this difficult situation, those voicing concern for the genuinely disadvantaged are generally Christians. It is encouraging to see that the message of the Bible has touched these people.  Some of the verses protecting the poor and oppressed are “don’t take advantage of a hired person who is poor and needy” Deuteronomy 24:14 (ISV), “defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy” Psalm 82:3 (KJV) and “oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor” Zechariah 7:10a (KJV). I hope the Bible will transform you and give you concern for the poor, the needy and the afflicted.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Blessed is the one who considers the poor

  1. GE

    Thank you for writing about this, Suniemi. I am not Indian, but I feel for the vulnerable who have been affected. Someone has pointed out that a bank note is actually a promissory undertaking. On our notes it used to read ‘I promise to pay the bearer, on demand, the sum of xxxx’, followed by the signature of the head of the national bank. It is hard to see how any government officials can legitimately take it upon themselves to put banks in a position where they have to renege on such a solemn promise. If a business failed to keep its promise to honour money owed it would be prosecuted in the courts. Whatever rationale may be offered by Modi, surely no-one has the right to stop people using their own money when they need to, or want to? Has this same government at least put in place measures to assist the poor and needy who may be caught in this trap through no fault of their own? I have not heard of any such arrangement…..

    • The Indian currency notes also have the words “I promise to pay the bearer the sum on xxx rupees” and are signed by the governor of Reserve Bank of India. The notes also say “Guaranteed by the Central Government”. Unfortunately both the RBI and the Prime Minister don’t seem to care for these promises. Modi promised that this move was to “fight against corruption, black money, benami property, terrorism and counterfeiting”. Recent raids have clearly shown the corrupt have been able to convert their huge stash of old notes to new notes although the common man is struggling to get currency notes from ATMs and banks. Many have died as they queued up to get their money! Terrorists caught in recent attacks have been carrying the new currency notes! Fake notes in the new design have already surfaced. India should have switched to polymer notes (like many other countries) but instead the new notes seem poorer in quality than the old one! So all of Modi’s promises have fallen flat! After the announcement there have been atleast 62 changes to the plan in 46 days! It seems more like a college student’s immature research thesis rather than a solid plan for the second most populous country in the world! Modi seems to have realised that his plan backfired and so he is pushing the demonetization as a move to a cashless society. Initially cashless was never given as a reason. It’s usually the government officials who are corrupt and demand money to do their job. The government should clean up their officers and procedures. Replacing notes do not change corrupt people.
      As for your question “Has this same government at least put in place measures to assist the poor and needy who may be caught in this trap through no fault of their own?” No, there are no such measures. I am aware of some minimal relaxation of rules for farmers and those about to be married.

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