This morning we looked at what the book of Deuteronomy had to say about caring for the most vulnerable, that "quartet of the vulnerable" (Nicholas Wolterstorff) that includes the sojourner, the widow, the orphan, and the poor. We looked into God's Word in Deut 10:16–19; 15:1–11; and 24:17–22. Then we turned to the NT to see that there was one great change (moving from OT Israel as a nation to the NT church) but that the main principles for caring for the vulnerable were largely unchanged.
I mentioned that Deuteronomy gives us 7 principles in building a community of concern, a community of people who are caring for one another's needs in ways pleasing to the Lord. Here are those 7:
- To care for the most vulnerable is to imitate our God who cares for the most vulnerable (Deut 10:17–19).
- We are to work to build a community of mutual concern and mutual sacrifice (Deut 10:19; 15:1–11; 24:17–22).
- We are to work out of a heart of openhearted generosity (Deut 15:7–11) .
- We work to pursue the promise of God’s blessing (Deut 15:10).
- In this community of concern we must seek a true justice combined with a true generosity (Deut 24:17–22).
- Helping the vulnerable is not just about handouts. It’s about creative ways to provide profitable work for them (Deut 24:19–22).
- The motivation for building this kind of community of concern is that it’s also a community of grace (Deut 24:18).
Deuteronomy paints a compelling picture of an ideal where God's people are caring for one another and those that God brings our way. May God help us to build a church that resembles such a vision.