Our clever hustles. The squandering of resources. The squeezing of the very last dime for profit. The relentless shakedown of people’s pockets. These are things that the economies of the world value. People with these attributes are often praised for being, “thrifty”, or “business-minded”. But people whose hearts are set on edge to make a profit at the expense of the poor, God most certainly will not forget.
Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
saying, “When will the new moon be over
so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
and practice deceit with false balances,
buying the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”
The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
When we cheat others by making the “ephah small and the shekel great” (not giving a fair portion); when we are involved even in “selling the sweepings of the wheat” (making profit on the leftovers of our abundance); when we forfeit the rest of God by asking, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale?”; we have become a negative memory in the mind of the Most High.
To be brutally honest, most of us crave the smallest monetary gain and yet look the other way from those who have their hand out in need. Even on our daily commutes, many of us come face to face with the needy and won’t even relinquish the change inside our cars or in our pockets.
Here are some of our excuses for not tending to the needy:
- They might spend it on drugs.
- They might spend it on alcohol.
- They need to get a job!
- I work for what I have, why can’t they?
- But I’m poor!
Are you mindful of the needy? Do you take action to relieve their plight- no matter how small your assistance might be? Remember when God sent help when you were in a time of need? May we always honor the Almighty, by honoring his creation who are without the comforts of this age.
To God be the Glory and the Majesty. Amen.
The Rev. Nicole Foster