Blessed To Bless
Many times, throughout the Holy Bible Yahweh commands His people to help and take care of the poor and needy. Moses said, “If there is a poor person among you, one of your brothers within any of your city gates in the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother” (Deuteronomy 15:7). Ezekiel said that one of the reasons Sodom was destroyed was because they “had pride, plenty of food, and comfortable security, but didn’t support the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49). Jesus, loving the rich young ruler, told him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me” (Mark 10:21). Paul wrote, “Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
The last Scripture mentioned above is the one we will focus on at this time. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul addresses the rich for a good chunk of this first letter he wrote to Timothy. He spends almost all of chapter 6 speaking to those who are wealthy. He condemns those who are teaching God’s word simply to get paid for doing so, imagining that godliness is a way to material gain (vv. 3-5). There is nothing wrong with getting paid to preach (1 Corinthians 9:14), but there is something wrong with preaching to get paid (1 Timothy 6:3-5). He warns of the dangers of wanting to be rich, for the desire to be wealthy leads people into temptations, traps, foolish and harmful desires, which leads to destruction (v. 9). In addition, the love of money itself is a root of all kinds of evil, even leading saints astray from God (v. 10). Then we read in verse 17 those who are rich need to be humble, not putting their trust in their wealth but rather in God who blesses them with their wealth. Yes, Paul did say the rich can and should enjoy the things God has richly provided for them. However, verse 18 says the rich are, in part, blessed in order to bless those who are poor and needy.
So, who are the rich? We are! God has abundantly blessed most of us in the United States of America, as well as many others in some other countries. Hallelujah! Moreover, He expects those of us who have wealth and possessions to honor Him by being generous, ready to give, and willing to share with others, especially those who are poor and needy (Proverbs 3:9). When we go to work at our jobs and careers, we are not to do so for selfish gain. Rather, we must go to work to earn a paycheck in order to share with anyone in need (Ephesians 4:28). This is the mindset Christians are to have. As often as we have opportunity, may we work for the good of others, especially those who are members of the family of faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 6:10). In addition, He lovingly rebuked the Laodiceans for saying they were rich, had become wealthy, and were in need of nothing, not realizing they were in fact spiritually wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:14-22). Is Jehovah able to say these same things of us? May God help us as we strive to help those in need!