Five Invitations - Day 16

DAY 16 - Care for the Vulnerable
Deuteronomy 10:12-22 

Deuteronomy is Moses’ send-off sermon. God lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt through his ministry. God made a covenant with Israel and promised to lead them to a new homeland. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the people are ready. Moses reminds them where they've been and challenges them to be faithful in the future. Serving others must be central to Israel’s life.

What should this service look like? Deuteronomy 10:18 says, “God defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt” (NIV).

You find this all throughout the Bible, this connection between loving God and loving other people. But you also see a special concern for the vulnerable and needy, especially in the Old Testament law. The old covenant under Moses uses those three words - fatherless, widow, and foreigner - to identify society’s most vulnerable people. People could easily take advantage of all three.

This care for the vulnerable continues for us living in the new covenant of Jesus. The apostle James says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (Jam. 1:27, NLT). The apostles appointed people to care for the church’s poor widows in Acts 6.

God expects us to serve others, not to live in isolation and leisure. There are concentric circles of responsibility. We should care first for our parents, children, and immediate family members. Then we have a responsibility to our nearby neighbors. We should also care for “those in the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). But serving vulnerable people is the most defining characteristic of the church's activity. Ancient Romans marveled that Christians fed the poor, raised unwanted children, and cared for the elderly, even those outside the church.

Do you want to deepen your connection with God? Then do what pleases God! Serve others.

REFLECT:
Who are the most vulnerable people in our society today?
How do you care for vulnerable people?

PRAY:
Lord, you love the poor and vulnerable. You expect me to love them, too. Help me to see the fatherless, the widow, and the foreigner today. Help me to show them compassion. Amen.
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