Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Let's do more for the poor

Published:Monday | December 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Steve Lyston
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The Old Testament prophets who would cry out regularly on behalf of the poor cried out against corruption, injustice, the court system, businesses, the wealthy and powerful who would manipulate the system and place the poor in more debt, distress and discontent.

Those prophets would speak to the queens, rulers, judges as well as business owners and various categories of society on behalf of the poor.

Sadly, many prophets today who function under the New Testament, are not speaking on behalf of the poor. Most of them are caught up trying not to be poor! Meanwhile, others get caught up trying to display their level of accuracy in determining who next is going to be 'blessed'!

Today's prophets need to realise that the prophetic goes beyond prophesying houses, cars, and land, and that there is a responsibility to speak on behalf of the poor, the fatherless and the widow, and they better study who a prophet is if they are going to deem themselves or answer their calling as a prophet.

Don't tell me that God has nothing to say about the injustices meted out to the poor. Don't tell me that you are afraid of persecution. Don't tell me that you don't want to offend your favourite party or biggest tither.

It is the duty of government - whether monarchy or democracy - to be the public servant and help the poor. (Psalm 72: 1 - 4)

The treatment of the poor globally has come up before God. Millions are dying of hunger, while millions more are wasting precious resources.

Global leaders

Most political leaders globally promise to improve the lives of the poor - but how many deliver? In different countries, systems are set up to prosecute those who are assisting the poor instead of encouraging and facilitating the action. When the poor get poorer, they get more desperate. It means that whatever they have to do to survive, they will do it in order to live. Have you ever been desperately hungry to the point that you even contemplate taking something to eat even if it does not belong to you - just so that you won't get sick or even die of hunger?

When the poor get poorer, many of them are denied good health and proper education, hence, they are denied certain jobs in the society. In other words, some don't have a certain level of access. Even institutions that were created to help the poor no longer listen to the poor. They listen to some retired consultants who are collecting a lot of money for speaking nonsense and have never been or don't remember being poor.

Even those in top positions in institutions that are set up to monitor and regulate oppression of the poor tend to focus mainly on ensuring that their résumés are up-to-date so that if they lose their current jobs, they can be hired next door.

I have said many times that if we truly care for the poor, then we need to put the poor in positions of authority on boards and committees to watch over their own hard-earned money. Why is it that only a certain category of persons has been put on the various boards and committees? There are many brilliant men and women who are poor, but are more than capable of functioning and managing within such groups on a leadership level.

There are many who are still doing their best to assist the poor and needy. We commend the Catholic church and other churches and ministries that are doing their best with the small resources they receive from time to time (Acts 2, Isaiah 58, Malachi 3: 8 - 13).

We encourage all the poor to give their 10 per cent - the tithe - so that the divine principle can function in your lives, and so that the Church can do more for you. Regardless of your station in life, nothing beats giving - especially unto God who is your ultimate source!

I encourage the National Housing Trust to reduce the interest rate of the poor who are paying back their mortgage; and government must ensure that pensioners can collect their pension every month - not a part or none at all! They have worked for it already!

Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.