So acute is the link that if you lend to the poor you are in fact helping God. Conversely oppressing them is an affront to God Himself.
This should be no surprise to us - God has a bias to the poor. Having looked through the Old Testament, in the Law, touching on the history section, drawn insight from the prophets, we now find ourselves in the poetry corner finding the same message.
Think of the Bible as a library, with different sections for different types of book. Whatever shelf or bookcase you turn to God has a bias to the poor. It's like He wants to tilt the scales, set the balance deliberately in their favour.
Such a bias is one of the big themes in Scripture that we need to learn to get hold of. Just as last year we used E100 to see the overall trajectory, so this year we find a big wide river running through with this poverty and justice theme.
So two questions:
- Having seen such a bias to the poor, what can we conclude about where we might expect to see God working the most? What parts of Ely are we likely to find God already working amongst?
- If God has such a bias to the poor, then what if He physically appeared, became a living human on earth. What would we expect to see in such a God-become-person, in the life they lived and in what they taught?
From September we will start to answer the second question as we follow the river into the New Testament.