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  • Psalm Forty One

    Blessed is the man who considers the plight of the poor.
    For when he is needy, the Lord will deliver him.
    The Lord will preserve his bounty,
    He will give him a long and fruitful life,
    he will not be delivered to evil men.
    If he falls ill, the Lord will heal him,
    God will comfort him in his recovery.

    I said to the Lord, show me mercy,
    heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.
    My enemies rise against me,
    when will they die, Lord,
    when will You take his name from the earth.
    When my enemies come to me,
    they speak of their power,
    they condemn themselves with their vanity,
    and brag they are above God and his chosen.
    They spread rumors against me, Lord,
    and they comfort those who would do me evil.
    Even my closest friends have turned on me, Lord.

    But You are merciful, oh Lord,
    You will restore me, so that I may bring them back to You.
    My enemies will not win, Lord,
    for You have shown me their destruction.
    You have restored me, You have healed me,
    You have allowed me to praise you,
    and I will rejoice in all You have done.

    Blessed is the God of Israel, for he is eternal.

    "...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him will they ask the more." Luke 13:48 [KJV]

    Depending on which website or bureau you read, there are between 650,000 and 1.7 million homeless people in the United States today. Additionally, 13.8% of the 311,591, 917 people in the United States live below the poverty line. Now, I am not the greatest mathematician in the world, but this conservatively places the number of the poor in the United States at around 23 million people. In perspective, this means there are almost as many poor people in the United States as there are people in the state of Texas, the second most populous state. And despite what the current administration is saying, that number is increasing. [My stats on Homelessness come from WikiPedia with confirmed sources. The stats on poverty and state populations from the U.S. Census bureau.]

    We often hear about welfare and other government assistance programs that are intended to alleviate the poor, to bring them out of their condition and improve their lives. We also hear frequently these programs are utter failures, programs which create a "permanent welfare class" which depends solely on the government for its support. We often refer to these programs as entitlement programs, a term that indicates it is the responsibility of the government to provide this support.

    When David refers to caring for the poor, he does not indicate he will build a government program to take care of them. Instead, he tells us it is our responsibility to care for the poor, or to become poor ourselves. He tells us that God will reward those who care for the poor with enough to continue doing so, that God will preserve the man who cares for the poor, that God will protect the man who shows mercy to the poor.

    On an old episode of the "Dick Van Dyke Show", Morey Amsterdam asked an aging comedian what was the most popular punch line of the Revolutionary War. The man shot back "Let George Do It."

    Could be that was the beginning of a tendency to think our government should take over our responsibilities.

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