JavaScript is disabled in your web browser or browser is too old to support JavaScript. Today almost all web pages contain JavaScript, a scripting programming language that runs on visitor's web browser. It makes web pages functional for specific purposes and if disabled for some reason, the content or the functionality of the web page can be limited or unavailable.

Neither poverty nor riches

26.12.2016 6.25

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 23:41

We are li­ving in an era of dra­ma­tic chan­ge and un­cer­tain­ty. There are pub­lic dis­cus­si­ons of va­lu­es and fun­da­men­tal is­su­es of faith as well as emp­lo­y­ment, workp­la­ces, and sub­sis­ten­ce. It is im­por­tant to pray that God’s word would gui­de our choi­ce of li­fes­ty­le and va­lu­es.

We of­ten hear news of how the rich grow inc­re­a­sing­ly rich, while the poor sink ever dee­per in po­ver­ty. This sounds hard, but it is true. Many of the pe­op­le we know may strug­g­le to make their li­ving. There is a need for abun­dant neigh­bor­ly love both near and far. Even a small sac­ri­fi­ce may make a big dif­fe­ren­ce for so­me­o­ne in dire need of help. We can­not cont­rol the dist­ri­bu­ti­on of big mo­ney or food in the in­ter­na­ti­o­nal or even the na­ti­o­nal con­text, but we can strive to make choi­ces gui­ded by God’s word among our fa­mi­ly and neigh­bors.

One cha­rac­te­ris­tic of our time is dis­con­tent­ment and comp­laint. “We have all things we need for a good life, but we still do not have enough.” This fee­ling is al­so close to be­lie­vers. What el­se should we ob­tain and pos­sess in or­der to live a hap­py life? It is temp­ting but dan­ge­rous to com­pa­re or es­ti­ma­te whet­her God has bles­sed more tem­po­ral we­alth to our neigh­bors or friends.

The food that is need­ful

We of­ten think and even wor­ry about our li­ve­li­hood and dai­ly bread. In his exp­la­na­ti­on of the Lord’s Pra­yer, Mar­tin Lut­her asks: ”What does dai­ly bread mean?” And he then exp­lains: ”Eve­ryt­hing that be­longs to the sup­port and wants of the body, such as meat, drink, clot­hing, shoes, hou­se, ho­mes­te­ad, field, cat­t­le, mo­ney, goods, a pi­ous spou­se, pi­ous child­ren, pi­ous ser­vants, pi­ous and faith­ful ma­gist­ra­tes, good go­vern­ment, good we­at­her, pe­a­ce, he­alth, dis­cip­li­ne, ho­nor, good friends, faith­ful neigh­bors, and the like.” This exp­la­na­ti­on of dai­ly bread writ­ten in Lut­her’s arc­haic lan­gu­a­ge co­vers eve­ryt­hing that we need.

A tra­ve­ler in the Old Tes­ta­ment ti­mes pra­yed to God: ”Re­mo­ve far from me fal­se­hood and lying; give me neit­her po­ver­ty nor ric­hes; feed me with the food that is need­ful for me.” (Prov. 30:8.) Apost­le Paul wrote: ”But if we have food and clot­hing, with these we will be con­tent.” (1Tim. 6:8). God has pro­mi­sed to bless all ho­nest and res­pec­tab­le work.

We can trust that God will give us our dai­ly bread and open for us op­por­tu­ni­ties to earn our li­ving. When the Old Tes­ta­ment tra­ve­ler pra­yed for ”the food that is need­ful”, he did not mean eit­her ex­ces­si­ve pros­pe­ri­ty or down­right po­ver­ty. Ex­ces­si­ve we­alth and suc­cess are not even good for eve­ry­bo­dy. “Ot­her­wi­se, I might have too much and deny you, sa­ying, “Who is the LORD?” or I might have not­hing and steal, pro­fa­ning the name of my God.” (Prov. 30:9.)

The most pre­ci­ous thing in our life

In a be­lie­ving home we may ex­pe­rien­ce mo­ments of joy and hap­pi­ness even at ti­mes of tem­po­ral shor­ta­ge, be­cau­se our most pre­ci­ous tre­a­su­re is faith. If tem­po­ral and eter­nal mat­ters are in har­mo­ny in our home, there pre­vails an inexp­li­cab­le at­mosp­he­re of qui­et hap­pi­ness, which can be per­cei­ved even by a vi­si­tor. We can trust that both small and great mat­ters in our life are in God’s care.

At Je­sus’ time, too, many pe­op­le wor­ried about their li­ve­li­hood and fu­tu­re. Je­sus spoke to them about God’s care: ”Look at the birds of the air: they neit­her sow nor reap nor gat­her in­to barns, and yet yo­ur he­a­ven­ly Fat­her feeds them. -- The­re­fo­re do not be an­xi­ous, sa­ying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? -- But seek first the king­dom of God and his righ­te­ous­ness, and all these things will be ad­ded to you.” (Matt. 6:26,31,33.)

Je­sus taught about the cor­rect or­der of im­por­tan­ce. Par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in God’s king­dom, per­so­nal faith, and the hap­py mes­sa­ge of the gos­pel give us the strength to per­se­ve­re through tem­po­ral dif­fi­cul­ties. ”Get­ting to know God and our Sa­vi­or Je­sus Christ and be­co­ming a child of God are the most im­por­tant mat­ter in our life.” (Chris­ti­an Doct­ri­ne 1).

Jor­ma Hop­pa

Trans­la­ti­on: S.-L. L.

Pro­verbs 30:8


Käänny puoleeni; Herra, ja ole minulle armollinen, sillä minä olen yksin ja avuton. Ps. 25:16

Viikon kysymys