The Expository Files

The Duty of Benevolence

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so," (Prov. 3:27).

This doesn't say we ought to focus all our attention on benevolence, and define our "religion" only in terms of munificence. This doesn't say we should build human institutions and perpetuate the feeding of all the machinery involved (perhaps losing sight of the human need). This doesn't say we should walk around town passing out one-hundred dollar bills (those who have been doing that can stop).

But when we have the power, the ability, the resources to help those who are poor, who deserve help - who stand in need of what we can give ... we need to act as God acts - and give!

Even if we have to sacrifice something we believe we have earned and we deserve - we give it up for those who deserve help. There is a spirit of generosity that is taught in the Bible but hard for us to apply today, in the materialistic and capitalistic society we live in.

I have no quarrel with capitalism; I'm not an advocate of socialism and I don't believe the Bible teaches socialism. But there is an unselfish generosity and sacrifice that really challenges us in the society and economy we live in.

We need to think about all of this; pray about it and endeavor to do better.

By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 7.3; March 2000