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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Psalm 72 on government assistance to the poor

Psalm 72:God, give the king your justice;
your righteousness to the royal son.
He will judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
The mountains shall bring prosperity to the people.
The hills bring the fruit of righteousness.
He will judge the poor of the people.
He will save the children of the needy,
and will break the oppressor in pieces
12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries;
the poor, who has no helper.
13 He will have pity on the poor and needy.
He will save the souls of the needy. (World English Bible, public domain)
I had never seen this, but I should have. Psalm 72, apparently written by either David or Solomon, speaks of the government -- which, in those days, was the king -- saving the children of the needy, having pity on the poor and needy, and delivering them. Presumably, this should have included material blessings. In other words, the Psalm seems to be condoning, even expecting, that the government, and/or the rich, would help the poor.
There are plenty of Old Testament passages about God's displeasure when those in power treat the poor unjustly. This one indicates His pleasure when they help the poor.
This post is a reaction to a better post on the same subject, governmental assistance to the poor, by Ken Schenck, Bible scholar.
Thanks for reading.

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