King David and six hundred men had set out on a rescue mission of their wives and children who were taken captives by unknown invaders. They had inquired from God and He had assured them of success and full restoration. However, God did not tell them the identity and location of the invaders 1 Samuel 30:10.
On their way, David’s men saw a very sick Egyptian man in the field. They had compassion on him and brought him to David. The sick man was well attended to. He was given good food and drink and was revived back to health, 1 Samuel 11-12.
Surprisingly, the Egyptian on being questioned about his identity after he had become revived, gave all the information David and his men needed to know about (a) who the invaders of Ziglag were, (b) where they had taken the captives to, (c) and also led them to the place they camped 1 Samuel 30: 13-20. With the information given by the Egyptian, David and his men were able to kill almost the invaders and recovered all that the enemy had taken away from them and also took much spoil from the Amalekites 1 Samuel 30:13-20. Truly, helping others has tremendous benefits.
HELPING THE NEEDY AND THE POOR
God Almighty is a compassionate God (loving, kind, sympathetic, caring and merciful) Psalm 78:38; 86:15; 111:4; 112:4. The Bible makes us know He has a special concern for the poor, needy and the oppressed/helpless and the weak ones which include the orphans, widows, aged childless people, the prisoners, the sick, fatherless and motherless and destitute. Jesus in various ways showed His compassion on all poor and needy people He met such as in Matthew 15:32; 20:34; Mark 1:41; Luke 7:13.
As God’s children, it is expected of us to be compassionate and show sincere concern for the welfare of others most especially the less privileged as was practiced by Job as revealed in Job 30:13-21. God values our showing genuine love, kindness, and mercy to others than all other of our pieties and charged us to do this in Luke 6:36; Hosea 6:6; Daniel 4:27; Micah 6:6; Zachariah 7:9-10; James 4: 17; 1 Peter 3:8.
The importance God attaches to our showing of great concern to all most especially the poor and the needy is revealed by Jesus making us know that whatever we do to others including the less privileged ones be it good or bad is done unto Him Proverbs 19:17; Matthew 25:34- 46. Therefore believers are to take good care of them genuinely, unconditionally, cheerfully and relentlessly, Deuteronomy 15:10. Fulfilling the two greatest commandments is connected to this.
The way David and his men treated the sick man found in the field was a perfect example of what God wants us to do. This is what loving our neighbor implies as the parable of Jesus about the Good Samaritan revealed in Luke 10:30-37. It was a show of love that is genuine, unconditional, does not count the cost, selfless, love that looks beyond tribe, class, and religion. True love is expressed by sincerely helping persons in need with what we have. Turning our backs at those in need of our help is to close our hearts to them, Deuteronomy 15:7-11. Showing a sincere concern for the poor and the needy is proof of our love for God and it also proves that we know Him, 1 John 3:17. When you genuinely love God, you cannot see people suffering and not assist/help them.
Unfortunately, showing compassion to others is one area many individuals Christian and the church are not doing as they ought to. And this is the major reason for lack of power in the body of Christ because God works only where love is in action. It is also the reason many individuals are having problems in different areas of their lives. How do you want God to show you mercy or help with your problems when you do not show mercy or help others?
Many Christians have been made to believe that the paltry offering tagged welfare offering taken once in a month for the poor and the needy during Sunday service is what having compassion on the needy entails. The truth we should all know is that helping the poor and the needy goes beyond just giving them a small quantity of rice, paltry amount of money and used cloths during Easter and Christmas celebrations. It involves showing genuine concern and compassion which involves showing mercy and love to them, visitation, feeding, housing, empowerment, clothing and much more. The poor and the needy people we are to help are not only members of our congregation; they extend to our poor family members, neighbors, our domestic and office staffs, people of other believes in our environment, and those that fate brings across our path on daily basis. Helping the poor involves personally going all out and reaching unto them in love even when it is not convenient for us to do so. We should not wait until they beg us for help before helping them but should be sensitive enough to observe when another person needs our assistance just as Jesus was sensitive of the plights of the 5000 people he fed in Matthew 14:14-21. Our motive of helping others should never be for payback by the individual so helped or as a show-off but unto God.
YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE AT ALL NOT TO HELP
King David and his men had every reason not to render help or assistance to the poor sick Egyptian they saw in the field if they had chosen not to for reasons such as:
1) Time was not on their side. They were in pursuit of those unknown invaders who made away with everything and burnt down the whole city.
2) They were not in the best shape and mind, they were sad and in great distress.
3) They were not in their time of plenty since they did not meet their wives’ in the camp, They were most likely to be with whatever was left from those they took along with them to the Philistines camp.
4) They too had more than enough of those who were sick (two hundred men who were faint) they left behind at the brook of Besor.
5) He was a total stranger and in a very bad state of health and would be an additional burden to them. Yet, All these reasons notwithstanding, David and his men chose to help the man. They had compassion on him. They saw him, valued him as a fellow human being, pitied him, show him love and kindness and took very good care of Him. These are all God desires we do to our fellow human most especially those who are suffering, James 1:27.
If David and his men could help the poor sick man under the circumstance they found themselves and at that point in time, then we have no excuse at all not to render assistance to those genuinely in need around us as we are told in Matthew 5:42;10:42:19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 6:30. Helping the poor is a deliberate choice we have to make. We must do away with selfishness, tribalism, discrimination, suspicion, religious bigotry, sentiment based on doctrines and traditions taught by selfish men of God that have been preventing us from helping those we should render help to.
Helping others in need was a part and parcel of David’s life. More than half of his followers were those who came to him for help 1Samuel 22:2.
BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS OF HELPING THE POOR AND THE NEEDY
I am sure David and his men could never have envisaged that the poor, sick and helpless man they assisted would be of any help to them. However, he turned out to be the medium God used to reveal who the invaders they were looking for were and lead them to where they camped. It is very good and rewarding to help those in need. This is a perfect example of what happens when we genuinely reach out to others in love.
God has placed on our paths of life certain human angels of help to help us out of trouble or unpalatable predicament, to inform us and to lead us to our breakthroughs. Often times they come to us as paupers, mad, sick, weak, and helpless people.
Oftentimes, many people have missed God’s providence or answers to their answers due to neglecting the poor and the needy God sent to give then answers or show them what to do concerning certain problems in their lives. The answer you need that would lead to the breakthrough you have long desired or answer to that problem that has defiled every solution might be that beggar by your gate you have been treating with disdain. That poor fatherless house boy or housemaid in your house you are maltreating might be your God sent a helper to lead you to where your healing is as Naaman’s housemaid was the one that led him to where he received healing for his leprosy. 2 Kings 5:3. Be kind to people and treat them with love and respect.
Also, unknown to many of us is the fact that many of the things we seek for in prayers and fasting combined with several night vigils and going to one mountain or another such as deliverance in time of trouble, preservation from harm, blessings, victory over satanic plans, healing, protection, provision, children, God’s presence and several others are all fringe benefits God bestows for helping the poor as revealed as thus;
“Blessed is the man that considers the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble, the Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies, the Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make his bed in sickness.” Psalm 41: 1-3
Fasting different types of fasting (dry, white, partial and others) is what many of us are involved in without much result, Isaiah 58:3. God reveals that showing sincere concern for the poor and the needy during fasting is what He values and what moves him to act and not afflicting one’s soul, weeping, wearing sack cloths, and sitting on ashes, looking sad and heavy-hearted Isaiah 58:6-7.
BENEFITS OF SINCERE CONCERN FOR THE POOR DURING FASTING AS REVEALED IN ISAIAH 58:8-12 ARE AS THUS:
8)” Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
(9) then shall thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shall cry, and he shall say, here I am….
(10) If thou shall draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the moon day
(11) and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones and thou shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not
(12) and they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shall raise up foundations of many generations; and thou shall be called, the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:8-12.
I have many testimonies on how helping the needy had brought me many blessings. One of it happened in early 2016. One of my daughters called on a Friday to tell me she needed prayers for she was having a very terrible headache and that the medical Doctor had booked her for brain scan on coming Monday. Although she told I shouldn’t bother to come to see her, I resolved I would be traveling to see her on that Monday so I went and made a withdrawal of money from my bank
Few minutes after I got home, my land lady’s son was brought in a cab by the wife who was crying profusely for help that she had rushed the husband to the hospital and was refused admission because they couldn’t make any down payment. I was moved by compassion to help and I gave them some money out of the one I planned to travel with to them to go and pay a deposit. The man was placed on admitted. The wife came back later from the clinic saying the Doctor asked her to bring food for the husband to eat and that they did not have any food at home. I also provided, taking food there morning and evening. While there, the little baby the wife carried with her became so sick and needed blood transfusion which I also paid for.
While doing all these, the thought that it was the last money in my account that I withdrew to travel was what I was spending did not cross to my mind at all. All I was concerned with was to save the lives of members of that family. By Sunday evening when I called my daughter to ask about how she was feeling she told me she did not know what had happened because she became perfectly okay yesterday on Saturday. Praise the Lord.
It is good to show kindness to people who need it. If you help a needy person it will always come back to you in unexpected ways. Although at times such rewards may not come immediately, it will surely come. Our motive of helping should never be for payback by the individual but unto God. Don’t say until you have enough before helping others, it is not always about the big amount of money but showing that you care. It takes very little help to make a big difference in the lives of others. You should not hesitate to help who so ever you have the capability to help when it is in your power to do so. Never demand payment for a kindness. Be good to all James 4:7
Don’t because of the ingratitude of those you helped before stop helping others in need. The Bible charges us not to be wary of good doings Galatians 6:9-10.
Cast your bread upon the waters and you would have it back after some days Ecclesiastes 11:1.
We must make it a point of duty to offer help and assistance to others since we may one day find ourselves in dire need of help.
GOD LOVES YOU, SO DO I.