And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. ‘Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. ‘Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the Lord your God. ‘And if you offer a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord , you shall offer it of your own free will. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day. And if any remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire. And if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It shall not be accepted. Therefore everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the hallowed offering of the Lord ; and that person shall be cut off from his people. ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God. ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord . ‘You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord . ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord . ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord . ‘You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you. ‘Whoever lies carnally with a woman who is betrothed to a man as a concubine, and who has not at all been redeemed nor given her freedom, for this there shall be scourging; but they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. And he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord , to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, a ram as a trespass offering. The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he has committed. And the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him. ‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord . And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase: I am the Lord your God. ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying. You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord . ‘Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness. ‘You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord . ‘Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. ‘You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord . ‘And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. ‘Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am the Lord .’” Leviticus 19:1-37 NKJV
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord , But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor. The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above. The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps. A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated. The simple inherit folly, But the prudent are crowned with knowledge. The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous. The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends. He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good. In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty. The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is folly. A true witness delivers souls, But a deceitful witness speaks lies. In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death. He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly. A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is against him who causes shame. Proverbs 14:1-3, 6-9, 11-12, 14-27, 29-31, 34-35 NKJV
Blessed is he that considereth 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 all his bed in his sickness. Psalms 41:1-3 KJV
What does it mean to consider the poor? The definition of the word consider from the Merrium Webster dictionary:
– to regard or treat in an attentive or kindly way
– to think about carefully
My interpretation has not been to think & act blindly, but to carefully consider those who are truly poor. Someone who has difficulty paying for what they need: food, clothing, shelter, health. The essentials of life. Psalms 41 instructs us to consider the poor.