“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother’ – Zechariah 7:9-10, NKJV
How we treat others is very important to God. He doesn’t ask us to do what we wouldn’t want others to do if we were in their shoes. Who wouldn’t want to be treated justly, shown mercy and compassion? Widows, orphans and the poor are the most vulnerable of our society and in some societies are the most oppressed. God once told the children of Israel to be kind to the foreigner (alien) in their midst because they were once strangers in another land.
God wants us to have love, not malice, good, not evil in our hearts towards others. We are encouraged to let all that we do be done in love (1 Corinthians 16:14). In love, we reach out to those who need help. God wants us to be open handed and not tightfisted when it comes to providing for the needs of others (Deuteronomy 15:7-8). Love isn’t stingy but is generous. Proverbs 22:9 says, “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
When we help others, we do it out of genuine love for them, not “out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” In humility, we are value others above ourselves, not looking out for our own interests but for the interests of the others (Philippians 2:3-4). It is a blessing to help others and when we do, we please God who is glorified.
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God (Proverbs 14:31). We honor and please God when we do “good and to share with others” (Hebrews 13:16).