“Raising the Needy from the Dust”: The Judeo-Christian Imperative
Using the Bible, this article demonstrates that giving charity, as crucial as it is, is not a sufficient response to the impoverished because it deprives the receiver of dignity. Christians and other followers of the Bible have a greater responsibility than simply providing the underprivileged with donations of money or food to survive. The Bible dictates that we must find ways to generate jobs and provide employment for the poor so that they can escape their poverty with dignity. The purpose of many biblical laws such as leaving the gleanings, forgotten produce, and the corners of the field for the poor; forgiving debt; returning land to its original owners during the Jubilee year; lending money to the destitute; and others had the purpose of “raising the needy from the dust” (Psalms 113:7). More than offering a safety net, the Bible obligates believers to provide a ladder for the unfortunates of society to climb out of a cycle of poverty.