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Complacent with Plenty

Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. ~ Isaiah 32:9 {ESV}

Usually when we hear about Sodom we think and hear about sexual sin.

For most of us living good Christian lives with the spouses of our youth, that gives us a feeling of security because, “I’m not like the people of Sodom.” Genesis 13:13 says, “Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.” {ESV}

Ezekiel 16:49 broadens our understanding, “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” A commentator interpreted these words as “arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned.”

Those words hit home. I want for nothing in life, not food, clothing, or warmth. Many people in this world, in this nation, even in my own county, cannot say that.

What am I doing about it? Not enough.

Have we become complacent? We have let our political leaders convince us that taking care of the poor and needy is government work: welfare, housing, food stamps, and medical insurance. We just don’t need to be worried about the poor folks without these things. “Uncle Sam” has it covered.

What does God say? He called Sodom wicked – partly because they failed to help the poor and needy. Genesis 19:24, “Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven {ESV}.” God apparently takes helping the poor and needy pretty seriously (not that they didn’t have some other problems, too).

In Paul’s letters he talked about giving to the poor, and his joy over the giving. He said the giving would overflow in Thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 9:11-12 {ESV}), an acknowledgment of God’s hand behind the giving.

There is no overflow of thanksgiving at God’s provision when taxpayers foot the bill. There is no joy in the offering when it is a form of forced taxation. We certainly have no opportunity to point to the source of the giving, the Lord himself (Acts 17:25).

Unless we go looking for it from our suburban bliss, we rarely encounter real poverty. We know it exists, but have little opportunity to share the “plenty” God has given us in our lives.

Even in the church, we can be complacent about our own people in need, “Go to the government,” we say. That is a true lack of concern for our neighbors’ material needs, but it shows a bigger lack of concern for their spiritual needs.

If “Uncle Sam” pays their bills, it is harder to explain that the Lord will provide for them. And, it’s easier for them to take short-cuts to saving – like murdering a preborn child with no one to advise against it.

Arrogant, overfed, unconcerned? If we could start by eliminating the arrogant and unconcerned we would be well ahead of Sodom and moving away from God’s wrath.

Arrogant. Overfed. Unconcerned. Do these words describe today’s American Christian? Have we become complacent with the plenty the Lord has given to us?

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Beth Bingaman
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Beth Bingaman

Writer & Bible Teacher at bethbingaman.com
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a Mom, and a Mom-Mom, called by God to teach His Word.

I love serving Jesus Christ as one who “feeds His sheep”. It is my desire to teach God’s Word diligently, with reverence and awe for the Source of the truths I teach, and with an engaging, and sometimes witty, delivery so that the hearers will not just listen but do what it says.
Beth Bingaman
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1 Comment

  1. DianeK on November 17, 2018 at 5:32 PM

    Wow did that ever resound straight to my toes, Beth. Thanks for an honest look at what is beyond just what can see when we say we want to help…there is so much more that God wants us to do. Humble. Fed. Concerned.

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