by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Issues of "Poverty" Class Session Two
Israelites and Poverty in Respect, Primarily, to the Palestinian Covenant in Deuteronomy 29-30 where the focus is upon physical poverty
Review:In our first session, we set Galatians 6:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23 up as the "umbrellas" that would guide us in our thinking about "poverty". Then we defined "poverty" as "a lack that imposes a downward spiral upon the one possessing the lack". From there we went to the "arenas" of 1 Thessalonians 5:23 where any "lack" would show up. The categories of "lack" are all "relational" as an outworking of God's "relational universe". "Spiritual poverty" exists when there is a "lack" of a "believing" relationship with God ( Revelation 3:17 is a classic text on this form of "poverty"). "Soul-poverty" exists when there is a "lack" of "harmony" in relationships with others so that the "soul" is stressed and distressed by conflict ( 2 Corinthians 7:5-7 is a classic text on this form of "poverty" even though the words "poor" or "poverty" are not used in it). "Physical poverty" exists when there is a "lack" of a healthy relationship to the physical world. When we are attacked by a germ, a virus, an accident, a glitch in our genetic makeup, or when we engage in behaviors that subject our bodies to a downward spiral, we are "poor". The bottom line is this: when "poverty" is defined in terms of how much money a person does not have, "poverty" is being pushed into a "mechanistic" definition as though "money" could improve the relationships we sustain in the three areas of our poverty. Money is a factor to a limited degree, but it never moves above the "mechanism" stage of the problem.
This Current Session:
I. The Primacy of the Abrahamic Covenant.
A. The Bible maintains a consistent unity to God's focus upon reconciliation wherein "sanctification" is the major focus.
1. Sanctification of the spirit focuses upon getting the person involved to become an active participant in a working, dynamic relationship with God as the critical relationship of all relationships.
2. Sanctification of the soul focuses upon getting the person involved to become convinced that the "relational universe" is the critical setting of "Life" (the New Jerusalem). [This may be why Peter called our spiritual gifts "stewardships" to be handled with "faith" because the "gifts" are the Spirit's tool of sanctification both inwardly and outwardly.]
3. Sanctification of the body focuses upon getting the person involved to embrace the body's identity as the instrument of manifestation for the "new" inner person ( Acts 1:8 ).
B. Thus, it not only makes sense for God to unveil the Big Picture of His solution to man's weaknesses, it becomes necessary .
C. Thus, the Abrahamic Covenant has Genesis 3 as its root context with a special focus upon the overt rebellion of humanity against God's "sanctification" concept.
D. What many have overlooked regarding the Abrahamic Covenant is that God has demonstrably made it the large outline of human history.
II. The Historical Passing of the Focus Upon the Benefits of "the Land".
A. Deuteronomy 15:4 and 7 in view of Deuteronomy 29-30.
B. Psalm 27:25 compared with Matthew 6:33.
C. The historical result: the murder of Jesus the Christ and God's movement away from the issues of the "body" as a matter of focus to the issues of the "soul" as a matter of focus.
III. The Prophetical Focus Upon the Benefits of "a Great Name".