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Topic: Poverty

Session 3

by Darrel Cline

Issues of "Poverty"
Class Session Three
(Download Audio)

Israel and Poverty in Respect To the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament

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.

In our second session we made the claim that the Abrahamic Covenant is the Controlling Issue of God's dealings with humanity and the lesser covenants of the Palestinian, Davidic, and New show how God is working in history. Our major claim is that God has forsaken the primary focus of the Palestinian covenant for the present because it was set in place to reveal the fact that man's problems are not addressed by providing benefit for the outer man. We did not get to argue that the Davidic Covenant is historically being worked out in terms of the "Seed" promise to Abraham, but it seems that God's focus in the present age is upon the "soul" wherein the issue is man "in relationship", primarily with the Seed but then, by extension, with those who believe in that Seed. Nor did we get to argue that the New Covenant is ultimately a prophetic issue for the present because it is only in the Future Kingdom of Messiah that our identity in Him will be both recognized and act as the basis for all of our participation with Him.

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This is article #003.
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