He counted me faithful,
putting me into the ministry.
Does God Have a Welfare Program?
Does God Have a Welfare Program?
Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud." (Job 30:15)
In this time in the USA, we have many people who have come to depend upon the government to look after their personal welfare. I know there are many people who truly are needy, and I have no intention of casting any negative reflection upon them. Jesus said, "Ye have the poor always with you" (Matthew 26:11); and, He approved in the same context the giving of our means to help them.
But, Jesus did not approve of involuntary "giving". I mean to say that He nowhere taught that it was good to forcefully take from the "haves" to give to the "have nots". Though, He did approve of paying taxes, even when the government is corrupt (as the Roman Empire of His time was), using the money in ways that we as individuals would not support (see Matthew 22:21, and see the Bible Note entitled, Should We Pay Taxes). Therefore, what I here write in no way is in support of tax evasion.
Robin Hood and his "merry men" might be interesting to read about, but his ethics were far from morally good. It is never right to break one of the Ten Commandments in order that good might come of it. The end does NOT justify the means! Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor is evil. Yes, it is right for the "rich" to give of their own free will to help the poor -- and many do; but, it is wrong to steal from them for that purpose.
Thou shalt not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
Likewise, it is wrong for the government to force the "rich" to give to the "poor" by means of taxation. The Constitution of the United States of America (I believe it is in the Preamble) says that the government should "provide for the general welfare". It does not say "to provide for each individual's personal welfare". But, like it or not, this is the current situation. Some few attempt to make changes for the better, and we pray for even more to do so. But, we have many in our society who have come to expect the current welfare system as their right, their entitlement. The desire for government provision has grown much greater the farther we go.
While so many of us are aware of this problem, I am afraid that many fail to see that we have a similar problem in the spiritual realm. Therefore, I pose this question: Does God have a welfare program?
Unlike the civil government, God has given Himself a mandate to take care of His children. He has done so by many unfailing promises. And yet, there are two sides to the coin of personal provision that God has promised. The one side of that coin, the positive side, says that God has promised to answer my prayers, to keep me from hunger, to keep me in good health or heal me of illness, to protect my life from destruction, and even to make my enemies to be at peace with me. I could go on and on about all the wonderful things God has promised and how faithful He is at keeping His Word. Yet, we must turn the coin over and look at the other side.
Hey, I too wish we could just stop right there and declare that God will never let anything bad happen to us; but, we must face reality, we must declare and accept the whole counsel of God. The other side of the coin often shows us that the will of God through His wisdom brings many negative things into our lives in order that greater good will come in our spiritual and eternal existence.
How often have we heard people testify like this: "God was good to me today in that He prevented my having a car wreck."; or "I thank God that all my friends and relatives were protected from death and destruction, while most of their neighbors' houses and lives were damaged by the hurricanes."; and again, "God blessed my business and made it to prosper, because I am His child and He takes care of His own." All these statements were doubtless true at face value, but let us turn the coin over.
When God doesn't seem to do these good things that the good people testified about, would that mean that He is not keeping His promises? Or, should we conclude, as Job's friends did about him, that the disasters and the negatives of life come because we have sins un-confessed and not yet covered by the blood of Jesus? If God has to give us the positive side of the coin of life in order to prove to us that He is good and that we are indeed His children, are we not expecting, maybe some even demanding, that we are to be on God's welfare roll?
I once heard a woman make negative comments about any political leader that she thought might try to cut the welfare benefits that her family received. I just wonder how many people decide they do not care so much for God anymore when His "welfare program" seems to have left them high and dry. Will we quit serving God when He doesn't heal the sickness, when He doesn't prevent a tragic accident, when He doesn't seem to answer prayer the way we want Him to, when He allows the cupboards to go bare and bills unpaid, or when He allows the people closest to us to depart from this world before we are ready for them to depart? I dare say that many people have deserted God, because they felt as though He had deserted them.
Not so with Job! Satan told God that Job served Him only because he was getting the "full welfare package" (the BibleNote Writer's translation for this Bible Note only; see Job 1:9-11; 2:4-6). God allowed Satan to take away the welfare benefits: Job's health, Job's children, Job's wealth -- all gone. What would you and I have done? Job worshipped God, kept his integrity, trusted God when he could not trace Him, and proved that he served God because he loved Him!
Job, not knowing what God was doing, said, "When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 24:10). The epistle to the Hebrews, in the "Faith Chapter" (Hebrews 11:35-39) states that some of the saints "...were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might have a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain of the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; .. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:"
We might say that these heroes of the faith received not the welfare benefits of God that they could have hoped for in this life, all for the purpose of receiving a much better, spiritual and eternal welfare benefits package in the life to come. Yes, God DOES have a welfare program; but, He sovereignly decides what the benefits will be and what to increase, to decrease or even to eliminate. Yes, God DOES want us to be dependent upon Him; but, that dependence includes trusting Him to take care of us as He sees fit. Yes, He does delight in doing the very best for His children; but, the very best that He can do is many times far different from our idea of what is the very best.
Let us put our trust in the God Who NEVER fails, and let His wisdom guide us through the uncertain times in which we live.
Yours in Christ,
Please share this Bible Note with others who may be interested or helped by it.
Bible Notes Archives (2002 through 2008): http://freegroups.net/legacygroups/bible_notes/
Note: these archived Bible Notes are being added to this message board, but it takes time to format the text here.
Last edited by BibleNote Writer, 21/Aug/2015, 12:14 pm
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
The Bible Note Writer
written to glorify God
and to help souls
on the way to Heaven.
21/Jan/2008, 11:10 am
Link to this post
Send Email to BibleNote Writer
Send PM to BibleNote Writer