God truly cares for the poor and downtrodden is society and as his followers we should also care for the poor and downtrodden in our society. You can see your this care for those who are considered to be outcasts over and over again throughout the Old Testament. One of the first things God tells the people of Israel is to not oppress the foreigners living among them, because they were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. God then goes one step further by giving them this command in the book of Leviticus, “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 23:22 NIV). When Jesus came he simplified all this by saying all the laws within the Old Testament, including the one quoted above, could be boiled down to two very commands. The first is to love God with all your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. It is your love and devotion to God that keeps you from being “polluted by the word”, and it is your love for those around you that allows you to care for the poor and downtrodden in society. However, this love is not the kind of love that we give where we expect something in return, rather this is the kind of love that God gives us where he loves us unconditionally. This is the kind of love that God expects us to show everyone around us and it is this kind of love that will radically change the world.
“If I speak I the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV).