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: