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Jeremiah and Poverty

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Most of us have heard Jeremiah 29:11 that says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But we often neglect the verses that precede it.

Chuck Bentley with Crown Financial Ministries explains that those earlier verses provide a blueprint of “Four Steps to End Poverty.” He was on my radio program recently to talk about his article.

Step one can be found in verse 5 that admonishes the Jews to “build a house and settle down” and to “plant a garden and eat from your own garden.” Chuck says this teaches that we are to take responsibility for our own welfare. We should establish a self-sustaining settlement.

Step two in verse 6 says they were to “marry and have sons and daughters” and that they were to “increase not decrease.” We should have a growing family. What a contrast this is to the falling birthrates in the richest nations of the world. They are headed for a demographic winter.

Step three is found in verse 7 that says, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city.” Prosperity is dependent upon peace in our local community. Chuck says that, “We are to build enterprises that will assist others in the achievement of their goals and objectives.” We can see what happens in countries where greed, coveting, and avarice dominate the community.

Step four talks about the danger of false views and false theology. It can be found in verses 8 and 9 that warn, “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you.” The problem with some attempts to alleviate poverty is that they fail to acknowledge the spiritual condition of the people. What we believe about God impacts our view of marriage, finance, children, education, government, and religion.

Reducing and even ending poverty in our communities and the world will only be successful if we follow God’s plan. Chuck Bentley provides a clear outline from God’s Word of what we can do to end poverty.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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