Deuteronomy 15-16

“But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land…” (15:4). God’s ideal for Israel was that there would be no poor, but this promise was tied to their obedience.  Rather than following ordinary economic principles (everything I earn, I keep), the Israelites were supposed to regularly – every seven years – forgive each other’s debts (15:1-2).  In this way, deep poverty was kept in check, while generosity to those who were in need was also encouraged (v8).

“Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land” (16:20).  God’s justice is not cold and abstract, but full of mercy and wisdom.