There must not have been any poor people in Israel or during Biblical times. After all, there does not seem to be much concern about feeding them or caring for them, other than with God dropping off the sky-borne manna during their 40 years of travel through the desert.
The other thing that is convincing of this is all the sacrifices of cattle, oxen, goats, lambs, sheep, birds and grain that are sacrificed to the Lord during these times.
You can’t read more than a few verses anywhere in the Old Testament without stumbling over a passage where God demands a sacrifice, an Israeli leader or king insists on one, or someone is so contrite that he is gathering up the livestock for slaughter to appease God.
There are even grain offerings, burnt offerings, fellowship offerings, sin offerings, guilt offerings – all kinds of offerings and sacrifices to keep the God of this people happy and content.
While occasionally the priestly clan of Levi were allowed to eat some leftovers, it seems that most of this good meat and grain was burned up for no other purpose than to attempt to please God or stave off some disaster that God is going to inflict for no reason onto “his chosen people”.
That all seems a little strange. It seems that the poor and downtrodden are always with us, and it would be a good religious thing to do to help out these people who need a little boost in life. One way of helping out would be – and is today – to provide food and other services to help them get back on their feet.
In my area just recently, some 150 pounds of illegally taken deer was seized by the state Natural Resources Police, with the poaching hunter receiving fines and probation while losing his hunting license and losing his illegally taken venison.
The perfectly good meat seized by the Natural Resources Police was donated to two groups – one a county food bank and the other a service that provides temporary shelter, counseling and rehabilitation services for homeless men down on their luck.
I am sure that the venison will go to make stews and chili for both groups and will be a welcome addition to their diet. And it is obvious that this meat donation is better served helping people than burning up in a bonfire as an offering and sacrifice to some god who obviously would not need it and could not use it anyway.
The whole concept of burning up perfectly good food of meat and grain just to satisfy an invisible God seems very questionable, to say the least, to a lot of skeptics. But then, doesn’t everything in the Bible seem a little far-fetched and ridiculous?