You cared for the least of my brothers (Mt 25:40-25:40)

“The king

Will answer them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

Just as you did it

To one of the least

Of these

Who are members

Of my family,

You did it to me.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Βασιλεὺς ἐρεῖ αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐφ’ ὅσον ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν ἐλαχίστων, ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  The king, not the Son of Man, answered them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Βασιλεὺς ἐρεῖ αὐτοῖς) with a solemn declaration (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that if they did it to the least of his brothers (ἐφ’ ὅσον ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν ἐλαχίστων), they did it to him (ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε).  Caring for the needy weak brothers of Jesus was also caring for Jesus himself.  They were all part of one big happy family.

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God of water (Isa 41:17-41:18)

“When the poor seek water,

When the needy seek water,

There is none.

Their tongues

Are parched with thirst.

I!

Yahweh!

Will answer them!

I!

The God of Israel!

Will not forsake them!

I will open rivers

on the bare trails!

I will open fountains

In the midst of the valleys!

I will make the wilderness

A pool of water!

I will make

The dry land springs of water!”

Yahweh, maintaining the first person singular in Second Isaiah, says that he will provide water for the thirsty poor people and the parched needy ones. He would not forget them, but he would answer them. He will open up rivers on the bare trails. He will open up fountains of water in the valleys. In fact, he will make the great desert wilderness like a pool of water. There will be springs of water where there was a dry land area. Don’t worry about water! Yahweh will take care of things.

Relax (Sir 11:10-11:11)

“My child!

Do not busy yourself

With many matters!

If you multiply activities,

You will not be held blameless.

If you pursue,

You will not overtake.

By fleeing,

You will not escape.

There are those

Who work,

Who struggle,

Who hurry,

But they are

So much the more in want.”

Sirach has some advice for those who are busy, relax! Do not be busy with lots of things. If you try to overtake someone, you probably will not. If you try to escape, you probably will not. Just look at those who are working so hard. They are struggling. They are in a hurry. However, if you look at them, they are still needy. Much hard work does not guarantee success.

Clothing for the family (Prov 31:20-31:23)

Kaph

“She opens her hand to the poor.

She reaches out her hands to the needy.

Lamed

She is not afraid for her household,

When it snows.

All her household are clothed in crimson.

Mem

She makes herself coverings.

Her clothing is fine linen.

Her clothing is purple.

Nun

Her husband is known in the city gates.

He takes his seat among the elders of the land.”

This perfect wife opens up and reaches out to the poor and the needy. She is not afraid of snow, since her household has crimson warm garments. She makes her own clothes, fine linen, and purple. Thus her husband can sit at the city gates with the elders of the land, while she takes care of everything in the household.

David wants protection (Ps 109:20-108:25)

“May this be the reward of my accusers

From Yahweh.

This is the reward for those who speak evil against my life!

O God!

Yahweh!

You act on my behalf for your name’s sake!

Because your steadfast love is good,

Deliver me!

I am poor and needy.

My heart is pierced within me.

I am gone,

Like a shadow at evening.

I am shaken off like a locust.

My knees are weak through fasting.

My body has become gaunt.

I am an object of scorn to my accusers.

When they see me,

They shake their heads.”

Now David turns to Yahweh to be saved from these evil people who were talking about him. He wanted Yahweh to act on his behalf for his name’s sake. He relied on the steadfast love of Yahweh to deliver him from this terrible situation. David admitted that he was poor and needy. His heart was pierced. He had become like an evening shadow. He had been tossed away like a locust. His knees were weak from fasting. His body had become gaunt. He had become the object of scorn to his accusers. When they saw him, they would shake their heads in dismay.

Personal prayer to Yahweh (Ps 86:1-86:7)

A Prayer of David

“Incline your ear!

Yahweh!

Answer me!

I am poor and needy.

Preserve my life!

I am devoted to you.

Save your servant who trusts in you!

You are my God!

Be gracious to me!

Yahweh!

I cry to you all day long.

Gladden the soul of your servant!

Yahweh!

I lift up my soul to you!

Yahweh!

You are good.

You are forgiving,

You abound in steadfast love

To all who call on you.

Give ear to my prayer!

Yahweh!

Listen to my cry of supplication!

In the day of my trouble,

I call on you.

You will answer me.”

Psalm 86 seems like a personal prayer of David. There is no other indication in the title. David wanted Yahweh to listen to him by giving him his ear. He wanted an answer since he was poor and needy. He wanted to preserve his life since he was devoted to Yahweh. He trusted in Yahweh as a servant. All day long he cried to Yahweh, his God. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him and gladden his soul. He knew that Yahweh was good and forgiving due to his steadfast love. David wanted Yahweh to hear him in the times of his trouble. He called and expected an answer.

Yahweh is my help (Ps 70:4-70:5)

“Let all who seek you

Rejoice and be glad in you!

Let those who love your salvation

Say evermore.

‘God is great!’

But I am poor.

I am needy.

Hasten to me!

O God!

You are my help!

You are my deliverer!

Yahweh!

Do not delay!”

Again almost word for word from parts of Psalm 40, this psalm ends with a plea for Yahweh to not delay. Yahweh was the answer for those who sought a life with rejoicing and gladness. Yahweh has a steadfast love for his followers since they continually say, “Great is Yahweh.” This is somewhat like the Islamic “Allah is great.” As for David, he admits that that he is poor and needy. However, he puts his trust in Yahweh, who will help deliver him from various problems. All he asks is that there be no delay.