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hesed, poor, psalter, Matthew, ministry, obligation, biblical theology of missions, biblical theology of socio-economic justice


Psalter has much to contribute to the biblical theology of missions and the biblical theology of socio-economic justice. Through an examination of Psalm 109 and the Psalter, this paper will demonstrate that the theological motif of Yahweh caring for the poor, specifically showing חָ֑סֶד (hesed) to the poor, is found in the Psalter; furthermore, it will be argued that the Psalter also features a missiological aspect, in harmony with the prophets and the rest of the Psalter, exhorting and obligating Israel to participate in practicing חָ֑סֶד (hesed) towards the poor with the consequence of not practicing חָ֑סֶד (hesed) towards the poor resulting in not receiving חָ֑סֶד (hesed). Additionally, it will be suggested that this theme found in the Psalter of extending חָ֑סֶד (hesed) to the poor as an obligation plays a role in providing the theological basis and context for Jesus’s words in Matthew 25:45 that state, “as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me (Matt. 25:45).” Jesus further states, in Mark 14:7, that the church will “always have the poor (Mk. 14:7)” and, a quick perusal of contemporary news easily provides evidence in support of His words. There is no shortage of those in need and lack right now in the world; however, in the face of immense need and lack, there is a generation that has seemingly lost a biblical understanding of extending חָ֑סֶד (hesed) to the poor as an obligation. Therefore, a recovery of a biblical understanding of extending חָ֑סֶד (hesed) to the poor as an obligation, reading and praying the Psalter rightly, is crucially necessary in order to convict and exhort the church strongly once more to action. This paper seeks to participate in that recovery.



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