Do you find this statement as shocking as I do? Yep, the Hebrew Bible states that one can be forgiven for your sins through acts of charity, that is, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and giving charity to the poor… No blood involved there folks.
- 3Performing charity and justice is preferred by God to a sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:3
The God of Israel is a loving God, full of mercy and grace and one not need to have a blood sacrifice to cover your sins. All we need to do is to walk in His ways, and when we fall, to come back to Him in repentance. That’s the main theme throughout the whole Tanakh (Old Testament). Test it for yourself! (is blood needed post)
- 6For I desire loving-kindness, and not sacrifices, and knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
- “23Do I desire the death of the wicked? says the Lord God. Is it not rather in his repenting of his ways that he may live?” Ezekiel 18:23
Yes, charity is one of the main acts that can help to offset your sins, and ‘save you from death’…. that is, if you are repentant towards God and desire to try to fix your wrongs.
Why don’t Christians teach that giving to the poor is the one of the preferred ways of washing away one’s sins? That seems pretty obvious why they don’t, because all Paul talked about was blood, blood, blood, but that is NOT what the God of Israel states. I was also shocked to figure that out.
Here is some proof that God accepts charity as a way to ‘save one from death.’
- “2Treasures of wickedness will not avail, but charity will save from death.” Proverbs 10:2
- “4Riches will not avail on the day of wrath, but charity will save from death.” Proverbs 11:4
- “6With loving-kindness and truth will iniquity be expiated, and through fear of the Lord turn away from evil.” Proverbs 16:6
- “24Indeed, O king, may my counsel please you, and with charity you will remove your sin and your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor; perhaps your tranquility will last.”” Daniel 4:24 (4:27 in Christian Bible)
Why do we not realize this from a Christian standpoint? Mostly because “charity” is changed to “righteousness” in most English Christian translations. These meanings are completely different. And, if you’ve been plugged into Christianity, you’ll often hear that “no one can be righteous,” so obviously then, these verses are overlooked because they are not translated correctly from the Hebrew.
- “2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.” Proverbs 10:2 ESV (See above for Hebrew translation… “Charity” saves)
What does the Hebrew Bible say? (chabad.org):
- “3Performing charity and justice is preferred by God to a sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:3
You’ll notice, again, that the Christian Old Testament changes the meaning of the Hebrew by switching the word ‘charity’ to ‘righteousness’ and ‘justice’ which really isn’t the same thing, but at least they still say that sacrifice is a second-rate method. These two verses seem very different (Hebrew vs Christian). Is there a legit reason why they felt like changing it?:
- “3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:3 ESV
The spiritual benefit of giving to the poor is so high that the poor is actually the one who blesses the giver by receiving the gift. But, of course, we don’t give just to offset unrepentant sins, but only those that we truly feel remorse for. In other words, you can’t just keep sinning and then think that giving to the poor will offset your intentional sin. Giving then, must be done with a sincere heart, that is, that you are truly sorry for the wrong that you did and you want to try to make it right by helping someone in need. God sees this as an acceptable way to ‘make it right’ in His eyes.
Charity is preferred over sacrifice.