No half measures!
Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD. Psalm 102.18
Two things deserve bearing in mind, whenever we are reading the Bible. Everything it contains is rooted in real life: involving real people, specific times and actual places - even when the material is couched in allegorical language, such as Jesus' parables and prophetic visions. But, because this material is in the Bible, it possesses eternal significance.
These two levels of application influence the way believers operate in the world. We are motivated to proclaim God's message and to respond to the world around us. Yet it is never enough simply to meet people's physical needs or to throw ourselves into environmental activism, without also conveying the Good News of God's greater intervention through Jesus - to redeem humankind and renew creation.
Psalm 102 is an example of how God's rescue of one individual victim of the particular trauma that was the exile of the Jews in Babylon offers inspiration and hope to all the victims of every atrocity. Let those of us who can help reach out with this essential combination of physical aid and spiritual nourishment. Both are required to meet the needs of the hour!