Bible Verses About The Poor
“That’s not fair!”
From the time we’re children, we struggle with the way things are. The world isn’t fair, and it’s incredibly frustrating. As we get older, we recognize that inequity is a bigger problem than we ever realized.
Fairness isn’t merely a case of who got a larger portion of ice-cream or whose turn it is to use the PlayStation. Sometimes people end up struggling through no fault of their own. And sometimes the strong take advantage of the weak and the haves take advantage of the have-nots.
Throughout the Bible, God talks about finances a lot. One reason it comes up so much is that the way we use money reveals so much about our spiritual commitment. But the subject also comes up a lot because God loves the poor and wants His people to demonstrate a compassionate and sympathetic heart toward them.
To get a better understanding of Gods heart toward the needy, let’s examine 20 of the many Bible verses about the poor.
What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said The Poor You Will Always Have With You
Poverty can never be overcome right? It’s a problem that simply can’t be solved.
After all, Jesus said, “The poor you will ALWAYS have with you.”
It’s right there in Scripture. John chapter 12. Verse 8.
So don’t get too worried about tackling poverty and injustice sonny-boy. It’s a losing battle. Tone down your revolutionary rhetoric and give up the fight.
Perhaps like me, you have experienced that metaphorical pat on the head. This verse is often used as an attempt to take the wind out of all the rest of Jesus’ commands to work for justice and to love mercy.
I reckon Jesus actually meant the OPPOSITE of what we usually take him to mean here. It seems to me that Jesus was actually advocating generosity and action to eradicate poverty, rather than hands-up-in-the-air, shoulder-shrugging apathy.
Here’s my reasoning.
You know how some catch-phrases are just so well known, that everyone knows the ending – you don’t even really need to say it?
“Sticks and stones.”
Everyone already knows the ending, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Just saying Sticks and Stones is enough for you to catch my drift.
It just so happens that in saying “The poor you will always have with you,” Jesus was quoting another well-known Biblical phrase – from a well-known passage of the Jewish Torah. Everyone hearing him back then would have caught his drift. Here’s the full original quote:
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get on with it!
Who Are The Poor
Anyone who lacks sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society is considered poor. There are many reasons someone could be poor. Sometimes poverty is the result of foolish decisions , and other times poverty is no fault of ones own . Often, systemic injustices contribute to the cycle of poverty . Poverty, though, does not deprive a person of his or her humanness. Everyone bears the image of God because we are humanscreated by God and made in his image. The reason for someones poverty shouldnt determine the value we place on him or her, and the way we treat the poor around us is a reflection of how we view their Maker .
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True Religion Includes Caring For The Marginalized
Jesus economy of self-sacrifice, his currency of love, was central to the early church. The care for the most destitute is core to the gospel of Jesus. Jesus even says that he will recognize his followers when he returns based on how they cared for the poor, marginalized, and those on the underside of power . James summarizes this message when he says:
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world .
If we desire Gods religion, the religion of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then we must be people who prioritize loving the impoverished. This is a tough road, but its the road of the gospel. You cant have the gospel and forget the poor.
Want to go deeper into this subject? Check out John D. Barrys new book, Jesus Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. Shane Claiborne calls it, a beautiful vision for a world where everyone has enough. Robert D. Lupton says it is a fine handbook for practical mission work. With simple, everyday choices you can make the world a better place. Learn how to live Jesus economy, the currency of love. One hundred percent of the authors proceeds go to the nonprofit Jesus Economy, to fuel the movement of creating jobs and churches in the developing world.
What Does The Bible Say About Poverty And The Poor
John D. Barry
The poor are near and dear to Gods heart. How we treat the impoverished is a major concern throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. You simply cannot have the gospel of Jesus and neglect the call to care for impoverished, marginalized, and outcast those on the underside of power.
But what does the whole counsel of God have to say about the poor, poverty, and how we address it ? Its impossible in an article format to cover comprehensively what the Bible says about poverty, but here are seven major themes that have emerged from my research on poverty for my recent book, Jesus Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change.
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Bible Verses About Laws Regarding The Poor
In the Old Testament, God gives a set of special laws through Leviticus that show how he set up systems to care for the poor and the foreigner. Those who owned land were told to leave the edges of their fields for those on the fringes of society to benefit from. In addition, every seventh year in the year of Jubilee, the Israelites followed Gods laws by forgiving any outstanding debts to prevent overwhelming poverty. What a great way to not only bless others who are less fortunate, but also protect our hearts from greed! Take a look at what the Bible says about poverty and how God set up laws and systems to support the poor.
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.Leviticus 19:9-10
Leviticus 19:34The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 25:35If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.
Rich Or Poor Christians Must Be Saving Up A Treasure In Heaven That Does Not Fail
The Bible teaches Christians to keep Gods will foremost in their lives. This means keeping His commandments and seeking above all else the kingdom of God and His righteousness . Rich or poor, Christians must be saving up a treasure in the heavens that does not fail. As Jesus explained, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also .
Scripture says that Jesus, though He was rich for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich . This means true Christians will be rich in spiritual blessings because Christ became poor. It does not necessarily mean Christians will become rich with material goods in this age.
Whether rich or poor in this world, the responsibility of every Christian is to keep the will of God first in their lives.
Many Christians are born into poverty, having no choice in the matter. For example, faithful believers who love God and do all His commandments live in the poorer countries of the world. In fact, God has called many poor into His church. James the apostle asked, Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? .
The Bible teaches Christians to be content with their lot in life. Paul the apostle wrote, godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:61 Timothy 6:6But godliness with contentment is great gain.
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The Story Of A Rich Man And A Poor Man In The Bible
The rich mans money didnt help him even to get a drop of water
In the Bible, Jesus mentions the story of a rich man and a poor man. The poor man was so poor that he could not even have one of the basic needs of life food. You can read the full story in Luke 16:19-31.Here is the summary.
The rich man lived in luxury every day. The poor man named Lazarus , covered in sores, longing to eat what fell from the rich mans table. This means he was longing for some help, perhaps for medical treatment, and food.
The poor man lived near the gates of the rich man, which means both of them were neighbors, or knew each other. But the rich man couldnt bother helping the poor man.
Hearing The Cries Of The Poor
“Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.”
It’s easy to look at this verse and assume that it’s saying that God doesn’t answer the prayers of those who ignore the needs of the poor, but that’s not really how God works. God doesn’t ignore us because of our failures. But how we treat others is one factor that He considers when considering how to respond.
The author of Proverbs wants to communicate something simple but profound. The Hebrews lived in a community. By ignoring the cries of the poor, they would create a culture where it was easy to turn a blind eye toward needs. Unfortunately, they would eventually be the ones in need, and no one would answer when they cried out.
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Bible Verses About Giving
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
1 Corinthians 13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Luke 6:32-35If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
Matthew 6:2-5So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Bible Verses About Being Ethical And Not Cheating Others
Proverbs 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
Proverbs 22:16 Whoever oppresses the poor for his own increase and whoever gives to the rich, both come to poverty.
Proverbs 12:2 Good people obtain favor from the LORD, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Proverbs 12:22 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
Proverbs 28:8 Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.
James 5:4-6 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.
1 Thessalonians 4:6-7 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
Proverbs 20:10 False weights and measures the LORD detests them both.
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Bible Verses Of Encouragement For The Poor
In the Bible, it is clear that those in poverty are close to Gods heart. Jesus himself was born into poverty and gave up his heavenly riches when he came down to earth. Constantly, the poor are said to be blessed and we are instructed to value integrity over riches. God has not forgotten the poor and instead calls all believers to join in his restorative work to bring hope and opportunity to them.
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? James 2:5
You would shame the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.
Proverbs 19:1Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
Psalm 72:12-14For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.He has pity on the weak and the needy and saves the lives of the needy.From oppression and violence, he redeems their life precious is their blood in his sight.
2 Corinthians 8:9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
Proverbs 22:2The rich and the poor meet together the Lord is the maker of them all.
What Does The Bible Say About Poverty
Yennifer, 6, holds her family’s bible. She lives in Guatemala.
The Bible is rich in wisdom about Gods love for people living in poverty and about our responsibility to help. We love the way Jesus showed us how to care for the poor and oppressed. Reflect on these Bible verses and pray for children, families, and communities in need. Heres what the Bible says about poverty.
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What Does The Bible Says About Getting Rich Quickly
Do you want to get rich quickly? Perhaps all of you want to answer YES!
Certainly many people wanted to become rich since the world at present has the super-rich who set to widen the rich-poor gap. Even in our world map, we can identify the rich North poor South depiction. According to United Nations, there are 783 million people live below the international poverty line of US$1.90 a day. Most people living in poverty line belongs to 2 regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa the poor south!
There are few who live rich while many are living poor. Perhaps in a scale of 1:100,000 can be described a rich versus poor gap. The poor go fishing to catch fish but the rich get the fish catch of the poor.
There are scenarios where most poor people are begging to the rich. You can see in the streets and slum areas where many poor person, old and children asking foods or begging money. It seems that streets and slums are their homes already.
Because of that situation, many people in different walks of life wanted to try to become rich quickly to escape from the reality of poverty. Perhaps most books are published in order for other people to be guided on how to become easily getting to the wealthy people. There are books like One Minute Millionaire, How to be Rich, How to Get Rich Quickly, How to Legitimately Get Rick Quickly, and many other related books.
But, here are some questions to ponder?
So, what does the Bible Says about getting rich quickly ?
The Prophets Were Infuriated When The Poor Were Neglected
Despite the great vision for a community that cared for the poor, the words of Israels prophets show that the impoverished were often neglected and oppressed. The words from the book of Isaiah that Jesus quotes near the beginning of his ministry were the vision of a better world, where the poor were loved. But Isaiah shows us that this vision was far from real in his lifetime:
Wash! Make yourselves clean! Remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes! Cease to do evil! Learn to do good! Seek justice! Rescue the oppressed! Defend the orphan! Plead for the widow! .
Other prophets show a similar frustration, commenting that the poor being treated with disdain is one of the gravest of sins:
This is what the LORD says: For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not relent. They sell the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed .
There are dozens more examples like the above from Isaiah and Amos.
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