What Are Specific Bible Verses about Poverty?
Many Bible verses about poverty direct Christians to show God’s love and care to people experiencing poverty. Why? Poverty is a burden for many people worldwide.
According to the World Bank, roughly 9.2% of the world, or 689 million people, experience extreme poverty.1 Poverty affects multiple areas of people’s lives, including having enough to eat, clean water, education, medical care and much more. Some families experiencing poverty are chronically malnourished; others suffer from disease, injury and illness without appropriate medical treatment; others need their children to leave school and work dangerous jobs to provide extra income. Poverty is a substantial and far-reaching problem.
So how do we respond? Many Bible verses about poverty encourage Christians to aid men, women and children in need. Our actions can demonstrate God’s real and tangible love to other people. As God’s followers, it is our responsibility to bring help and hope to impoverished communities worldwide.
The verses below (NKJV), show God’s heart for the poor and His desire that we help them.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
Luke 4 is a Bible passage about poverty where Jesus declares that he will bring good news, freedom and recovery to people experiencing oppression, poverty and more. Jesus’ presence, ministry, death and resurrection brought life and hope to the earth. In these verses, Jesus preaches from Isaiah saying,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
“My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.” In this Psalm, David rejoices when he remembers God’s character; God rescues his people from poverty and needs and restores their hope.
The book of Proverbs contains many Bible verses on poverty that spur us into action.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
“But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus’ teaching encourages disciples to focus on their relationship with God rather than on collecting money. Money is not inherently evil, but excess money can make it easy to be greedy and selfish. Jesus suggests people should be generous, particularly to the poor.
God also indicates his care for people through Bible verses about helping the poor and orphans. Helping may include providing physical relief like food, shelter and medical attention; it may also be using your voice to advocate for men, women and children experiencing poverty.
“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
Bible verses about poverty remind us that God cares about individuals and communities experiencing poverty. We should reflect God’s love for impoverished people with our actions.
What can you do to help? Please consider joining one of GFA’s missions to alleviate poverty:
- Child-sponsorship program — GFA World offers child sponsorship programs to connect donors to impoverished and at-risk children and their families. For $35 a month, donors can provide invaluable resources like food, school supplies, clean water, health care and much more to a needy child and their family. These resources relieve financial pressure on families. Through the child-sponsorship program, impoverished children and their families experience God’s love.
- Vocational skills training — Many people living in poverty do not have the education, skills or training to get better-paying jobs. To aid adults in poverty, GFA World partners with donors to provide vocational training classes for adults to help them develop skills necessary for an occupation like candle making or tailoring. Skills training allows individuals to create new and better income for themselves and their families.
- Income Generating Animals — GFA World’s animal ministry is a practical way to apply several of the feed the poor Bible verses. Your donation can provide animals like chickens, goats, cows and other animals that offer families new sources of income that can help them afford food, medicine or opportunities for their children.