Bible Verses About Poverty

What Are Bible Verses about Helping the Poor and Orphans?

Poverty affects millions of people worldwide, and poverty deprives people of things like medical care, food, shelter and more. Orphans, widows and the elderly can experience dire poverty because they do not have the means to provide for themselves. God cares about people experiencing poverty, loss, disease and loneliness.

There are Bible verses about helping the poor and orphans throughout the Bible.

Zechariah 7:9-10

Zechariah states,

“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’”

These verses in Zechariah encourage Christians to look for ways to promote freedom for the vulnerable people around them—widows, orphans, immigrants and more. God cares about the needs of all people.

James 1:26-27

In the New Testament, God also indicates his care for people. James writes to God’s followers in different communities, encouraging them to persevere and take action to strengthen their faith. James’ words invite Christians to care for widows and orphans.

James declares that

“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

According to James, one of the best indicators of genuine faith in God is care for widows and orphans because this mimics God’s heart for people. God sees and values people in desperation and oppression.

What does it look like to care for orphans and widows worldwide? Here are two suggestions:

Child-sponsorship — For $35 a month, you can help children and their families break the cycle of poverty through community-wide solutions, which may include opportunities for education, medical care, protection against malnutrition, clean water and more. Through sponsorship, children feel loved, wanted and hopeful. See more about sponsorship opportunities here.

Literacy classes — GFA missionaries hold free literacy classes for widows to teach them reading, writing and basic math skills. Literacy classes help empower women to find better jobs, navigate their daily lives and even read the Bible. See how your contribution can help provide literacy classes to widows in Asia:

Learn more about Bible verses about poverty