What does the Bible say about poverty?
In life one thing that will never change is the huge number of people living in poverty. As Christians we must give all we can to the poor and never close our eyes to their cries. Closing our eyes to the poor is like doing it to Jesus, who was poor Himself.
We must never misjudge them in any way such as giving a homeless man money thinking he’s going to buy a beer with it.
We must also never jump to conclusions on how someone became poor. Many people show no compassion and think they’re in that situation because of laziness.
Laziness does lead to poverty, but you never know what happened in someone’s life to put them in that situation and even if that was the case we should still help.
Let’s stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves. Let’s provide for people who can’t provide for themselves. Scripture has a lot to say about poverty. Let’s find out more below.\
Christian quotes about poverty
- “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller
- “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
- “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Ronald Reagan
Better is a little with righteousness.
1. Proverbs 15:16 Better to have little, with fear for the LORD, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
2. Psalm 37:16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.
3. Proverbs 28:6 Better to be a poor person who has integrity than to be rich and double-dealing.
God cares about the poor
4. Psalms 140:12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy
5. Psalm 12:5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6. Psalm 34:5-6 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7. Psalm 9:18 But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
8. 1 Samuel 2:8 He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the LORD’s, and he has set the world in order.
9. Proverbs 22:2 “Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.”
10. Psalm 35:10 “All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?”
11. Job 5:15 “He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth and from the clutches of the powerful.”
12. Psalm 9:9 “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
13. Psalm 34:6 “This poor man called out, and the LORD heard him; He saved him from all his troubles.”
14. Jeremiah 20:13 “Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! For though I was poor and needy, he rescued me from my oppressors.”
God and equality
15. Deuteronomy 10:17-18 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.
16. Proverbs 22:2 The rich and poor have this in common: The LORD made them both.
17. Proverbs 29:13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common–the LORD gives sight to the eyes of both. If a king judges the poor fairly, his throne will last forever.
Blessed are the poor
18. James 2:5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?
19. Luke 6:20-21 Then Jesus looked at his disciples and said, “How blessed are you who are destitute, because the kingdom of God is yours! How blessed are you who are hungry now, because you will be satisfied! How blessed are you who are crying now, because you will laugh!
Helping the poor and those in poverty
20. Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
21. Proverbs 28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.
22. Proverbs 14:31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
23. Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
24. Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
25. Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with hearts of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
There will always be poor people.
26. Matthew 26:10-11 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.
27. Deuteronomy 15:10-11 Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.
Speak up for the poor
28. Proverbs 29:7 A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
29. Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Laziness will always lead to poverty.
30. Proverbs 20:13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!
31. Proverbs 19:15 Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.
32. Proverbs 24:33-34 “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”
33. Proverbs 19:4 Wealth makes many “friends”; poverty drives them all away.
34. Proverbs 10:15 “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.”
35. Proverbs 13:18 “Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.”
36. Proverbs 30:8 “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”
37. Proverbs 31:7 “Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”
38. Proverbs 28:22 “Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.”
40. Proverbs 22:16 “One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.”
41. Ecclesiastes 4:13-14 (NIV) “Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom.”
Examples of poverty in the Bible
42. Proverbs 30:7-9 O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
43. 2 Corinthians 8:1-4 “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.”
44. Luke 21:2-4 “He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
45. Proverbs 14:23 “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
46. Proverbs 28:19 “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.”
47. Revelation 2:9 “I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
48. Job 30:3 “They are gaunt from poverty and hunger. They claw the dry ground in desolate wastelands.”
49. Genesis 45:11 (ESV) “There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.”
50. Deuteronomy 28:48 (KJV) “Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”
2 Corinthians 8:9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.