God’s View on Poverty Part 1

Table of contents for God's View on Poverty

  1. God’s View on Poverty Part 1

An often asked question by readers is, “Does God desire people to be poor?”

Scripture does address God’s view on poverty. Though I cannot cover all possible aspects of poverty in one post, I think this article will give you some clear answers.

God specifically mentions His watchful care over the poor.

It is important to realize that this is not a matter of favoritism, because God speaks against that and promises His unfailing love to all who seek Him, but a matter of special reassurance. The poor are often neglect or forgotten by the societies in which they live. Anyone who has been in poverty understands the struggles with the feeling of abandonment, hopelessness, and that there is no one who cares. Fully understanding a person’s circumstances, God specifically speaks to remind the poor that He cares, is paying attention, and is attentive to their requests for help.

Here are a few quotes in which God expresses His attentiveness to the poor:

Isa 41:17 The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

Ex 22:22,23 Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.

De 15:4,7 However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you. If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.

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1Sa 2:8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.

Ps 35:10 Who is like you, O LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.

Ps 34:6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.

It is important to remember that poverty was a result of the fall of mankind, not of God’s creation.

When God created the world and mankind, everything was perfect in form and function. Mankind did not lack anything good. It was only after mankind’s willful disobedience against God, referred to as “the fall of man,” did all the forms of corruption on the earth that we now see begin, such as poverty, disease, violence, etc. Why is an understanding of this timeline so crucially important? It reveals that poverty was not God’s plan or purpose for anyone. In spite of religious traditions which have developed through time that express poverty as a matter of piety or righteousness, God did not create mankind to lack any good thing. Lack came as a result of mankind violating the spiritual laws God set up to protect our lives from such things.

This is Part 1 of a 2-Part Post.  In Part 2 of this post, we’ll discuss how some of the religious traditions linking poverty to piety came into existence, why God’s nature/character does not desire poverty, and God’s promises in Scripture for a better life.

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