Why help the poor? The following scriptures from The Living Bible (except as noted) tell the story. God’s heart is for the poor and when we help, he blesses us for it.
Proverbs 21:13 He who shuts his ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in his own time of need.
Proverbs 17:5 Mocking the poor is mocking the God who made them. He will punish those who rejoice at others’ misfortunes.
Proverbs 19:17 When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord — and he pays wonderful interest on your loan!
Proverbs 22:9 Happy is the generous man, the one who feeds the poor.
Proverbs 22:16 He who gains by oppressing the poor or by bribing the rich will end in poverty.
Proverbs 22: 22-23 Don’t rob the poor and sick! For the Lord is their defender. If you injure them he will punish you.
Proverbs 28:8 Income from exploiting the poor will end up in the hands of someone who pities them
Proverbs 28: 11 Rich men are conceited, but their real poverty is evident to the poor.
Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse. (RSV)
Proverbs 29:7 The good man knows the poor man’s rights; the godless don’t care.
Proverbs 31:20 (the virtuous woman) …Opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. (RSV)
Psalm 41:1-3 God blesses those who are kind to the poor. He helps them out of their troubles. He protects them and keeps them alive; he publicly honors them and destroys the power of their enemies. He nurses them when they are sick, and soothes their pains and worries.
2 Corinthians 9:9 It is as the Scriptures say: “The godly man gives generously to the poor. His good deeds will be an honor to him forever.” (NIV)
Psalm 82:3-4 (to the judges) Give fair judgment to the poor man, the afflicted, the fatherless, the destitute. Rescue the poor and needy from the grasp of evil men.
Isaiah 58:6-12 No the kind of fast I want is that you stop oppressing those who work for you and treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you to share your food with the hungry and bring right into your own homes those who are helpless, poor and destitute. Clothe those who are cold and don’t hide from relatives who need your help.
If you do these things, God will shed his own glorious light upon you. He will heal you; your godliness will lead you forward, and goodness will be a shield before you, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then, when you call, the Lord will answer. “Yes, I am here,” he will quickly reply. All you need to do is stop oppressing the weak, and to stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors!
Feed the hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Your sons will rebuild the long- deserted ruins of your cities, and you will be known as “The People Who Rebuild Their Wails and Cities.”
James 1:27 The Christian who is pure and without fault, from God the Father’s point of view, is the one who takes care of orphans and widows, and who remains true to the Lord — not soiled and dirtied by his contacts with the world.
Matt: 19:21 (Jesus’ instruction to the rich young man) “If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Luke 14:13 (Jesus to his dinner host) “When you put on a dinner,” He said “don’t invite friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors! For they will return the invitation. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the godly, God will reward you for inviting those who can’t repay you.”
Matthew 25:31-46 But when I, the Messiah, shall come in my glory, and all the angels with me, then I shall sit upon my throne of glory. And all the nations shall be gathered before me. And I will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and place the sheep at my right hand, and the goats at my left.
Then I, the King, shall say to those at my right, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me water; I was a stranger and you invited me into your homes; naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison, and you visited me.”
Then these righteous ones will reply, “Sir, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you anything to drink? Or a stranger, and help you? Or naked, and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?
And I, the King, will tell them, “When you did it to these my brothers you were doing it to me!” Then I will turn to those on my left and say “Away with you you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry and you wouldn’t feed me; thirsty, and you wouldn’t give me anything to drink; a stranger, and you refused me hospitality; naked, and you wouldn’t clothe me; sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.”
Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ And I will answer, “When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me’. And they shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into everlasting life.
DLH – 1993