What Does The Bible Have To Say About Poverty?
What does the Bible have to say about poverty and helping others? Well, we’ve asked James, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Matthew to share their thoughts with us…oh and Jesus of course!
“Religion that our God considers as true and faultless is this. Look after the orphans and widows in their time of need and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27
How often in a situation do we care more about the outcome for ourselves than the people involved? Selfishness is a leading cause of suffering in our society. Money, politics, television and so much more are just distractions keeping us from really seeing and caring for each other. Jesus wants us, The Church, to be a united people. The church isn’t a building you go to on Sundays or your pastor or your bible study group. The Church is all of us, and the responsibility for a better world falls to all of us.
“He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 22:16
If you’ve ever been on a mission trip you know what a great eye-opening experience it can be. It can also be challenging in a lot of ways. You are away from home for a long time and often sleeping on the ground or in tents. Traveling can be stressful and many leave families and take time off of work to go. Working hard and long days. Then the moment when you realize for you, all of this is simply inconvenient, and the true hardship and suffering will be left behind when you get on the plane, fly home, and go about your daily life. You also realize you benefited more from meeting the people you came to help than they have from the help you brought with you. God is so present with the ones who need him and rely on him most.
“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned, they did not help the poor and needy”. – Ezekiel 16:49
How often after a big party or family gathering, Thanksgiving perhaps, do we sit back and pat ourselves on the back. “So many people came and everybody liked my food and boy am I full but I’ll have more pie anyway, and I guess I didn’t think once about those who didn’t have anybody or any food this holiday.” We’ve all been there! Sodom was no different than us. God desires so much more from us and for us. Let’s not be “overfed and unconcerned” as Sodom was.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” – Matthew 25:45
We, at Deaf Child Hope International, propose that Deaf children in poverty are the least of the least.
In this passage when Jesus refers to the “least” he is NOT referring to the value of somebody’s life being less than another, he is referring to the difficult life circumstances of these individuals earning them the distiction of “least.” There is ALWAYS somebody with a harder life circumstance! Deaf children in poverty have very difficult “life circumstances,” living in such isolation and hardship, sometimes living years or their lives never connecting with anyone or seeing a shred of kindness.
So today try asking God if he wants you to do more for somebody in a harder life circumstance and see what he comes up with! I bet it’s awesome!