Poverty Comes from Sin

Poverty Comes From Sin. Does That Make Me a Sinner?

God never intended for people to be poor. Sin messed things up, but Christ came to give us freedom.

Poverty comes from sin… but that doesn’t mean it’s a sin to be poor.

If you’re having financial trouble and struggling with your faith in God because of it, there’s something you should know: God didn’t create poverty, and He never intended you to live in it. Everything that we know about God tells us that He is a God of abundance.

Poverty wasn’t God’s design. It entered the world when humanity went off track. When Adam and Eve chose sin, they didn’t realize they were choosing poverty too. But poverty — along with hurt, abuse and injustice — is what they got. And today, we all live with the consequences.

God didn’t create poverty, and He never intended you to live in it. Everything that we know about God tells us that He is a God of abundance.

Your financial problems might be a result of your own bad decisions. Or you might be living in unfair circumstances completely outside of your control. But no matter how you got to where you are, it’s important to recognize that God made you for more.

Poverty Was Not God’s Plan

Poverty is a type of spiritual and financial slavery, a condition that God never intended us to live in. He tells us this over and over in the Bible. Here’s a straightforward passage from Deuteronomy 15:4-6 that expresses this idea clearly:

However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.

There are two key concepts that we can take away from this passage. The first is that poverty is not necessary. God tells the people up front that “there need be no poor people among you.” Why? Because the world that He created for us and the land that He gives us to live in are good.

Discover More:  Money and Worry

God’s heart is to bless people with abundant food, abundant money, and abundant resources. Remember, everything in the world belongs to God, and He gives it to us to take care of our needs.

The second takeaway here is that our abundance is conditional. God doesn’t promise to take care of all of our physical needs regardless of our decisions. Instead, He says that blessing is conditional on obedience. “If only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.” God’s promise of provision only applies as long as we are walking in His principles. Poverty comes from sin, but obedience brings blessing.

If you want to enjoy financial freedom, the best place to start is by embracing God’s will for your life.

Does that mean that God is vengeful and vindictive, punishing those who disobey him with poverty? Not at all. What it means is that God is so good and so loving that He spells out exactly how we should live in order to enjoy wealth and abundance. Most of us would never have figured out how to live in abundance on our own. So in His mercy, God showed us how.

If you want to enjoy financial freedom, the best place to start is by embracing God’s will for your life.

Poverty Comes From Sin, Even When It’s Not Fair

Poverty comes from sin — does this mean that every poor person is being punished for some horrible sin? Does it mean that just being poor is sinful? No and no.

Very often — too often — people suffer in poverty because people in their families, their countries or their governments have sinned against them. It’s certainly not fair. But then again, sin never is, and victims never deserve the mistreatment they receive.

Despite all this, though, there is good news. Jesus came to set us free from sin and all its consequences — including poverty. God has a plan for your life, and following His plan will set you free in your finances.

Jesus came to set us free from sin and all its consequences — including poverty.

Discovering God’s Plan for Your Money

I have spent years studying what the Bible says about money, and I’ve written hundreds of articles on this site to help people like you find freedom in their finances by embracing God’s plan for their lives. If you’re struggling with money, I would be honored to join you on the journey from where you are now to where God wants you to be.

Discover More:  Are You a Slave?

The best way to discover God’s plan for your financial life is to subscribe to God, Money & Me today. I’ll send you a series of emails detailing the exact steps you need to take to get your financial life on track. You can sign up free today by filling out the form below:

Join me, and we’ll walk step-by-step together on the road to financial freedom. Put poverty in the past and embrace the life God intended for you.


  One thought on “Poverty Comes from Sin

  1. Leah
    April 28, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I found your site after searching for answers about what God says about wealth and prosperity. I initially agreed with your reasoning, that poverty is a result of sin, and I spent many prayer sessions repenting as well as asking for forgiveness of any sins that I wasn’t aware of and those of my parents or any past familial sins that may be linked to me.

    Then I started thinking about the amount of billionaires that are atheist, immoral millionaires and just the vast number of very cruel and undeserving people who live off their trust funds or family wealth passed down from the great grandfather whose riches were made by sheer greed. How many actors and sports stars who make money hand over fist are repentant Christians? You get the point.

    Maybe it’s applicable in the case of Christians who have fallen into sinful ways and poverty, and repentance and sincerity (no core word pun intended) will lead the way back to financial health.

    In any case, its rough watching battered moms with young children struggling, while their estranged husband hides wealth and continues to live in the comfort and ease that his money allows.

    • April 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Hi Leah, thanks for your thoughts. You raise some good points. But I think you read some things into this article that I didn’t intend. You’re right that a lot of wealthy people aren’t godly people, and that seems unfair at times. David certainly lamented that in Psalms. The premise that sin is the root of poverty doesn’t mean that everyone who sins will be poor — sin affects different people in different ways. Some sinners will be very rich. And some, as you mentioned, will get rich by abusing others.

      The sad fact about sin is that it often causes poverty for one group of people while bringing riches to another group. It’s not at all fair — but then again, sin never is.

      Keep an eye out for a follow-up article coming later today that will deal with some of these ideas. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Tony
        May 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm

        For any one that reads this anytime someone gives Godly advice please make sure it comes from the bible I only see opinions no scripture.

        Let’s start with the fact that Jesus Christ calls us to deny self. You can find this in Mat 10:38 Mat 16:24. Jesus also tells those that do have to sell what they have and give to the poor so that they may have also. Mat 19:21 then if you look at the church in Act they were all selling what they had and sharing. God tells us not to build riches here on earth but in heaven Mat 6:19 – 21. God does not promise you houses, cars, and worldly possessions. When God does bless you he does not bless you to hold on to the blessing but to pass it on so that someone else can be blessed by it.
        Please give me one scripture that supports this theory that being poor is caused by sin. Maybe you should watch the movie God’s not dead where the old lady talks about Satan leaves sinful people alone because he has already got them. Or you can read 1timothy chapter 3 it will tell you the same thing. if you have any questions and need help finding the answers in the bible let me know I’m not a scholar but I would be glad to help tstites@telstrat.com

      • May 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        Tony, if you “only see opinions, no scripture,” you must not have read the article. The entire post is based off of Deut. 15:4-6, the text of which I included verbatim. But just so you know that I’m not making this stuff up, here are some more scriptures that make the same point:

        Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. (Prov. 13:18)

        Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. (Prov. 10:4)

        The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead. (Prov. 11:8)

        Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed. (Prov. 11:18)

        These are just a few of many scriptural supports for my position. Satisfied?

        Like most of the other commenters who have been upset by this post, you’re getting bogged down in imagining things that I didn’t say and making arguments that aren’t relevant to this conversation. I am not saying that Jesus calls us to pursue wealth, or that we should live righteously for the purpose of making money. I am not saying that God promises “houses, cars, and other worldly possessions.” What I am saying is that we can’t really deal with poverty without dealing with poverty’s root cause, which is sin.

        After seeing your comment, I re-read I Timothy 3 several times, and can’t find any way whatsoever that it’s relevant to this conversation. And just because an old lady makes a statement in a movie doesn’t mean that what she said is theologically sound.

        If you want to be a part of a conversation on a topic like this, you should read the original post in its entirety, and make sure that the sources you site are authoritative, accurate and relevant to the issue at hand.

    • Larry Bean
      August 28, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      Too many poor people only have themselves to blame for their poor decisions. God gives us free will and too many people give in to sin, lust and pleasures of the flesh instead of going to night school or college and improving themselves. Also, too many people rather buy things on credit for pleasure and enjoyment, then they suffer the consequences of their folly.

  2. Woman of GOD
    October 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

    My dear friend you may want to re-evaluate this statement for the bible declares that Job was an upright man and a man after GOD’S own heart not only did Job have to deal with poverty but it was GOD himself that suggested that Job go through it. Ijs

    • October 20, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Hi IJS,

      I see where you’re coming from, but you’re confused on a couple of the details. First of all, it was not God who suggested that Job be put through his sufferings — it was Satan that suggested it. God allowed it in order to prove Satan wrong about Job’s integrity.

      Secondly, if you look carefully at the text, you find that the things that made Job poor are still attributable to human sin. Job 1 tells us that Job’s livestock was stolen by Sabeans and Chaldeans in two different raids. Satan used the sin of these people to cause poverty for Job. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that one person’s sin can cause poverty for another. But then again, sin is never fair.

      Finally, we can’t talk about the story of Job without looking at the ending. Job proved faithful to God, and God restored his wealth and joy, to a greater extent than what he had at the beginning of the story.

      I’m not saying that God can’t use poverty, because He certainly can. But God doesn’t create poverty. Poverty comes from sin.

      • Woman of GOD
        October 21, 2013 at 5:31 am

        Im yet praying for you and all who mis-quote the scriptures. My bible tells me that GOD said to satan “have you considerd my servant Job” Listen I will not debate the bible with you but I will suggest that you study the bible and seek GOD for understanding. GOD bless you my friend.

      • October 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

        I’m not misquoting anything, and your suggestion that I am is rather uncharitable. Let’s look directly at the text of verses 8-11 in Job 1:

        8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

        9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

        When God asked “have you considered my servant Job,” He is not suggesting to the devil that Job be attacked. Rather, He is holding Job up as an example of faithfulness in the midst of an evil world — rubbing Job’s integrity in the devil’s face, as it were. Then Satan responds that the only reason that Job fears God is because his life has been blessed. It is Satan who says “stretch out your hand and strike down everything he has.”

        I could go on with this, but I think the point is clear. My position is consistent with scripture. You’re the one misquoting the bible in attempt to make your case.

  3. Ramiro Llado
    January 17, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Even though the Old Testament is in many ways full of wisdom, it is no longer the mirror to reflect what is sin and what is not. It’s in the New Testament where you will find the measure of sin. How about Christ’s statement to the rich man that the way to salvation was to give all his riches to the poor and follow Him. After all, in all of Christ teachings you can feel His preferential option for the poor.

    • January 19, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Ramiro, you have some interesting ideas here, but almost none of them are really rooted in scripture. I’m not sure where you got the impression that the Old Testament “is no longer the mirror to reflect what sin is” — that’s in direct conflict with things that Jesus said in the New Testament. He said that He didn’t come to change anything about the law (i.e. the Old Testament). And when He does talk about sin in the New Testament, He always starts with the standard found in the Old Testament and then raises the bar from there.

      You’re correct that Jesus puts a lot of emphasis on caring for the poor, and we’ve covered that in many, many articles on this site. To say that He had a “preferential option” for the poor is completely unfounded in scripture, though (in addition to being grammatically meaningless). Jesus didn’t show favoritism toward the poor — He called out the people in power because of their sin, not their money. And He spent time with rich people too, ministering to them in the same way that He ministered to the poor.

      You’re also misinterpreting Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler. Jesus saw that although this man had lived his life according the law, he treasured his riches more than he treasured God. He was a money slave, and this wrong attitude toward money was coming between him and God. Jesus never meant that to be a prescriptive teaching for the world in general. Salvation does not require every person with money or possessions to sell all they own and give to the poor. What it does require is that we abandon our idols — money or otherwise — and follow Christ with our whole hearts.

      In the end, I think you’ve missed the point of this post entirely. I’m not saying that anyone who is rich has not sinned, or that everyone who is poor is a miserable sinner. What I am saying is that poverty is a fruit of sin, and the first step to fixing money problems in our lives is to address the sin problems in and around us.

  4. Oluniyi
    May 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    There is now where in the bible that says poverty is a sin in fact Romans 15:26 you mean the poor saints were living in sin because they were poor? What about the poor widow that gave her last, what did Jesus say about it? Did he say she was poor because of sin or she was a sinner because she was poor? Common like Leah stated we can’t even use poverty to judge whether you are a Christian or not…no not at all, satanist, atheist , homosexuals are part of the richest in the world and why is a rich Christian adulterer not in poverty(physical) ? Read revelation chapter 3 where Jesus addressed the laodicean church and get back to us! How can poverty be sin common on!

    • May 20, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Olyniyi, did you even read the text of this post before you wrote your comment? Because you’re accusing me of saying a lot of things that aren’t anywhere in the article.

      I am not saying, and have not said, that poverty is a sin. What I am saying is that poverty is CAUSED BY sin, and that’s an important difference. God’s purpose for us is for us to have everything we need — He provides for us out of His abundance. But when we deviate from His plan, we open the door to poverty, because we start walking outside His provision.

      I’ve made it clear in this article and in others that the fact that someone is poor doesn’t mean that they are living in sin, and the fact that someone is rich doesn’t mean that they are walking in righteousness. Sometimes the wicked prosper — you’ll find that principle all throughout scripture. But their prosperity is always temporary. On the other hand, sometimes righteous people suffer in poverty that is caused by the sin of other people. That’s not at all fair… but then again, sin never is.

      You can’t judge someone’s salvation by looking at their wealth or poverty, and I never said that you could. The letter to the church at Laodicia that you mention in Rev. 3 has nothing to do with this. Yes, it’s possible for people to have money and still be morally bankrupt. I never said that it wasn’t.

      The text of this article stands on its own. But I’ve written a follow-up article for people like you that addresses your criticisms and misunderstandings head-on: http://godmoneyme.com/2013/04/28/poverty-comes-from-sin-answering-objections/

      • June 22, 2016 at 3:38 am

        The truth in your article is sound and stands…those who have ears hear…it even reveals those that lean on their own understabding rather than that of Holy Spirit. May Yahweh continue to bless your ministry!

  5. kelly Ejiroghene Ufinomue
    July 18, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I wantto use this medium 2 appreciate God Almighty for as many that contributed to this topic”poverty is a sin”.This topic has been in me since 2006 where I told so many people that truly poverty is a sin & to even go ahead 2 right a book on it.it is not the desire of God for man to be poor but He made it clear in His word that all things made by Him is good & for us.These things include righteousness,peace,joy,happiness & even riches.God was never poor (ref:from Genesis through revelation).so,to conclude this segment of discussion,I will like to say that people are point because they lack instruction from God which leads to disobedient & finally to sin.

  6. Angela
    December 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for the article. And I’m sorry you’ve had to defend or re-explain yourself over and over to people who refuse to hear and know the truth. It is pointless to be argumentative in these situations and try to one up the next person. The fact that you researched this, provided scripture and took the time to explain it is much appreciated. Thank you again.

  7. peter
    January 30, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    so if that is the case, what do you have to say for someone who is rich and yet a siner?

    • pumi
      August 10, 2015 at 5:36 am

      Topic on its own for another day.. Thanks for the article

    • June 22, 2016 at 3:52 am

      Lol we all sin… it rains on the wicked and the just… this teaching was to enable those that have ears and the full armour of Christ to search their hearts of their own poverty be it spiritual emotional intellectual physical and yes financial. Poverty is a fruit of Satan, as is confusion fear and misery, all these are rooted in believing a lie of Satan’s, which is sin, all poverty is rooted in sin. Read the article again…but this time pray in Yahweh’s name that He unlock your mind, pray in His power which transcends all understanding. He is our living Teacher. Someone that is rich and is a sinner likely is spiritually impoverished. Sin carries consequence; there is no escaping it. Consequences are not limited to finances anymore than blessings are. Be in the word. Allow it to renew your mind.

  8. Steve
    January 3, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for writing this.

  9. sarah
    February 25, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Keep up the honest work!!!!

  10. March 21, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Load of rubbish. We are disciples of Jesus who was Himself poor. Are you calling God a sinner? Ridiculous.

    • March 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Ruben, you — like many other commenters on this page — obviously didn’t take the time to actually read the article, or the follow-up articles in this series. I’m not saying that every individual’s personal poverty is caused by some personal sin that they have committed. I’m saying that the phenomenon of poverty in the world is linked to the phenomenon of sin in the world: If we had no sin, we would also have no poverty. And the road to solving society poverty problems also involves solving society sin problems.

      So of course I’m not saying that Jesus was a sinner… and I would point out that your assumption that he was poor is not at all obvious in scripture. What I am saying is that, to the extent that Jesus and his disciples may have lived in societal poverty, there was societal sin around them that caused that poverty. Sometimes poverty is caused not by sins that we commit, but sins that others commit against us. This is horribly unfair, of course. But then again, sin always is.

    • March 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      This follow-up article addresses a lot of your concerns: http://godmoneyme.com/2013/04/28/poverty-comes-from-sin-answering-objections/

    • June 22, 2016 at 3:54 am

      He was humble. He was not poor. Even the “poor” are not poor that are in Him. Their needs are always met through His mysterious ways and not just the financial ones.

  11. Amirra Wade
    July 27, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Just a thought… What defines wealth in God’s eye? A lot of his greatest people were not wealthy with things of the world, however, they were wealthy in Him. They didn’t have much but they were by all means taking care of. So with that being said, in my opinion poverty is not a sin. Poverty is of the world. There are an abundance of resources on earth that could be used so that people would not go without, but…. Since poverty is of the world then there are people who do. Just my opinion😊

    • July 27, 2016 at 11:51 am

      I think God’s view of true wealth is described in the New Testament as the “glorious riches of Christ Jesus.” More on that here:

      One thing that people often miss about this article: I’m not saying that poverty IS a sin. I’m saying that poverty — like all human suffering — is CAUSED by the brokenness of our sinful nature. It’s an important distinction.

      • Amirra Wade
        July 27, 2016 at 12:33 pm

        I understand what you are saying I feel the same way. Should have paid more attention to what you were saying.

      • Amirra Wade
        July 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm

        By the way this was a great article/topic, you helped me out with two things: you helped me answere my quest, and you made me remember to pay attention to the whole story.

    • Amirra Wade
      July 27, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      I do apologize, I went back and read… Poverty is sin.

  12. Nthati Motsabi
    August 10, 2016 at 2:26 am

    If poverty is caused by sin then why sinners are more wealthier than the rightious people

    i’ve those who have repented living in poverty but sinners enjoying the fruits of wealth

    the bible says those who obey God will not lend to the nations but the nation will lend to them but in real life sinner always borrow the rightious

  13. liam
    February 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    while you said a lot of nice things you fail, like many others, because you cherry pick from the bible. you say god blesses abundance on conditions, but to take that viewpoint means you negate the entire new testament. a person can find a scripture about anything in life. to take it further, every situation in life has two views, good and bad; you can find both views in the bible. on one hand you can find that god brings death in the old testament and then in the new testament he brings life. God kills in the old and heals in the new. famine in the old, abundance in the new. if you cherry pick one scripture you fail at understanding the entire story. the bible from front to back is about a story. that story is about man’s journey to the knowledge of who god is. god is commonly called “holy” and most people have no clue what that word means. holy means completely different and set apart from everything else. in the ancient world man believed everything was done by god. they believed famine and abundance came by god. they believed if the appeased the god with sacrifice the god would bring forth rain and a harvest. if they wronged the god he would bring pestilence and famine. the same goes for life and death, health and sickness, etc. this was a pagan thought that stemmed from pagan societies such as babylon, greece, rome, egypt, persia, the entire middle east. Jesus through the NT shows us explicitly that god is the opposite of those ideologies. he is the god of living, the god of abundance, the god of health, the god of immortality, the god of marriage, the god of goodness. the entire bible is compare and contrast, the entire thing and the failure man has is not being able to distinguish the difference. Jesus is the key. Use his life, what he did for the common person as the deciphering tool to understand the heart of god. Did Jesus ever require anything from anyone for them to be blessed? Not once. Use that and go back to your theory and correct yourself because God requires nothing from man.

  14. Rosemarie Thompson
    February 15, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Great article, easy to read and understand and also packed with the wisdom of God. Amen.

  15. Ted O'Donnell
    March 9, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    St. Francis of Assisi to Doris Day or even Mother Theresa. Poverty isn’t a sin but pride is.

  16. Nathaniel murtala
    June 18, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Today I will follow the right daretion so that I come out from porvety

  17. John W Reed
    September 11, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Aside from the Old Covenant mindset of do good and get good and do bad and get bad, I find it interesting that you say righteous obedient people will prosper. Yet, I know plenty of people who were Godly, and very thrifty and budgeted quite well but they never experienced abundance. I have seen righteous people apparently forsaken and their seed begging bread. That passage must not be some promise for material wealth. I just wonder the more I read your articles. I am very familiar with KY. Lots of old money, lots of corrupt money, lots of money passed down. I wonder just how prosperous you are. I wonder if you could write a $100,000 check and have it not effect your life standard as you gave it to charity? If you can’t, I wonder about your own financial advice…

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  20. Erica M G.
    May 9, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    the Bible has a lot to say about poverty and the poor. and about people who like to keep people people poor and use them. As someone who grew up poor and now I have excess I find it sad that some in American Christianity has taken the Gospel of prosperity to the extreme. God is clear that his children are to help the poor

    “Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.” Exodus 22:22
    “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.” Exodus 23:6
    “During the seventh year, let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.” Exodus 23:11
    “Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:10
    “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” Leviticus 19:15
    “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 23:22
    “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold. . . . If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. . . . If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave.” Leviticus 25:25, 35, 39
    “If an alien or a temporary resident among you becomes rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the alien living among you or to a member of the alien’s clan, he retains the right of redemption.” Leviticus 25:47-48
    “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.” Deuteronomy 10:18
    “At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied.” Deuteronomy 14:28-29
    “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.” Deuteronomy 15:4
    “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.” Deuteronomy 15:7
    “Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near, so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.” Deuteronomy 15:9
    “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11
    “Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns.” Deuteronomy 24:14
    “Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.” Deuteronomy 24:17
    “When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.” Deuteronomy 24:19-21
    “‘Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.’ Then all the people shall say, Amen!'” Deuteronomy 27:19
    “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.” 1 Samuel 2:8
    “as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” Esther 9:22
    “When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up and kills the poor and needy; in the night he steals forth like a thief.” Job 24:14
    “because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.” Job 29:12
    “Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?” Job 30:25
    “If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary.” Job 31:16
    “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9
    “But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.” Psalm 9:18
    ” Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the LORD, I will protect them from those who malign them. ” Psalm 12:5
    “You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge.” Psalm 14:6
    “This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:6
    “My whole being will exclaim, Who is like you, 0 LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.'” Psalm 35:10
    “The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.” Psalm 37:14
    “Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.” Psalm 40:17
    “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:5
    “Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, 0 God, you provided for the poor.” Psalm 68:10
    “The poor will see and be glad — you who seek God, may your hearts live! The LORD hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.” Psalm 69:32-33
    “Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD , do not delay.” Psalm 70:5
    “He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor.” Psalm 72:4
    “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.” Psalm 72:12-13
    “Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name.” Psalm 74:21
    “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4
    “But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks.” Psalm 107:41
    “For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him.” Psalm 109:31
    “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.” Psalm 112:9
    “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;” Psalm 113:7
    “I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I satisfy with food.” Psalm 132:15
    “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.” Psalm 140:12
    “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free” Psalm 146:7
    “The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” Psalm 146:9
    “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.” Proverbs 13:23
    “He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” Proverbs 14:21
    “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 14:31
    “The LORD tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.” Proverbs 15:25
    “Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” Proverbs 16:19
    “He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 17:5
    “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” Proverbs 19:17
    “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13
    “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9
    “He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.” Proverbs 22:16
    “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court.” Proverbs 22:22
    “A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.” Proverbs 28:3
    “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.” Proverbs 28:27
    “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” Proverbs 29:7
    “those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth, the needy from among mankind.” Proverbs 30:14
    “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:9
    “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20
    “If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.” Ecclesiastes 5:8
    “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
    “The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?’ declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah 3:14-15
    “to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” Isaiah 10:2
    “With righteousness he will judge the needy; with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.” Isaiah 11:4
    “The poorest of the poor will find pasture, and the needy will lie down in safety. But your root I will destroy by famine; it will slay your survivors.” Isaiah 14:30
    “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.” Isaiah 25:4
    “Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD ; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 29:19
    “The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.” Isaiah 32:7
    “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.” Isaiah 41:17
    “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6-7
    “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10
    “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1
    “On your clothes men find the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all this you say I am innocent.'” Jeremiah 2:34
    “I thought, These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.'” Jeremiah 5:4
    “(They) have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor.” Jeremiah 5:28
    “if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm,” Jeremiah 7:6
    “This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” Jeremiah 22:3
    “‘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
    “Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.” Jeremiah 20:13
    “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
    “He does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked.” Ezekiel 18:7
    “The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice.” Ezekiel 22:29
    “This is what the LORD says: For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name.'” Amos 2:6-7
    “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, Bring us some drinks!'” Amos 4:1
    “Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land.” Amos 8:4
    “Buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.” Amos 8:6
    “Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.” Zechariah 7:10
    ” So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:5
    New Testament passages

    “Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'” Matthew 19:21
    “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35
    “They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.” Mark 12:40
    “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” Luke 4:18
    “So he replied to the messengers, Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.'” Luke 7:22 [ E-book: The Kingdom strikes back ]
    “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” Luke 12:33
    “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” Luke 14:13
    “When Jesus heard this, he said to him, You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'” Luke 18:22
    “Beware of the teachers of the law . . . They devour your widows’ houses . . . Such men will be punished severely.” Luke 20:46-47
    “‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” John 12:5
    “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.” Acts 9:36
    “Cornelius stared at him in fear. What is it, Lord?’ he asked. The angel answered, Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.'” Acts 10:4
    “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings.” Acts 24:17
    “On the contrary: If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.'” Romans 12:20
    “For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.” Romans 15:26
    “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” Galatians 2:10
    “Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.” 1 Timothy 5:3
    “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.” James 1:27
    “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and becomes judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?” James 2:2-6
    “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18

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