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The Poor

The Bible has much to say about the poor, and the different causes of why anyone can be, or become, poor. The Scriptures are also quite clear about the different manner in which those who are not poor should respond to the true poor (where poverty is the result of disability or lack of opportunity) on one hand, and the self-inflicted poor (where poverty is the result of laziness or irresponsibility) on the other.

The Holy Bible No Favoritism To Poor Over Rich, or Rich Over Poor

"The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give The Lord's offering to make atonement for yourselves." (Exodus 30:15 RSV)

"You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor." (Leviticus 19:15 RSV)

"My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "Have a seat here, please," while you say to the poor man, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him?" (James 2:1-5 RSV) (see Christian Living)

Help For The Deserving Poor

"He who gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse." (Proverbs 28:27 RSV)

"If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which The Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be." (Deuteronomy 15:7-8 RSV)

"He who is kind to the poor lends to The Lord, and He will repay him for his deed." (Proverbs 19:17 RSV)

"He who oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors Him." (Proverbs 14:31 RSV)

"And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Mark 10:21 RSV)

The Lazy Or Irresponsible Poor

"He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich." (Proverbs 21:17 RSV)

"The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing." (Proverbs 20:4 RSV)

"The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long the wicked covets, but the righteous gives and does not hold back." (Proverbs 21:25-26 RSV)

"For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, we did not eat any one's bread without paying, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you. It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living." (2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 RSV)

The Lord Is The Maker Of Rich And Poor

"The rich and the poor meet together; The Lord is the maker of them all." (Proverbs 22:2)

"The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low, He also exalts." (1 Samuel 2:7 RSV)

There Will Always Be Poor

"For the poor will never cease out of the land." (Deuteronomy 15:11 RSV)

"But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to Me. For you always have the poor with you." (Matthew 26:10-11 RSV)

True Hope For The Poor

"As for me, I am poor and needy; but The Lord takes thought for me. Thou art my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my God!" (Psalm 40:17 RSV)

"For Thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat." (Isaiah 25:4 RSV)

"And His delight shall be in the fear of The Lord. He shall not judge by what His eyes see, or decide by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth" (Isaiah 11:3-4 RSV)

Fact Finder: Did Jesus Christ become poor so that those who believe in Him may become (spiritually) rich?
2 Corinthians 8:9

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