The kids and I were talking about the commandments God has given us. They listed the ten commandments, love God, and love your neighbor. I wanted to show them that God has also commanded us to take care of the poor to show them compassion and reach out to them. We did a quick Google search for “Bible says about poor.” Compassion International had a post entitled What does the Bible say about poverty? I clicked on it, and we began reading through the verses.
There were a lot of great verses that talk about how God sees the poor and what he commands us to do. We began to read down the list and discuss each one. We talked about how they applied to our lives and what we needed to do because of them.
Bible verses on poverty
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy, Proverbs 31:8-9.
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life, Proverbs 22:22-23.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed, Proverbs 11:25.
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people, Psalm 113:5-8.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked, Psalm 146:5-9.
When God wants your attention
The last verse we talked about was Proverbs 28:27. There are a lot more verses in this post, but we stopped here because God jerked me out of life as it was and changed it. He did this through my son. Isn’t it amazing how God chooses to speak to us?
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses, Proverbs 28:27
We began talking about this verse and what it means to close our eyes to the poor. The kids were giving good answers: when we tell a homeless man that we don’t have any money; by not going to that part of town; when we complain about not having new toys.
And then my son says “Mom what are those pictures on the side for?” I stop and look, what pictures, what is he talking about? I didn’t even notice any pictures on the page. And then God opened my eyes and there in front of me was a row of children in this world that needed someone to donate money so that they could have food and medicine and go to school.
You now have a choice
On the very page where we are talking about closing our eyes to the poor, God opened my eyes to the fact that I dismiss these images because I am choosing not to do anything about them. Here are children staring at me asking for help and I couldn’t see them. I cried. I’m so sorry God that I have closed my eyes to the poor. Thank you for opening them.
You don’t have to give money to everyone that comes your way but maybe you could. I understand money is tight; I only have one pair of clothes in my closet, or 2, maybe 3. Let’s get real, I have at least 60 shirts in my closet and so does everyone else in my house. We have rooms piled with stuff, toys, books, furniture. We have rooms, lots of rooms; we have rooms for people to stay in when they come visit, rooms to work in, rooms to sleep in, rooms to play in, rooms to watch tv.
My extreme wealth came and slapped me in the face. Here is a child that doesn’t have food, they don’t have medicine, they can’t go to school. Here is a child that needs help and I have closed my eyes to them because I am unable to control my spending, I am unable to say no to things and activities, I am discontent with what I have and need more.
I am so sorry God. Please forgive me for closing my eyes to the poor. Thank you for opening my eyes, keep them open and help me to do what you ask me to do. Help me to see those in need and be willing to respond. Thank you for speaking to me through my children. What you do from here is between you and God. I pray that your eyes have been opened too and that your life takes a radical change from this point forward. Journey with us as we follow Christ.