I didn’t count, but I read that there are over 2,000 references to the poor in the Bible. That speaks volumes—literally.

How close it must be to God’s heart if the Creator of the Universe encourages and instructs us so many times to care for the poor, the orphan, the widow and the afflicted.

Once I dived into making this list of verses about helping the poor, it was hard to stop at 20! I was struck anew today by the strong action verbs in these verses. Whether it’s God or us taking up the cause of the downtrodden, look how many times you see words like “rescue,” “defend,” and “speak up.”

There are so many powerfully simple verses that beg a response from us.

God doesn’t just say “remember the poor,” or “pray for the poor,” though both of those things are good and important. He calls us, His hands and feet in a hurting world, to actually DO SOMETHING. And, not that we should ever give to get, but God promises to reward us when we do—how kind of our Father.

So, let’s take these verses to heart and act on behalf of the poor and the needy!

20 verses about helping the poor

1) Psalm 34:6
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.

2) Psalm 35:10
My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

3) Psalm 82:3
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

4) Psalm 109:30-31
With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save their lives from those who would condemn them.

5) Psalm 113:7
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;

6) Psalm 140:12
I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
and upholds the cause of the needy.

7) Psalm 146:8
The  Lord  gives sight  to the blind,
the  Lord  lifts up those who are bowed down,
the  Lord  loves the righteous.

8) Proverbs 14:31
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

9) Proverbs 14:21
It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

10) Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward them for what they have done.

11) Proverbs 22:9
The generous will themselves be blessed,
for they share their food with the poor.

12) Proverbs 28:27
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

13) Proverbs 31:8-9
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.

14) Proverbs 31:20
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

15) Isaiah 58:6-8
“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 them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

16) Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

17) Zechariah 7:8-10
And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

18) Luke 3:11
John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

19) 1 John 3:16-18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

20) James 1:27
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.

What do you think?

Inspired and want to do something after reading these verses about helping the poor? Click here.

Intrigued and want to read more verses? To read all the verses in the Bible that specifically use the word “poor,” click here.

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