God Loves the Poor

Posted by Phil Altmeyer, Executive Director Sep 11, 2018 2:16:16 PM

Phil Altmeyer talks about how the Bible makes clear God's heart for the poor.

What better phrase to describe one’s life than the one God used to describe David, “a man after my own heart.”

What do we know about God’s heart? How can we be people who pursue what is dear to Him? One of my favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 22:16: “‘He helped those who were poor and needy, so everything went well for him. That is what it means to know God,’ says the Lord.”

To know God is to obey Him, to be about His business. Scripture is full of evidence that the poor are dear to God’s heart.

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

“Share your food with the hungry and bring poor, homeless people into your own homes.” – Isaiah 58:7

He equates kindness to the poor with showing honor to Him.

“Being kind to the poor is like lending to the LORD; he will reward you for what you have done.” – Proverbs 19:17

He promises blessings to those who care for the poor…

“Generous people will be blessed, because they share their food with the poor.” – Proverbs 22:9

…and condemnation for those who don’t.

“The one who ignores the poor will receive many curses.” – Proverbs 28:27

The Old Testament sets out clear provisions for the poor: food was to be left in the fields for them to gather; interest was not to be charged on their loans; and accommodations were made for them with regard to the required sacrifices.

Jesus himself quotes Isaiah in explaining the reason for his coming: “...he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

To be people after God’s heart, we must defend the weak and fatherless, share our food with the hungry, be openhanded toward the needy and proclaim to the poor: “God loves you. You are of infinite value to Him.” Good news indeed.

Your partnership reflects the heart of God. Thank you!

Download our free e-book, Lessons from a Homeless Shelter.

Topics: help the poor, God-loves-the-poor, bible, Phil Altmeyer, Heart to Heart

Click here to see all articles for the September 2018 issue.