I. COMMANDED NOT TO OPPRESS THE POOR
You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all . . . My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword . . . (Exodus 22:21-24).
[the wicked] caused the cry of the poor to come to Him, and that He might hear the cry of the afflicted [judgment result] (Job 34:28).
A poor man who oppresses the lowly is like a driving rain which leaves no food (Proverbs 28:3).
A. WICKED OPPRESS THE POOR
For a fool speaks nonsense, and his heart inclines wickedness, to practice ungodliness . . . to keep the hungry person unsatisfied and to withhold drink from the thirsty . . . to destroy the afflicted with slander, even though the needy one speaks what is right (Isaiah 32:6-7).
1. Description of people oppressing the poor
Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people (Proverbs 28:15).
There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords, and his jaw teeth like knives, to devour the afflicted from the earth, and the needy from among men (Proverbs 30:14).
B. JUDGMENT ON THOSE WHO OPPRESS THE POOR
His [the wicked man] sons favor the poor, And his hands give back his wealth . . . He swallows riches, but will vomit them up; God will expel them out of his belly . . . as to the riches of his trading, he cannot even enjoy them. For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor; he has seized a house which he has not built . . . his prosperity does not endure . . . Complete darkness is held in reserve for his treasures . . . The increase of his house will depart; his possessions will flow away in the day of His anger ( Job 20:10, 15, 18-20, 26, 28).
The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow, to cast down the afflicted and the needy, to slay those who are upright in their conduct. Their sword will enter their own heart, and their bows will be broken (Psalm 37:14-15).
Let the creditor seize all that he has; and let strangers plunder the product of his labor . . . Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness, but persecuted the afflicted and needy man . . . (Psalm 109:11, 16).
He who oppresses the poor to make much for himself or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty (Proverbs 22:16).
Do not rob the poor because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate; for the Lord will plead their case, and take the life of those who rob them (Proverbs 22:22-23).
The Lord enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people: “. . . the plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing My people, and grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord God of hosts (Isaiah 3:14-15).
Woe to those who enact evil statutes, and to those who constantly record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of My people of their rights, in order that widows may be their spoil, and that they may plunder the orphans (Isaiah 10:1-2).
Thus says the Lord, “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there speak this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the Lord, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. For if you men will indeed perform this thing, then kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, even the king himself and his servants and his people. But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,” declares the Lord, “that this house will become a desolation” (Jeremiah 22:1-5).
The alien they [rulers of Israel] have oppressed in your midst; the fatherless and the widow they have wronged in you . . . the people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice [the Lord will judge] (Ezekiel 22:7, 29).
Thus says the Lord, “For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment, because they sell the righteous for money and the needy for a pair of sandals. These who pant after the very dust of the earth on the head of the helpless also turn aside the way of the humble . . . (Amos 2:6-7).
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!” The Lord God has sworn by His holiness, “Behold the days are coming upon you when they will take you away with meat hooks . . . (Amos 4:1-2).
Therefore, because you impose heavy rent on the poor and exact a tribute of grain from them, though you have built houses of well hewn stone, yet you will not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine. For I know your transgressions are many any your sins are great, you who distress the righteous and accept bribes, and turn aside the poor in the gate (Amos 5:9-12).
Hear this, you who trample the needy, to . . . buy the helpless for money and the needy for a pair of sandals . . . [the Lord promised judgment] (Amos 8:4-6).
The Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ But they refused to pay attention . . . therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 7:9-12).
“Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against . . . those who oppress . . . the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien, and do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts (Malachi 3:5).
1. Request for Lord to judge oppression of the poor
Rise up, O Judge of the earth; render recompense to the proud . . . They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the orphans. And they have said, “The Lord does not see, nor does the God of Jacob pay heed” (Psalm 94:2, 6-7).
C. EXAMPLE OF OPPRESSING THE POOR
Also on your [the wicked] skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor . . . (Jeremiah 2:34).
1. Religious people oppressing the poor
Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, who devour widow’s houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation (Mark 12:38-40)
Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, who devour widow’s houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation (Luke 20:46-47).
D. OPPRESSING THE POOR IS COMMON
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight, for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them (Ecclesiastes 5:8).
II. ENCOURAGED TO DEFEND/HELP THE POOR/HELPLESS
Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy (Proverbs 31:8-9).
Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless; defend the orphan, plead for the widow
O house of David, thus says the Lord: “Administer justice every morning; and deliver the person who has been robbed from the power of the oppressor, that My wrath may not go forth like fire and burn with none to extinguish it, because of the evil of their deeds” (Jeremiah 21:12).
A. GODLY PEOPLE HELP THE POOR
The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, the wicked does not understand such concern (Proverbs 29:7).
1. Example of godly helping the poor
Have I [Job] not wept for the one whose life is hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy? (Job 30:25).
B. LORD BLESSES THOSE WHO HELP THE POOR
How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble. The Lord will protect him, and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed upon the earth; and do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; in his illness, You restore him to health (Psalm 41:1-3).
He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed (Proverbs 19:17).
1. Blessed leader who helped the poor
If a king judges the poor with truth, his throne will be established forever (Proverbs 29:14).
. . . if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow . . . then I will let in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever (Jeremiah 7:5-9).
2. Feed the poor and the Lord will repay
. . . ”When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous . . . A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses . . . Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame. And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:12-23).
C. JUDGE THE POOR FAIRLY
You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute (Exodus 23:6).
You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan . . . (Deuteronomy 24:17).
D. SHOW MERCY TO THE POOR
Therefore, O king [Nebuchadnezzar], may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness, and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity (Daniel 4:25-27).
E. THOSE WHO DO NOT DEFEND THE POOR WILL BE JUDGED
Like a cage full of birds, so their [the godless of Israel] houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich. They are fat, they are sleek, they also excel in deeds of wickedness; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper; and they do not defend the rights of the poor. ‘Shall I not punish these people?’ declares the Lord, ‘On a nation such as this shall I not avenge Myself?’ (Jeremiah 5:27-29).
1. Sin of Sodom, not helping the poor
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49).
2. Example of leader who did not defend the poor
Your rulers [Israelites] are rebels . . . They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them (Isaiah 1:23).
F. HOW WE TREAT POOR IMPACTS LORD
He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him (Proverbs 14:31).
He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker (Proverbs 17:5).
III. GOD’S ROLE WITH THE POOR
A. LORD PROVIDES FOR/PROTECTS THE POOR/NEEDY
[the Lord] executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing (Deuteronomy 10:18).
But He saves . . . the poor from the hand of the mighty (Job 5:15).
For the needy will not always be forgotten [by the Lord] . . . (Psalm 9:18).
The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan (Psalm 10:14).
“Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, now I will arise,” says the Lord; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs” (Psalm 12:5).
This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles (Psalm 34:6).
All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You, who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, and the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him? (Psalm 35:10).
Since I am afflicted and needy, let the Lord be mindful of me; You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God (Psalm 40:17).
He [the Lord] leads out the prisoners into prosperity (Psalm 68:6).
You did provide in Your goodness for the poor, O God (Psalm 68:10).
For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise His who are prisoners (Psalm 69:33).
He [the Lord] has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and has not despised their prayer (Psalm 102:17).
But He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction . . . (Psalm 107:4).
For He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who judge his soul (Psalm 109:31).
He [the Lord] raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap . . . (Psalm 113:7).
I (the Lord) will abundantly bless her (Zion) provision; I will satisfy her needy with bread. (Psalm 132:15)
I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor (Psalm 140:12).
[the Lord] executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry . . . (Psalm 146:7).
The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow . . . (Psalm 146:9).
The Lord supports the afflicted (Psalm 147:6).
The Lord will . . . establish the boundary of the widow (Proverbs 15:25).
But with righteousness He [Messiah] will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth . . . (Isaiah 11:4).
And those who are most helpless will eat, and the needy will lie down in security; I will destroy your root with famine . . . (Isaiah 14:30).
For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress . . . (Isaiah 25:4).
The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, as the God of Israel I will not forsake them (Isaiah 41:17).
Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord! For He has delivered the soul of the needy one from the hand of evildoers (Jeremiah 20:13).
1. Prayer for God to help the poor
May he [righteous king] vindicate the afflicted of the people, save the children of the needy, And crush the oppressor . . . the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts . . . For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. He will rescue their life from oppression and violence; and their blood will be precious in his sight; so may he live; and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; and let them pray for him continually; let them bless him all day long (Psalm 72:4, 10, 12-15).
Let not the oppressed return dishonored; let the afflicted and needy praise Your name (Psalm 74:21).
Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute, rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked (Psalm 82:3-4).
But You, O God, the Lord, deal kingly with me for Your name’s sake; because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; for I am afflicted and needy . . . (Psalm 109:21-22).
2. People’s view of God’s role with poor
Some remove the landmarks; they seize and devour flocks. They drive away the donkeys of the orphans; they take the widow’s ox for a pledge. They push the needy aside from the road; the poor of the land are made to hide themselves altogether. Behold, as wild donkeys in the wilderness they go forth seeking food in their activity, as bread for their children in the desert. They harvest their fodder in the field, and they glean the vineyard of the wicked. They spend the night naked, without clothing, and have no covering against the cold. They are wet with the mountain rains, and they hug the rock for want of a shelter. Others snatch the orphan from the breast, and against the poor they take a pledge. They cause the poor to go about naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaves from the hungry . . . yet God does not pay attention to folly . . . The murderer arises at dawn; he kills the poor and the needy . . . (Job 24:2-12, 14).
B. GOD’S PERSPECTIVE OF POOR DIFFERENT THAN MAN’S
To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) . . . (Revelation 2:9).
Because you [church in Laodicea] say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see (Revelation 3:17-18).
1. Lord chose weal to shame the strong
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, nor many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong (1 Corinthians 1:26-27).
2. Lord made all people
The rich and the poor have a common bond, the Lord is the maker of them all (Proverbs 22:2).
The poor man and the oppressor have this in common; the Lord give light to the eyes of both (Proverbs 29:13).
3. People’s perspective of poor
. . . what advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living? (Ecclesiastes 6:8).
IV. PROBLEMS AND BENEFITS FOR POOR
A. PROBLEMS FOR THE POOR
1. Poor have few friends
The poor is hated even by his neighbor . . . (Proverbs 14:20).
Wealth adds many friends, but a poor man is separated from his friend (Proverbs 19:4).
All the brothers of a poor man hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! (Proverbs 19:7).
2. Poor suffer injustice
Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, but it is swept away by injustice (Proverbs 13:23).
3. Poor relate to rich meekly
The poor man utters supplications, but the rich man answers roughly (Proverbs 18:23).
4. Poor serve rich
The rich rules over the poor . . . (Proverbs 22:7).
5. Poor are not listened to
There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it, and constructed large siegeworks against it. But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. So I said, “. . . wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded (Ecclesiastes 9:14-16).
The rich man’s wealth is his fortress, the ruin of the poor is their poverty (Proverbs 10:15).
7. Prayer not to be poor
Two things I asked of You . . . give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion . . . lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God (Proverbs 30:7-9).
B. BENEFITS FOR POOR
1. Poor are called blessed
Turning His gaze on His disciples, he began to say, “Blessed are you are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God . . . woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full” (Luke 6:20, 24).
2. Poor are rich in faith
Listen, my beloved brethren; did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5).
3. Gospel is preached to the poor
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners (Isaiah 61:1).
a. Jesus preached gospel to poor
Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples, and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the . . . poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:2-5).
The spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because he anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives . . . to set free those who are downtrodden (Luke 4:18).
And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard . . . the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Luke 7:22).
4. Poor will not be kidnapped for riches
The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, but the poor hears no rebuke (Proverbs 13:8).
5. Poor who know God will be comforted in heaven
There was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day. And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades he lifted up eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things, but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony” (Luke 16:19-25).
6. Poor can glory as children of the King
But let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position; and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away (James 1:9-10).
7. During restoration of Israel, poor will benefit
The afflicted also shall increase their gladness in the Lord, and the needy of mankind shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel (during restoration of Israel) (Isaiah 29:19).
8. Poor, but wise, see through the rich
The rich man is wise in his own eyes, but the poor who has understanding sees through him (Proverbs 28:11).
9. Things poverty better than
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity, than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool (Proverbs 19:1).
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar (Proverbs 19:22).
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than he who is crooked though he be rich (Proverbs 28:6).
V. EXAMPLES OF POOR
. . . David said, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the kings’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and lightly esteemed?” (1 Samuel 18:23).
But I [David] am afflicted and needy . . . (Psalm 70:5).
Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me; for I [David] am afflicted and needy (Psalm 86:1).
All her [captive Zion] people groan seeking bread; they have given their precious things for food . . . (Lamentations 1:11).
When the days for their [Mary and Joseph] purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord . . . to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:22-24).
To this present hour we [the Apostles] are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands . . . (1 Corinthians 4:11-12).
but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distress, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger . . . as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things (2 Corinthians 6:4-5, 10).
I (Paul) have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure (2 Corinthians 11:27).
Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction (Philippians 4:11-14).
A. POOR/RICH IN CHURCH
When you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you . . . when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God, and shame those who have nothing? . . . (1 Corinthians 11:18-22).
VI. GIVING TO THE POOR
A. MECHANISM TO PROVIDE FOR POOR – RETURN OF LAND
You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee . . . On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property (Leviticus 25:11-13).
B. LAWS REGARDING POOR BECOMING SLAVES
And if a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve you until the year of jubilee. He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale . . . in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another. Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family, then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him, or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. If there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption; and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he is to refund the amount for his redemption. Like a man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not rule over him with severity in your sight. Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall still go out in the year of jubilee, he and his sons with him (Leviticus 25:39-54).
1. Not obeying laws resulted in judgment
Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘I made a covenant with your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, saying, “At the end of seven years each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother, who has been sold to you and has served you six years, you shall send him out free from you; but your forefathers did not obey Me, or incline their ear to Me. Although recently you had turned and done what is right in My sight, each man proclaiming release to his neighbor, and you had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name. Yet you turned and profaned My name, and each man took back his male servant and each man his female servant, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your male servants and female servants. Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming release each man to his brother . . . I will make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth” (Jeremiah 34:13-17).
A. THINGS THAT MAKE A PERSON POOR
Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline . . . (Proverbs 13:18).
Do not love sleep, lest you become poor; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food (Proverbs 20:13).
He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not become rich (Proverbs 21:17).
Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags (Proverbs 23:20-21).
B. NO POOR IN LAND IF PEOPLE FULLY OBEYED
However, there shall be no poor among you, since the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, if only you listen obediently to the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today (Deuteronomy 15:4-5).
C. ONLY POOR LEFT IN DEFEATED LAND
Then he led away into exile all Jerusalem and all the captains and all the mighty men . . . None remained except the poorest people of the land (2 Kings 24:14).
But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen (2 Kings 25:12).
But some of the poorest people who had nothing, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard left behind in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at that time (Jeremiah 39:10).
. . . those of the poorest of the land who had not been exiled to Babylon (Jeremiah 40:7).
Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile some of the poorest of the people . . . [but] left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen (Jeremiah 52:15).
OTHER “POOR” AREAS: Lending, Partiality, Work (don’t oppress poor hired employee).