Bible Verses about Poverty

Feed the Poor: Bible Support

If you’re looking for reasons to feed the poor, the Bible gives clear support for caring for those in need. Throughout its pages, as early as the Mosaic law and continued by Christ and His apostles, the Bible instructs followers to feed the hungry and have compassion on others.

In Leviticus 19:9–10, God instructs His chosen people,

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God.”

In this way, the poor and hungry can obtain food to sustain themselves and their families.

Psalms and Proverbs also admonish to feed the poor and not turn a blind eye to those in need:

“Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” – Psalm 41:1

“He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.” – Proverbs 14:31

“Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.” – Proverbs 21:13

“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.” – Proverbs 22:9

“He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses.” – Proverbs 28:27

Various Old Testament prophets pronounced judgement on Israel because they failed to properly treat the poor among them.

For example, Amos 5:11 says,

“Therefore, because you tread down the poor and take grain taxes from him, though you have built houses of hewn stone, yet you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink wine from them.”

In the New Testament, Jesus continued to teach His disciples to care for those in need.

He led by example, continually seeking out the downtrodden and lovingly meeting their needs. When Jesus looked at the hungry multitude, He had compassion on them and fed their bellies as well as their souls (see Matthew 14:13–21; 15:32–38). He also equated feeding the hungry with feeding Christ Himself (see Matthew 25:34–40) and instructed His followers to give food to those who have none (see Luke 3:11).

The apostles continued this line of teaching. The apostle James called caring for orphans and widows, who are often among the most vulnerable in society, “pure and undefiled religion” (see James 1:27). Additionally, he taught,

“If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” – James 2:15–17

Similarly, 1 John 3:17–18 says,

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

This is why Bible-believing organizations such as GFA World seek to show Christ’s love through both word and deed, feeding the poor and caring for those in need.