What does the Bible say about the poor and powerless and how we should help them?
There are many references to this topic in both the Old and New Testaments. To list just a few:
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. – Psalm 82:3-4
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. – Matthew 25:35-40
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:27
It is pretty clear just from these few examples, we are to provide for the poor and powerless. It is not up for debate. Waiting until we have saved enough money to feel comfortable with giving shows a lack of obedience.
Here are a few startling statistics regarding global poverty, malnutrition, and death. (source: Compassion.com) This should cause us all to pause.
- Almost three-fifths of the world’s extreme poor are concentrated in just five countries: Bangladesh, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Nigeria.
- A third of all poor in the developing world are children 0–12 years.
- Nearly half of all deaths in children under age 5 are attributable to undernutrition. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year.
- In developing countries (where 92 percent of children live) 7 in 100 will not survive beyond age 5.
Babu Samuel of Grace Christian Ministry has often spoken of the need of the children in the India state of Bihar, which is one of the poorest states among the nation of India. He desperately wants to start an orphanage to help care for those children.
We know that children are a gift from God. What we also know is that Satan hates them. War, famine, abortion, poverty and abuse are used to destroy them. Out of eleven countries listed as having high orphanage population, India is ranked number one with 31 million.
Will you help Babu and his ministry by praying for the success of the orphanage he will, Lord willing, be able to start soon? Consider going with us on a short term mission trip so you can see the need for yourself. You can make a difference. When we see the need it can seem overwhelming, but by God’s grace, we can help one person at a time.