The Forgotten Commandment: Why God Insists We Help the Poor

The Forgotten Commandment: Why God Insists We Help the Poor

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it's easy to overlook some of the foundational principles of our faith. Among these is a commandment that, while often overshadowed by more prominent directives, holds tremendous significance: the call to help the poor. This divine insistence is not merely a suggestion but a central tenet of Christian living, rooted deeply in Scripture. Here’s why God places such importance on this often-forgotten commandment and what it means for us today.

1. A Reflection of God’s Heart

Helping the poor is a direct reflection of God's character and His heart for humanity. Throughout the Bible, God expresses His deep concern for the marginalized and oppressed. Psalm 68:5 (NIV) describes God as "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." By caring for the poor, we mirror God's compassion and justice, becoming tangible extensions of His love in the world.

2. A Central Biblical Mandate

Scripture is replete with commands to assist the poor, underscoring its importance. Deuteronomy 15:11 (NIV) declares, "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land." This mandate is not optional; it is a divine requirement that calls us to action. Ignoring this commandment is, in essence, ignoring God’s explicit instructions.

3. Demonstrating True Faith

Faith is more than belief; it is action. James 2:14-17 (NIV) challenges us: "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? ... faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." Helping the poor is a vital demonstration of our faith, showing that we understand and embody the teachings of Christ. It is through these acts of compassion that our faith is brought to life.

4. Jesus’ Teachings on Compassion

Jesus’ ministry was marked by a profound concern for the poor and marginalized. In Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV), He illustrates the final judgment, where the righteous are commended for feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the imprisoned. Jesus explains, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Helping the poor is not just about charity; it is about serving Christ Himself.

5. Building a Just Society

God’s insistence on helping the poor is also about creating a just and equitable society. Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV) urges us to "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." By advocating for and assisting the poor, we contribute to a community that values justice and fairness, reflecting the kingdom of God on earth.

6. Receiving God’s Blessings

God promises blessings for those who care for the poor. Proverbs 19:17 (NIV) says, "Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done." These blessings are not merely material but encompass spiritual growth, fulfillment, and divine favor. By prioritizing the needs of the poor, we open ourselves to the abundant life that God desires for us.

7. Addressing Inequality and Injustice

Helping the poor is a way to address systemic inequality and injustice. Isaiah 1:17 (NIV) calls us to "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." By engaging in acts of charity and justice, we challenge the structures that perpetuate poverty and oppression, striving to bring about the equitable society that God envisions.

8. Fostering Community and Unity

Generosity towards the poor fosters community and unity. Acts 4:32-35 (NIV) describes the early Christian community as sharing everything they had so that "there were no needy persons among them." This spirit of mutual support and generosity creates a bonded community where everyone’s needs are met, reflecting the inclusive love of God.


The commandment to help the poor is not an ancillary part of Christian faith; it is central to living out God’s will. By reflecting God’s heart, demonstrating true faith, following Jesus’ teachings, building a just society, receiving God’s blessings, addressing inequality, and fostering community, we fulfill this divine directive. 

God insists we help the poor because it is through these acts of compassion and justice that His love is made manifest in the world. As we embrace this forgotten commandment, we not only transform the lives of those we assist but also experience profound spiritual growth and alignment with God’s purpose. Let us commit to making this commandment a cornerstone of our lives, bringing hope, justice, and love to a world in desperate need.

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Submitted By: Elijah Ezra

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