Is Poverty a Sign of God’s Disapproval?

GOD told the ancient Israelites: “No one should come to be poor among you.” This was because in the Law that he gave them, there were provisions to care for the poor and even for the releasing of debts. (Deuteronomy 15:1-4, 7-10) Therefore, there should have been no poor people among the Israelites, for Jehovah promised to bless them. However, that blessing was dependent on obeying the Law, which the Israelites failed to do.

This did not mean, however, that those who had little in a material way were necessarily disapproved by God, any more than those who had plenty were necessarily blessed by God. Many of God’s faithful servants were materially poor. The prophet Amos was a humble sheep raiser and seasonal laborer. (Amos 1:1; 7:14) In the days of Elijah the prophet, when a famine came upon Israel, Elijah had to depend on the hospitality of a poor widow, whose meager supply of flour and oil were miraculously sustained during the famine. Neither Elijah nor the widow became rich; Jehovah provided for just their basic needs.​—1 Kings 17:8-16.

Unforeseen occurrences might plunge people into poverty. Accidents and sickness could temporarily or permanently hinder a person from working. And death could leave behind orphans and widows. Even such adverse circumstances are no indication of God’s disapproval. The account of Naomi and Ruth is a heartwarming example of Jehovah’s loving care for the needy. Though Naomi and Ruth were left destitute by the death of their husbands, Jehovah God blessed them and made provision to care for their needs.​—Ruth 1:1-6; 2:2-12; 4:13-17.

Clearly, poverty is not an evidence of God’s disapproval. Those who are faithful to Jehovah God can have confidence in King David’s words: “A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.”​—Psalm 37:25.

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Though poor and destitute, Naomi and Ruth were blessed and lovingly cared for by God