Discover What God Says about the Poor with One Search

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By Chris Pennington

If you’re like most people, you notice only things that are important to you and miss things that don’t resonate with your life experience. It’s only natural; humans are limited by their humanity, after all.

But what happens when you miss something that’s important to God? What if you’re minimizing something God cares about? Logos Bible Software helps you quickly gather verses on any topic or theme with powerful searches across your library so you’ll always know what God says.

For example, how would you discover what God says about the poor? You could look it up in a concordance, but you’d be limited to the exact word “poor.” You could find entries in a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia, but you’d primarily be reading what other people say God says. While that kind of study is both necessary and valuable, it’s crucial to read and understand God’s words for yourself.

With a simple search in Logos, you can easily learn what God says about the poor. Here’s how:

1. Open a Bible search.

2. Limit the range to the Old Testament, and set the Bible to your preferred translation.

3. Search for all passages in which God is the speaker by entering: {Speaker<Person God>}.

Note: If you’re manually entering your search terms, make sure you’ve used title casing (capitalization) for all of your terms (ie. Speaker, Person, A Poor Person, etc.).

4. Add the topic (in this case, the poor) by entering: INTERSECTS <Person A Poor Person>.

Note: This search makes use of the Reported Speech and Biblical People datasets, both of which are included in Logos Starter and above.

If you have the Logos Desktop app installed, click here to run this search.

The resulting verses include many important concepts: 

  • We should not be partial to someone because of their wealth status (Exod. 23:3, 6; Lev. 19:15, etc.)
  • God expects us to personally care for the poor rather than profit from them (Lev. 23:22; 25:35–43)
  • God sees when people oppress the poor (Ps. 12:5; 82:3–4; Ezek. 22:29)
  • God takes up the cause of the poor and cares for them (Isa. 41:17; Zeph. 3:12)

Find out what God says about other words—like peace, love, or justice—by opening the search tool and running your own searches.

Check out The Lexham Cultural Ontology for more information about poverty and its cultural context in the Bible. Open the Cultural Concepts section of the Factbook, where you can see selected biblical passages about poverty, along with dictionaries and secondary literature, like the Dead Sea Scrolls or other ancient Near Eastern texts.

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To learn more about God’s heart for the poor, consider these resources:

Visit the Logos Help Center for more on how to get the most out of your Logos Bible Software.

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Written by
Adam B. Shaeffer

Adam B. Shaeffer (PhD, Durham University) rarely had time for books until he discovered the fantasy novels on his dad's shelf at age 12; the rest is history. His primary research interests revolve around the interplay between theology and literature, attending to fiction's power to narrate theological insights through the thoughts and lives of imagined people and places. His poetry and fiction have appeared in *Jabberwocky*, *Resident Aliens*, and *This Mutant Life*.

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Written by Adam B. Shaeffer