What does the Bible say about helping the homeless?


By BibleAsk Team

Helping the Homeless  

Jesus understands what it means to be homeless. For in order, to accomplish His mission on earth, He moved from one place to another and did not have a home he can call his own. He said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). Also, the apostle Paul experienced being homeless. He wrote, “To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless” (1 Corinthians 4:11). And most of the other apostles traveled around and did not have the privilege of enjoying the comforts of a settled home.  

Taking Care of the Poor  

In the Scriptures, we read of God’s care for the poor and the homeless. Moses wrote, “‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you” (Leviticus 25:35, Deuteronomy 15:7–11). This care for the poor, in contrast with the neglect practiced without mercy by the other nations, is evidence of a divine revelation to the Israelites.   

Solomon wrote, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done” (Proverbs 19:17).  The thought that such care to the poor and homeless makes God our debtor is amazing. It is in harmony with the claim Christ made when He said that He regards service to the poor as a personal service to Him (Matthew 25:40).

The true purpose of religion is to release men from their burdens of sin, to eliminate intolerance and oppression, and to promote justice, liberty, and peace. The prophet Isaiah taught the people, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: . . . to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isaiah 58:6–7).   

The believers are to show their good faith by their good works (James 2:15–16). They are to be especially kind to the needy not just those that can repay them back (Luke 14:13–14). Jesus taught that His children who are recipients of His kindness, be likewise merciful to the needy and homeless (Matthew 10:8; Matthew 5:42).  

God’s Blessings to the Givers

What we contribute to the well-being of needy and homeless gets rewarded. The Lord promised, “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:8,10,11).

The Lord also stressed that, “He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses” (Proverbs 28:27). Thus, wise giving to those in need and who are homeless will not impoverish the giver (Proverbs 11:24–26). The promises of God are conditional upon obedience. As we walk in God’s path, we can be sure of His protecting presence. “The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:25).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team 

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