By Stephen Phinney

It is so easy to get caught up in questions like: “Does God want certain people rich and others poor?” The Truth is, God isn’t into some being rich and others being poor. His divine will is for the world to focus upon His eternal riches. It is true that in this process, He will temporarily allow wealth with some in order to help with the poverty of others. Scriptures show us that He doesn’t do this to increase the wealth of one, but rather to keep his promise of feeding and clothing ALL of His creation. If every human used their extra cash (anything above living expenses) to feed and clothe another human, I can assure you – there would NOT be one single hungry or naked person in the entire world! In order for this principle to really produce fruit, it would require a spreading of the world’s wealth with such equality that there would no longer be sharp differences in corporate or privatized income.

Since we will never see the above principle lived out on this earth, greed will continue to rule the earth. God will continue to allow people and nations to increase in their wealth, so He can humble them by causing them to lose their riches. Usually it only takes a disaster or two to bring a thriving economy (personally or nationally) to its knees. Even in my small life span, I have seen some of the richest people and nations in the world go broke overnight. For those who follow Him through the indwelling power of His Son, He oftentimes causes loss of money, so that they might discover the full on riches and provisions of God’s miraculous plan of economy.

“You made men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, yet You brought us out into a place of abundance” (Psalms 66:12, NASB).

GOVERNMENT BAIL OUTS: I really don’t mean to sound rude or coldhearted, but people really are like stupid sheep! God works so diligently to create dependence on Him. But what do they do? They run to government programs, like sheep being lead to a slaughterhouse. Poverty will never be eliminated or helped through special social programs. If I remember correctly, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again – thinking the next time you do it, things will be different. I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but the trillions and trillions of dollars we throw at poverty are NOT fixing the problem. In fact, let’s take America as an example. Statistics prove that even though we spend more and more on social welfare each year, poverty is actually getting worse. Social programs, which are purposed to end poverty, usually make big government and the idea makers richer. Plus, it negates what God wants to accomplish through the individual and national poverty rate (like honest appraisal, seeking the Lord God, and Body-Life dependence). Do you want a simpleminded definition of politics? Men like power and power is not realized for an individual or nation unless there is someone(s) begging at their feet.

Did you know that a cow eats enough food to feed seven people. There are an estimated 350 million “sacred cows” in India? If we do the math, we will find that if the people would stop feeding the cows their food, they would have enough food to feed well over a billion people. If they turned the cows into hamburger, they would generate an export that could stabilize the entire country. Satan might be stupid, but he knows what he is doing! He would rather the people worship a cow and go hungry, than meet the needs of his followers. Idolatry always ultimately starves its followers. Once hungry, they come begging at the king’s (Antichrist’s) table.

If we replace the cow with other types of idols, we will find the same kind of stupidity in every country in the world. Idols truly make people lethargic and almost stupid to common sense.

LAZY PEOPLE USUALLY GO HUNGRY: This is a truth that is argued over throughout the halls of history. This simple fact is: if you don’t work – you don’t eat!

“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either” (2 Thessalonians 3:10, NASB).

Sounds kind of rude and cruel doesn’t it? In God’s plan of economy, these two principles go hand in hand. It is primarily because of this reason that I continued to work in some fashion or another throughout my heart failure experience, even while I was in the hospital. A lazy person is not necessarily someone who rejects the idea of labor, but rather someone who procrastinates in doing it.

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest -- your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:10-11, NASB).

In over 30 years of counseling the hurting, procrastinators (lazy people) are the worst kind of people to deal with. They nod their heads “yes” on the outside, but delay on the inside. When confronted about their laziness, they typically justify their behavior by an endless list of reasons why they could not do what was asked of them. Meanwhile, they put the responsibility on the “counselor” to fix the fix they actually fixed on themselves and then get frustrated, or downright angry, if the “counselor” doesn’t. Working with the lazy is like trying to make a pathway through a bowl of jello.

“The sluggard (lazy) does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing” (Proverbs 20:4 NASB, parentheses mine).

We see in the Scriptures that God purposes to bring “nothingness” to lazy people throughout the world; because they won’t, or refuse, to work for food. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked the question as to why God allows poverty and hungry people in the world. We have poverty in the world because people would rather give the five bucks than hire the man to work for his food. It is not any more complicated than that. We are literally causing the lazy to become dependent on BIG government. If you haven’t noticed, government sponsored social welfare DOES NOT WORK!

Don’t get me wrong, God does command us to take care of the poor; but He does NOT want us to give without prayer and supplication. Much of the poor are poor because of circumstances outside of their control: health issues, widows, orphans, employment issues, etc. We are required by God to assist and care for the truly needy. If we were able to separate the workers from the truly needy and put the workers to work, we wouldn’t have the massive problem of poverty that we have today. In fact, God usually sides with the truly poor and if any come against them, He takes those actions personally.

“He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him” (Proverbs 14:31, NASB).

If you want to taunt God, God forbid, just ignore the poor in your community!! If you dare to “make a buck” off of the poor, God is certain to put you in want!

“He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty” (Proverbs 22:16, NASB).

Allow me to give you an example of this Truth. Recently, the second wealthiest country in the world had a major earthquake, which caused a tsunami. These two catastrophic events washed out a major portion of the country and led to potential life-threatening impairments in several nuclear reactors, which released hazardous chemicals, damaged much of the food supply, and resulted in very long food lines. Another country, who is in financial debt to this traumatized country, offered $200 million of food and medical supplies at the price of more debt to its own people. Is this really the right thing to do? Was this country giving to the rich, who could afford their own bailout? What are the consequences of such actions as feeding the rich? I can tell you – the country giving $200 million dollars will only come to poverty! If we are honest with ourselves, we know why country #2 was feeding the rich. But should a country ever take care of the poverty needs of another country while ignoring the poverty needs of their own people? Of course not! But most countries will “kowtow” like this every time there is any kind of global crisis. Anytime an individual or nation gives to others while oppressing their own people, God WILL bring judgment upon them.

"You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless” (Exodus 22:22-24, NASB).

Hummm – so why exactly is our world being filled with widows, fatherless children, poverty, and despair?