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“If we look at the words for “poverty” or “the poor” in the Old Testament, we see that there are four distinct types of people who are poor.
It is true that the first category is those who are poor because they are lazy. They are poor because they will not work and are irresponsible. The Old Testament looks on these people with disfavor and judgment. Likewise, in the New Testament, it is these of whom Paul speaks when he writes, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thess. 3:10).
Category - Calamity - Illness - Disasters - Crops
In the second category are those who are poor because of calamity, illness, natural disasters that ruined their crops, and other events beyond their control. These people receive the compassion of God, and in His law He declares that those who are better off should make provision for these who are poor through no fault of their own.
In the third category are those people who are poor as a...
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