Will the Needs of the Poor Ever Be Satisfied?
POVERTY is not new to the world. Nearly 3,500 years ago the Israelites were told: “Someone poor will never cease to be in the midst of the land.” (Deut. 15:11) Centuries later, when accepting an act of generosity, Jesus Christ acknowledged the same hard fact, saying: “You always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”—Matt. 26:11.
Sad it is that in this present imperfect system of things millions of men, women and children continue to live in poverty. Perhaps you yourself are among those millions.
Do you find that holding a steady job is a problem? Do you worry about how you are going to get enough food for your family? Does it trouble you that a lack of life’s necessities is robbing you and your family of good health? Do you feel that you are trapped in your present housing situation and have no means to get away from depressing surroundings? Have you ever asked yourself, Why must things be this way? Will the needs of the poor ever be satisfied?
Even if you do not number yourself among the poor of the earth’s inhabitants, you surely know poor people. Even in prosperous nations poverty exists. Of the United States of America, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey observed, in his book War on Poverty, that ‘one out of every five Americans lives in poverty, shame, misery, and degradation.’ Do you feel compassion for these?
Throughout the earth many poor people entertain hopes that somehow human governments will be able to help them. But they readily admit that they have been disappointed all too often.
Consider, for example, what happened in Colombia, South America. Back in 1962 when the late Guillermo León Valencia ran for the presidency, he often quoted from a line of his father’s poems: “A full cup for everyone.” He promised that his would be “the government of the poor.” But did it become such? His austere economic measures hurt the very ones he claimed to favor. From late in 1962 to early in 1964 the cost of living increased by 50 percent! Soon the Valencia government came to be referred to by the man in the street as “the government of the poor rich.”
Because of repeated disappointments, many people turn to Communism and Marxism in the hope that their situation might be improved. However, like lands controlled by other forms of human government, Communist countries have not been able to solve many of life’s big problems. Is it not true that they are plagued by unsettled political conditions, divisive nationalistic factions and family and moral breakdown, including the problem of alcoholism? Also, their subjects have lost a considerable degree of freedom.
The undeniable truth is that no human government has ever been able to provide complete relief for the afflicted inhabitants of the earth. Does this mean that the lot of poor people is hopeless? that poverty will never cease? Not at all. There is One higher than man who is both willing and able to remove poverty. This One is the Creator of man, Jehovah God. Of him, the Bible says: “You are opening your hand and satisfying the desire of every living thing.”—Ps. 145:16.
But how will Jehovah God satisfy the needs of the poor? For the answer to this question, we invite you to read the following article.