Will Poverty Ever End?
“LOOK! the tears of those being oppressed, but they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power, so that they had no comforter,” said wise King Solomon of ancient Israel. (Ecclesiastes 4:1) Without doubt, many of the oppressed whom he had in mind were poor as well.
Poverty cannot be measured solely in monetary terms. According to data provided by the World Bank in June 2002, “it has been estimated that in 1998 1.2 billion people world-wide had consumption levels below $1 a day . . . and 2.8 billion lived on less than $2 a day.” It was noted that although such figures were lower than earlier estimates, “they still remain too high in terms of human suffering.”
Will poverty ever end? Jesus Christ told his disciples: “You have the poor always with you.” (John 12:8) But does this mean that poverty and its bitter consequences will continue for all time? No, for although Jesus did not promise his followers that all of them would become materially rich, we should not conclude from his words that there is no hope for the poor.
Despite human efforts and the fact that promises to end poverty have often failed, God’s Word, the Bible, assures us that soon there will no longer be needy people. In fact, Jesus declared “good news to the poor.” (Luke 4:18) This good news includes the promise that poverty will be eradicated. This will happen when God’s Kingdom introduces righteous conditions on earth.
What a different world that will be! The heavenly King Jesus Christ “will feel sorry for the lowly one and the poor one, and the souls of the poor ones he will save.” Indeed, “from oppression and from violence he will redeem their soul.”—Psalm 72:13, 14.
Regarding that time, Micah 4:4 says: “They will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble; for the very mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken it.” God’s Kingdom will solve all the problems that afflict mankind, even eliminating sickness and death. God “will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.”—Isaiah 25:8.
You can trust in these promises because they are inspired by God himself. Why not examine the evidence proving that Bible prophecies are reliable?
[Picture Credit Line on page 32]
FAO photo/M. Marzot