God Commands Us to Defend the Orphan
In Biblical times and throughout history, government officials and ruling classes oppressed the poor with unjust laws and abusive policies. These oppressors withheld justice from widows and orphans. And it still happens today.
But we are explicitly told not to take advantage of the widow and the fatherless. In fact, we are told that we will give account for lording our power over others.
- Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? — Isaiah 10:1–3
- Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. — Exodus 22:22–23
- He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. — Deuteronomy 10:18
- Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. — Exodus 22:22
- Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless. — Proverbs 23:10
In the Bible, God places special concern on those who are vulnerable or marginalized. He knows these segments of society are often at risk of exploitation. He calls us to look on the heart of others and to defend the oppressed, the weak, and the fatherless.
- Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. — Isaiah 1:17
- Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. — Psalm 82:3
- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. — James 1:27
When we invite Christ into our lives, we are called to become more like Him. Therefore, the burden Jesus holds for His children becomes our burden, too. Are you actionably obeying the Lord in His command to love and selflessly care for His people? Find an opportunity to actionably care for the vulnerable and marginalized.