"A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land."
Jehovah, who is the eternal, self-existent God, the God of revelation and redemption, who has no needs Himself, and who needs no one, He is the guardian of the weak and unprotected. In our verses today, we will see that He is champion of the helpless, but He punishes the rebels. Israel was commanded not to do harm to the fatherless and widows.
“Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child,” (Exodus 22:22).
God is the Helper of the helpless and the one who frees the captive. From His holy example, we learn that we dare not do harm to any weak individuals, for He is watching.
“A father of the fatherless,”
In a world that is ambivalent towards people who are hurting, God cares about the orphan!1
“Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless,” (Psalm 10:14).
“Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me,” (Jeremiah 49:11).
God reminds the orphan that He, Jehovah, will be his Father.
“And a judge of the widows,”
Widows often have a terrible time from a variety of oppressors, those who would take advantage of their vulnerability. But the good news is that God watches over the widow and He will stand for her. He will take her case.
“The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down,” (Psalm 146:9).
“The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow,” (Proverbs 15:25).
“Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow,” (Isaiah 1:17).
But where is God, when evil people are taking advantage of the orphans and widows? Come back tomorrow, and we will talk more about it.
1. According to UNICEF, there are 153 million orphans in the world today. Information from: https://www.sos-usa.org/our-impact/focus-areas/advocacy-movement-building/childrens-statistics. Date: May 15, 2019.