Find out what the Bible has to say about your response to the pandemic in Africa.
Why should I care about orphans and widows?
It is the heart of the Father.
“A Father to the fatherless, a Defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5).
“I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy” (Psalm 140:12).
This is how He describes Himself, does it describe us?
“He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:18).
How does He do this?
Through us, His people, who live out His heart.
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him how does the love of God abide in him? My children let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:16-18).
“Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of His throne” (Psalm 97:2).
What does His righteousness and justice look like?
Job was known as a righteous man.
“I delivered the poor who cried out, the fatherless and the one who had no helper. The blessing of the perishing man came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, and I was feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the case that I did not know” (Job 29:12-16).
“The righteous considers the cause of the poor, but the wicked does not understand such knowledge” (Proverbs 29:7).
He promises His blessings on us when we bless those whom He loves!
“Is not this the kind of fast that I have chosen: To loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? THEN your light will break forth like the dawn, And your healing will quickly appear; Then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard...And IF you spend your- selves in behalf of the hungry, and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, And your night will become like the noonday” (Isaiah 58:6-10).
Is this not a key for our revival and blessing? Should we be claiming His blessing, health and protection on us if we do not bless, care for and protect those whom He cares so deeply about?
He says that if we shut our ears to the cry of the poor, that He will also not answer us, when we cry out to Him (Proverbs 21:13).
He even offers us a way to lend to Him, the creator of the universe, where He is indebted to us...
How can this be?
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, And He will reward him for what he has done” (Proverbs 19:17).
What is His expectation of us?
“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).
What does it mean when we say we know Him?
“‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 22:16).
To know Him and be known by Him is all about knowing His heart, hearing His voice and living out His calling for us, which is spelt out in over 1000 scriptures...this is the fruit of loving God!
We know Him by His actions and He says that He will know us by ours!
How can I respond?
“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).
Will we allow His compassion to move us into action?
Today there are more than 18 million orphaned and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa alone, waiting for a response from us. More than 5000 children lose their parents everyday...
The invitation and opportunity to engage in caring for the least of these and live out His love and compassion is NOW.
+ Study His Word to discover His heart and character.
+ Pray for the vulnerable that you know.
+ Pray for those that have given their lives to serve the most vulnerable.
+ Speak out on their behalf: "Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the the widow" (Isaiah 1:17).
+ Stir up one another to do good works: "Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good founda- tion for the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life" (1 Timothy 6:18).
+ Support practically: volunteer to serve the poorest of the poor with your skills and time.
+ Support financially: "But the righteous gives and does not spare" (Proverbs 21:26).