Watching Over the Fatherless & Widow
“The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” – Psalm 146:9
Psalm 68:5 “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwellling.”
God’s heart is deeply connected to the fatherless and the widow. He saw our spiritually orphaned state and adopted us into his family. He saw our rejected state and placed us into a body of believers and as a body the entire church is betrothed to his Son, Jesus. We look forward to the day where we can celebrate the marriage feast in heaven, knowing that we never have to walk in this life without a beloved, who knows our heart. God clearly has a heart for orphans and widows. His promise is to sustain the fatherless and the widow, and His plan is to use us to do it.
In the Old Testament law, God commanded His people to provide for foreigners, orphans, and widows.
God’s plan to provide for the least of these was always his own people. Even Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do to me (Matthew 25:40).”
It will help us to consider that God is not creating another obligation for us to do as a task on a list, rather he is giving us an invitation for participation in his kingdom work, which will bring transformation to ourselves into those we serve.
When seeking to participate with God’s heart, helping widows and orphans, it is necessary for us to do thorough research, so as not to be ensnared by wicked schemes. God’s plans frustrate the wicked.
It’s important that we avoid things like voluntourism, which is established to create a multi billion dollar industry by deceiving well-meaning people, eager to serve. These folks are simply serving a corrupt industry, bent on abusing children and their families as they create a feel-good experience for consumers. The US Department of State reports that 80% of orphans in orphanages which are staged to make Westerners feel good about themselves, are really not orphans at all. In many cases, these children have been taken from family members with the promise of providing for them shelter, education and nourishment. The children often receive little to none of these, and or sometimes abused or trafficked. Some families are promised an education for their child in the United States. The families believe their child will be away for a year or so, so they let their children go. The children are then adopted by unknowing Americans, thinking they are bringing a child into their family. The child doesn’t realize they won’t be able to return to their homeland until they’re 18. They are essentially kidnapped by this corrupt system.
Organizations like the International Justice Mission (IJM) and Compassion International are doing good and Godly work among widows and orphans. They are worthy of our support and attention. They have documented records of integrity, honesty, and cultural sensitivity.
We can partner with God by supporting one of these organizations. We can also help widows at home by being aware of their need for company, health care, and by teaching them to avoid cyber fraud. Many elderly folks are living in a world they no longer understand. We are in a position to help them, and by doing so we participate with God’s heart and lives are transformed.