God’s Heart for the Orphan
Many times in life there are people who are unappreciated, abused, or abandoned. The poor, the widow, and the orphan often fall into this category. They are the forgotten…the unseen. But while the rest of the world may overlook them, God doesn’t. Scripture is clear that God has a special love in His heart for children. Jesus stopped, despite His disciples rebuke, to spend time loving on little children. He also tells us to be like little children and to view Him as our Father.
If Jesus has a heart for all children, how great do you think His love is especially for those who are left behind without parents to love and guide them? God tells us again and again in His word that He loves orphans and has an incredibly compassionate heart for them. He is their Father and their Protector, and He invites us…His children…to participate with Him to care for them.
When it comes to orphans…
God is a Loving Father
The Bible illustrates over and over that God loves orphans, that He holds them close to His heart, that He has compassion and mercy on them. Although they may not have an earthly father, He is their eternal Father and longs for them to enter into an intimate relationship with Him. They may be overlooked in this world, but God sees them and chooses them.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families …” (Psalms 68:5-6)
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.“ (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
“For in you the fatherless find compassion.” (Hosea 14:3)
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
“You have been the helper of the orphan.” (Psalm 10:14)
“You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.” (Psalm 10:17-18)
“For in You the orphan finds mercy.” (Hosea 14:3)
God is a Mighty Protector
Not only does God passionately love the orphan, He proudly protects them. Scripture gives us multiple warnings from God against those who mistreat or oppress the orphan. This is in such alignment with the Fatherly love He has for them. If you love someone, you will defend them at all costs. If you see someone abusing them, they better watch out because you’ll come after them and make them stop! This is exactly how the Bible describes God’s stance against anyone who is messing with His children.
“Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.” (Exodus 22:22-23)
“He executes justice for the or phan and the widow.” (Deuteronomy 10:18)
“Woe to those who…rob the poor of My people of their rights, so that widows may be their spoil and that they may plunder the orphans.” (Isaiah 10:1-2)
“Do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow.” (Jeremiah 22:3)
“Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against…those who oppress…the widow and the orphan.” (Malachi 3:5)
God Invites All of Us to Join Him in Caring for Orphans
So what about those who are not oppressing the orphan? Clearly, we’re not in danger of the wrath of an angry Father, but God still calls us to do more. God has made His people, His church, His disciples to stand as one and connect their hearts with His. He invites us to partner with Him to care for, love, and defend the orphan. Although this is something that God can do on His own, He desires to have us work with Him. Isn’t that amazing? But this isn’t something we can do from the stands. This is an intentional invitation from the Lord to get up, get involved, and give back to Him as we care for His children.
“Learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17)
“When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 24:19)
“Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)
“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)
“Once our eyes are opened we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know and holds us responsible to act.” (Proverbs 24:12)
As we discover God’s heart for the orphan, we can’t help but recognize the similarity of His heart for us – for you and me. God is also our Loving Father, our Mighty Protector, and Generously Invites others to care and defend us. He pursued us when we were abandoned, alone, and lost. He took us in, giving us the “right to be children of God” (John 1:12).
Don’t you see, we are not to simply pity orphans and feel bad for them. We are called to be filled with compassion because we can relate. We were once orphans too, before our heavenly Father adopted us into His eternal family. Now He’s calling us to join in His work: to love, pray, advocate, defend, sponsor, support, and adopt.
If you feel called to take a first step and sponsor a child today, click on the button below to find out about one of our partner ministries, Shaping Destiny, and how you join them to help care for orphans in their program.