There are so many children today that are in need of families and I hate for November to go by without remembering them. It is important for us to realize that we need to get out of our comfort zone, no matter how old we are, and seek to help those children in need.
In Exodus, Pharoah made the Israelites do the slave work because he was afraid they would join up with the enemies. The Egyptians worked them hard but the Lord blessed the Israelites through this. It was a blessing in disguise because it kept the Israelites from intermarrying with the Egyptians. He saw this didn’t work so he spoke with the Hebrew midwives and commanded them to kill the babies as they were being born. This didn’t work and the Pharoah changed tactics. He commanded all the people to kill as many Israelite baby boys as possible. During this time, a married couple, Amram and Jochebed, had a little baby and were able to hide him for 3 months. When the mom realized she could no longer hide him, she made a little ark of bulrushes and put him in the river. The sister, Miriam, hid in the bulrushes to see what would happen to her little brother. The daughter of Pharoah went to bathe in the water and saw the little ark. She commanded her maids to bring the ark to her and, upon seeing the babe, decided to raise him as hers. The sister volunteered her mom to nurse the child upon which Pharoah’s daughter paid the birth mom. Pharoah’s daughter named him Moses because she rescued him from the water. This is an amazing account of how God used the whole situation to put him in a position to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt and out of slavery!
Our God is the Father of the fatherless and Husband to widows so why is it so hard for us to open our homes and hearts to those who are in need? All throughout the Old Testament we see the Lord reminding the Israelites over and over again to take care of the fatherless and widows. They were not allowed to harvest everything in their fields so when the fatherless or widow needed food, they would be provided for so they wouldn’t starve.
Jms 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” So, why is visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction part of pure and undefiled religion? What makes it so important to God that He had it as two parts of a three part verse? Maybe we should look at God’s response to the fatherless and widows to see why it is so important to Him!
Deut. 27:19, “Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.” God was so adament that the fatherless, widow and stranger be treated right that He cursed anyone that perverted the judgment of these three. We find in many verses that God commanded the children of Israel to make sure that this class of people be not oppressed in any way. The reason is summed up in several of these verses.
Ex. 22:21-22, “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.”
Deut. 10:17-19, “For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Deut. 24:17-22, “Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge: But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing. When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.”
Mal. 3:5, “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.”
The importance of adoption actually accelerates as we look into the New Testament to see how it affects us as true believers, men and women who have been saved into God’s family!
Jn. 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Rom. 8:14-17, 23, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
Gal. 4:1-6, “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Eph. 1:1-5, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
What rich explanation in how we go from being children of Satan to being adopted into God’s family! Before we were saved, we were dead in our trespasses and sin. Now that we are accepted in God’s family, we can call God, “Abba, father.” Our precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. We were chosen to be holy and without blame (Pure religion is 3 things…remember! The third thing is to keep himself unspotted from the world) before Him in love. If you notice in Ephesians, it is God who made us accepted in the beloved, God is the one that chose us, and God is the one that gives us spiritual blessings among other things that we are not deserving of!
Now, let’s go back to James 1:27. What does it say about pure religion? It says, “…to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Pure religion (or worshiping) and undefiled (unsoiled) before God and the Father is this:
- To visit (to go see, relieve, look out for) the fatherless in their affliction
- To visit (to go see, relieve, look out for) the widows in their affliction
- To keep himself unspotted (unblemished — physically and morally) from the world.
There are so many children out there in desperate need of godly and loving homes that it seems sad that they go through life without homes because most families have no concern for them. Will you pray about the possibility of adopting at least one child and make a difference in his/her life with the Lord’s help?