5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation!
These words declare the infinite mercy and tender compassion of our gracious God. Though God is all powerful and great in His glory, He does not despise those who are poor and needy. Though He reigns in heaven in His holy habitation, He does not forsake His children who are afflicted and abused by cruel and wicked men in this unjust world. With pity He will attend to His suffering children, and be their help and defence. The fatherless, the widows, the persecuted – all will find Him to be their solace. To all those who trust Him, He proves Himself to be an all-sufficient God. He glories in that He is the Father of the fatherless. He magnifies Himself as the Defender of the helpless.
Scripture bears consistent testimony to the prayers of the helpless and their resultant deliverance. “… the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless... LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: to judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress” (Psalm 10:14, 17, 18). Psalm 146:9 declares, “The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow”.
God not only declares Himself to be the Defender of the afflicted, He also urges His people to do the same. The LORD spoke to Israel through Moses, “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” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). He even commanded the possessors of agricultural land to leave behind grains and fruits for the poor (cf. Deuteronomy 24:17-24). It must also be mentioned that Christians had been sharply rebuked for negligence of the poor in the church: “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” (James 2:15-16). Let us unite with our God in relieving those who are in great need. “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” (James 1:27).