Here are my top seven Bible verses about caring for Orphans
James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
People might say they’re spiritual (whatever that means) or they might call themselves religious but God detests such talk if they neglect the widows and the orphans in the church. God is the defender of the defenseless and their cry goes up before Him and He hears their afflictions. Talk is cheap; action is not. Whoever says they’re religious and doesn’t provide for the widows and orphans, at least in some way, is not religious at all but actually a hypocrite. God doesn’t want more religious people; He desires disciples after His own heart.
Exodus 22:22-24 “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.”
This was a law for the nation of Israel but there is no reason to believe that this law should not apply to our world today, particularly in the church. God’s wrath burns against those who mistreat or take advantage of the widows and the fatherless (orphans) because they are not in a position to take care of themselves, therefore it is incumbent upon Christians to make sure no one takes advantage of or mistreat any of the widows or the orphans (fatherless).
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Isaiah the Prophet puts it this way; we must seek justice and correct any oppression we see and bring swift justice to the orphans and plead for the widow’s cause because no one else likely will. Isaiah says that we must “learn to do good” indicating that it doesn’t come naturally to us but we must also “seek justice” and if necessary, correct any injustices we see so it takes intentionality and not just seeing the injustices. Seeking justice indicates that there might be injustices that no one knows about.
Psalm 82:3 “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”
The psalmist says that we must give justice to the weak and the orphans so we are without excuse if we see the orphans who are afflicted and don’t do anything about it. We must “give justice to the weak,” meaning that we have to do something about it.
Job 29:12 “Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him.”
Sadly, many in Job’s day apparently didn’t attend to the poor and the orphans because he says that he saw that they “had none to help” so he did. Job says he delivered the poor when they cried out in hunger since nobody else did. Those who know about the needs of the orphans in the church and do nothing about it will have to give an account for their sin of omission to God someday because Jesus sees it as if we were doing to Him (Matt 25:4).
Psalm 146:9 “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”
Aren’t we all really sojourners in this life since this is not our home? Since many in the nation of Israel, like those in the world today, didn’t uphold the widows and orphans, God did. How sad that we neglect our widows, widowers, and orphans in the church while most of us have plenty (for the most part).
John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
This last verse about caring for the orphans is one that shows God’s faithfulness. He will not only never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5) but He won’t leave us as orphans either. Just before Jesus was to go to the cross and died for sinners, they were anxious about Jesus leaving to return to the Father so Jesus reassures them that He isn’t going to ever leave them, as it were as orphans, but will come again to take them to Himself and into the kingdom of God.
We who have repented and trusted in Christ have God as our Father and His sure and certain promises are that He will come for us someday to bring us into the kingdom but in the meantime, He’s going to care for us as His own children and the last thing He’d ever do is forsake us or leave us in our time of need (Heb 13:5). Sadly, this is not so with the world that often overlooks the orphans because they’re so fixated on their own needs, pleasures, and comfort.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.