“17 Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.” -Deuteronomy 24:17-18
Immigrants, fatherless, and widows are three key groups of people God specified his people were to care for in their culture. All three were often in need; God expected his people to meet these needs.
Immigrants, also called “the foreigner,” were non-Jews who lived among the Israelites. They were to be treated with dignity and respect. God even uses Israel’s past status as immigrant slaves as the reason for proper treatment of immigrants among them.
The fatherless were those children without a father. This definition was obvious, as were the needs. Families typically require a father for both financial and spiritual leadership. Families lacking fathers often need extra help in these areas. God commanded his people step up to the challenge.
Widows were single women who had lost their spouse or moms without a father in the home. Vulnerable financially and sometimes physically, these women were to be cared for by the community.Looking at these three groups, we see the same needs and opportunities to help today. In American society, immigrants make up a large portion of many communities and often mistreated. Christians are to do all they can to help show care and compassion to them.
Fatherless and widows still have many of the same needs in our time. Especially due to rampant divorce in our society, many single parent families exist with which the larger church community can help in caring for.
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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.