Why GOD emphasises protection of Widows and Orphans
In His word, GOD emphasises protection of widows and orphans. Why?
Because they have lost their covering and they are more vulnerable in society as a result.
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)
The concept of covering goes back centuries. Covering is that protection from harm that comes to children through their parents, particularly their fathers. Western society has lost this sense of covering and we witness much damage. Women without their father’s covering so often languish in bad relationships or promiscuity, because they have freedom without the wisdom that comes from a father’s care. Statistics reflect that boys without fathers have a significantly higher risk of engaging in criminal activity and generally score more poorly at school than those with fathers.
Virgins have their father’s covering. Children and wives have the father/husband. But only GOD covers those lacking husbands and fathers. And throughout his letters, Paul in particular draws attention to this.
“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is GOD in His holy habitation.” (Psalm 68:5)
The loss of a father is profound. GOD knows this and offers provision today through His Church. It is also ingrained in Jewish culture, which goes back to Biblical times.
Recently, I was reading Psalm 35. I tend to dwell inside the Psalms each morning to start my day. Psalm 35 is packed with protection and defence, asking GOD’s help and protection from those whom we have loved but who have turned against us:
“Fierce witnesses rise up; They ask me things that I do not know.
They reward me evil for good, to the sorrow of my soul.
But as for me, when they were sick,
My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting;
And my prayer would return to my own heart.
I paced about as though he were my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.” (Psalm 35:11-14)
I realise that before I was widowed, with those who didn’t accept me, my husband covered me. Now, I must allow GOD to guide, protect and cover me against those who may wish to contend with me.
“Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me;
Fight against those who fight against me…. And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long.” (Psalm 35:1, 28)
I’m choosing my battles more carefully than ever. Some battles arise that are not worth the effort, whilst others are essential to GOD’s witness.
Sadly, we will always encounter challenging circumstances and those who do not accept us. Nevertheless, GOD gives us the ability to be full of His grace toward all, without becoming victims. Prayer and the LORD cover us, though we may be fatherless or spouseless; we are never powerless, never without protection.
Offer help and comfort
“They also opened their mouth wide against me, and said, “Aha, aha!
Our eyes have seen it.”
This You have seen, O LORD; do not keep silence.
O Lord, do not be far from me.
Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication,
To my cause, my GOD and my Lord.” (Psalm 35:21-23)
As we read scripture, we see others have come before us who have suffered unrighteous treatment and condemnation. We are not defenceless and have the LORD at our side. As we draw attention to GOD’s Word we find He has given us the words and thoughts to pray which will cover and deliver us.
“Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion who rejoiced at my hurt; Let them be clothed with shame and dishonour…” (Psalm 35:26)
However, “Let the should for joy and be glad, who saviour my righteous cause” (Psalm 27a)
We pray for protection from enemy attack and for confusion over those forces which would seek our destruction. We celebrate those who give us support and praise GOD for them in our lives.
“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation.
All my bones shall say, “LORD, who is like you, delivering the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?” (Psalm 35:9-10)
The LORD offers us divine protection, covering, and delivers us from evil. Challenge and attack may come, to strengthen our faith and relationship with GOD. But in facing the challenges and trusting in the LORD, we grow stronger.
We can “trust in the shelter of Your wings” (Psalm 61:4) but for those times when we must persevere in a spiritual battle, He covers us and gives us the strength needed, whether we are fatherless, widowed, or simply walking our faith journey on our own.
“….Blessed are all those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30:18)