God has always had a soft spot for the widow and the orphan. In Psalms, it says that He cares for and sustains them, In Isaiah the Israelites are commanded to defend the orphan and widow and in James it says that PURE and FAULTLESS religion is to take care of them. That verse in James is always one that sticks out to me.
Pure and undefiled religion before the God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their tribulation; to keep oneself unstained from the world.
“Religion” has become something of a taboo word in today’s society, but I think there is something of merit to look into when it is described as pure and faultless. I had always believed that this verse was a “you have got to do something” verse. Be charitable, help out the elderly, etcetera. Recently, God spoke to me something bigger.
His family is missing a lot of its members. In the Bible, the orphan is often called the fatherless. The biblical society placed a lot of weight on having a father. So if an orphan is someone who has lost their father, it seems fitting that God would consider those who do not know the Father an orphan. In Ephesians, it says that God predestined us to be sons. I don’t think He was just talking about “Christians”. God created each and every person to be a part of His family. He wants to adopt us. Take us home, raise us as heirs of the kingdom so that we can share in is dominion.
But it doesn’t end there. A widow is someone who has lost their husband. The Bible teaches that there is a wedding in planning. Jesus is waiting for his bride to be ready and the church is that bride. God doesn’t just want to adopt us, He wants to marry us. He wants to be united with us in a way that says I am in you and you are in Me. Where I go, you go - because we are knit together.
All this to say, the reason it is pure religion to take care of widows and orphans is because you’re bringing the family home. It is motivated not selfishly or out of pride, but out of the love of the Father for his child and of the Husband for his bride, hatever that may look like. At one time or another, the widow and orphan were all of us. It was only a few years ago I thought myself unworthy of being a son, unworthy of being united in marriage to someone so perfect. I had accepted Jesus so many years before, but I fell into a very law-ased and servant-style life. I was orphaned and widowed. I lost my Father and husband. It was the nurturing at Generation ONE that brought me home. Family, that loved me as I was, reminded me of who I am, showed me what the Father was like and that I was a part of the bride Jesus was coming for.
The Father wants His children back, and Jesus wants the whole bride. That’s only possible when we stop seeing people as legalists, sinners, Pharisees, hypocrites, fake, worthless, terrorists, back-sliders, etcetera and start viewing them as God does: Part of the family that He longs to bring back together.