"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 KJV)
"Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."
(Isaiah 1:17 KJV)
We should know that the word used in these verses "fatherless" can also be "orphan" and originally had the meaning of "bereaved" or "lonely." You can find it 41 times in the Old Testament so that gives you an idea of how important Our Awesome God found their situation.
God is Awesome and is concerned because, in the Old Testament, caring for the young and elderly was the sole responsibility of the family. The widow couldn't own property and the orphan couldn't inherit property or learn a skill through apprenticeship unless he was adopted. It was so important to God that He warned Israel about these defenseless people in Deuteronomy 24:17-22. It remained a problem, however, and society continued to ignore this destitute segment of the population.
The problem still persisted into the New Testament times. We see in James 1:27 that, "pure and undefiled" religion, Our Awesome God considers it necessary for people to visit the "fatherless and widows in their affliction, "while remaining "unspotted from the world." (James 1:27) We need to remember that, if God thought the widows and orphans were important in the Old Testament, He still thought they were important in the New Testament and provided for the Church to care for them.
In many parts of the world today, care for the widows and orphans comes from the Church, if it is there at all. But in our western culture, governments have increasingly assumed material support for the destitute. However, material entitlements doled out by an uncaring bureaucracy is a poor substitute for family and loving them. Our God is Awesome. He wants us to visit the "fatherless" and "widows" showing them that we care and helping them when we can. They can have many difficulties with few options to deliver them from disaster without help. We should not only read and hear the Word but be doers of the Word, as the Book of James upholds.
Join us at LWBC every Sunday at 9:30 AM, we have small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM, we meet in the sanctuary for Worship Service. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study and AWANA for children until 7:30 PM. Our programs include a Wednesday Prayer Meeting and Bible Study but our programs are varied as we teach and preach from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible. We love visitors and practice the "love one another" commandment to all.
Flo & Bill