Charity profile

One of the "pictures" of God in the Bible is that of a loving Father. As a Father, He cares deeply for all of His creation, but especially for people, who have been created in His image! There are many passages which demonstrate God's care and concern for children in general, and specifically for orphans.

Care for Children

Jesus demonstrated God's love for children as He took them in His arms and blessed them (Matthew 19:13-14, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:16) and He strongly warned of God's judgment on those who cause children to stumble (Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42). But perhaps one of the most striking passages is where Jesus says "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me" (Mark 9:37, Matthew 18:3). As Christians reach out in ministry to children, it is as if they are ministering directly to Jesus; but not only Jesus, they are also ministering to God the Father!!

Care for Orphans

Caring for all children is important to God, but He is especially concerned for those children who do not have earthly parents to care for them. James writes to the early church that faith which is not supported by works is dead - and one measure of true faith is to look after orphans in their time of need. Many times in the Old Testament, God declares that He is a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5) and their Defender (Deuteronomy 10:18, 24:17, Psalm 10:14, 10:18, 146:9, Jeremiah 49:11). And did you know that God specifically commanded that orphans be included in worship and feast times (Deuteronomy 16:11-14)?

But even though God is their Father and Defender, there is strong biblical support to suggest that God does not intervene in a supernatural way to provide care for orphans; instead He uses His people as the vehicle to provide care. God commanded that when the Israelites harvested their crops, they were not to harvest all of it, but they were to leave some for orphans, widows, and foreigners (Deuteronomy 24:19-21). God commands His people to be His representatives, acting on His behalf as defenders of the helpless (Psalm 82:3). He shows the contrast between just and wicked rulers as they are evaluated by how they treat orphans (Isaiah 1:17-23). And He also has strong words for anyone who causes harm or refuses to defend them (Deuteronomy 27:19, Malachi 3:5).

When Job was defending himself to his friends, one of the reasons he was blameless before the Lord was that he had cared for orphans and had not caused them any harm (Job 29:12, 31:16-23). Most people would be able to honestly say that they had not caused harm to an orphan; but have we been faithful, as God's representatives, to provide for them? Can we say, with Job, that we have rescued the fatherless and shared our bread with them?