The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The psalmist sets side-by-side two aspects of God’s character that balance one another: on the one hand, His care for the stranger, the fatherless and the widow; and on the other hand, the severity of His dealings with the wicked. As Christians, we are not normally required to be instruments of God’s judgement on the wicked, but we are required to express His compassion toward the needy—particularly the widow and the orphan. We are prone to talk about religion in general terms, without realising that the Bible offers us a very speciﬁc deﬁnition of what God accepts as genuine religion. Often God’s use of the term is quite different from ours. Much that we regard as religious God does not accept as such.
God’s deﬁnition is found in James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” There are two parts to this deﬁnition: on the positive side, practical care for widows and orphans; on the negative side, keeping ourselves from the world’s pollutions.
It is characteristic of “religious” people—as we think of them—that they are very strong in their stand against “worldliness,” but that they often do little or nothing to help widows and orphans. In today’s world one thing is sure: If we are truly concerned to care for widows and orphans, there is no lack of opportunity. In country after country, their needs cry out to us. If we fail to respond, it is through lack of will, not opportunity.
I accept my God-given responsibility toward the needy, especially widows and orphans.
This devotional is taken from