Portion for Orphans

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Bible Verses Concerning Orphans
and Fatherless Children


Lamentations 5:3 (Babylonian Survivors under Egyptians and Assyrians) “Remember, O LORD, what has come upon us; Look and behold our reproach! Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens, and our houses to foreigners. We have become orphans and waifs, Our mothers are like widows.”

John 14:18 (Jesus telling His disciples that He would not leave them Fatherless, but that He would come for them) “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.”

James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit (oversee as a bishop) orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” In ancient societies, orphans and widows were the most unprotected and needy classes (Ezekiel 22:7) and they remain that way today in so many underdeveloped countries where governments do not provide for and oversee them properly.

Fatherless Children

Acts 6:1-7 The Hellenists, foreign Jews, complained against the Hebrews, Palestinian Jews, “… because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.” A neglected widow means neglected children without a husband/father to depend on. Jewish women, as many women in developing countries today, received no inheritance and were therefore totally dependent upon their husbands.

Exodus 22:22 The Lord’s revelation at Mount Sinai. “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” One’s family becoming desolate is a form of punishment for sin. Mercy will be shown to the merciful, and vice versa.

Deuteronomy 10:18 Moses’ challenge to the nation of Israel to remember their God upon their entrance to the promise land. “The LORD your God…administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” In our abundance, we should remember those less fortunate and the hard times that we’ve been delivered from, caring for those who’ve not yet been delivered, lest we one day return and cry out to them.

Deuteronomy 24:17-21 Moses to those who’d been delivered from Egypt, challenging them to defend and deliver those in need as God had done for them. “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow’s garment as a pledge. But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there, therefore I command you to do this thing. When you reap your harvest in the field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back and get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless and the widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless and the widow.”
‘ Just as God showed compassion on the Israelites when they were oppressed, they were to show compassion on those who were now disadvantaged. It is in one’s best interest to have a concern for the interest of others.’ (Nelson)

Thus, we call this organization ‘Portion for Orphans,’ calling all to set aside a portion for those who are in need.

Job 31:21 Job pleading with God to listen to him as he himself had been fair with those in need.
“ If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or caused the eyes of a widow to fail, Or eaten my morsel by myself, So that the fatherless could not eat of it (but from my youth I reared him as a father, And from my mother’s womb I guided the widow); If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or any poor man without covering; If his heart has not blessed me, And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have raised my hand against the fatherless, when I saw I had help in the gate; Then let my arm fall from my shoulder, Let my arm be torn from the socket (? loss of income, respect and even life itself - Nelson). For destruction from God is a terror to me, And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.” Job claims to have honored God and satisfied the desire of the poor. Now he himself is crying out to God because he has become poor. He’s asking God to listen and respond to his needs as he has always done to those who cried out to him. “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning… so Job died old and full of days.” Job 42:12,17. Not as a rule, but as a norm, the fear of the LORD leads to an abundant and long life. (Nelson)

Psalm 10:14 A Psalm of confidence in God’s triumph over evil. “But you have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, to repay it by your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”

Psalm 10:17-18 “LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of earth may oppress no more.”

Psalm 68:5 “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in dry land.” He is concerned for those in need. Let us set our minds on Him and try to be more like him so that we can be used of Him to meet needs we can’t even see.

Psalm 109:9 A Psalm of David calling to God to bring judgement on the wicked. Tho harsh, the psalmist is requesting to see the wicked punished while the name of God and the innocent are defended.
“ Let his days be few, And let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow, Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg; Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places... Nor let their be any to favor his fatherless children… Because he did not remember to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, That he might even slay the broken in heart.”
Some of the suggested forms of punishment are those which were brought upon Judas in Acts 1:20 after his betrayal. As unjust as it may seem, there is truth in the statement that a father’s sins bring negative consequences to his wife and children, even to the extent of leaving them as widows and orphans. This seems a just punishment for the sinner, but for the child left alone…my mind cannot comprehend. We must seek to understand, remembering all that we’ve already learned of God’s character, and knowing that He cannot contradict Himself. In the meantime, how should one respond to the orphaned child when he/she asks… “How can God make orphans?”

Psalm 146:5-9 The happiness of those who trust in and find their help and hope in God above all else.
“Happy is he… whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth… Who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry... The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.”

Proverbs 23:10 A saying of the wise, Biblical instruction, most likely written by King Solomon due to “the tendency of evil people in all ages to take advantage of the helpless. But the destroyer of persons need to know that the widow and orphan have a Redeemer, a protector of family rights—His name is the Living God.” (Nelson)
“ Do not remove the ancient landmark, Nor enter the fields of the fatherless; For their Redeemer is mighty; He will plead their cause against you.” Warning the evil not to take advantage of the needy.

Isaiah 1:23 The words of the prophet Isaiah to Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel. This served also as a warning to Israel, the northern kingdom, who were following closely behind the sins of Judah. “Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.” Isaiah speaks of the punishment that God will bring upon them and of how they will be embarrassed due to the paths they’ve chosen.
Nelson states, “When people turn from trusting the fair and loving God, they will start oppressing the poor and helpless.”

Isaiah 10:1-2 “Woe to those who… have prescriibed To rob the needy of justice, And to take what is right from the poor of My people, That widows may be their prey, And that they may rob the fatherless.” Nelson, ‘The needy are regularly seen in scripture as those to whom the righteous should show true piety. When godly people reach out to help those who cannot help themselves, they display pure, biblical religion. Conversely, the mark of the ungodly can be seen in their oppressive actions against people who cannot help themselves. They set themselves up for the sure judgement of God.

Ezekeil 22:7 (The Lord God through the Prophet Ezekiel, concerning the sins of Jerusalem’s leaders) “…in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow, …therefore I beat my fists at the dishonest profit you have made,... I will scatter you… and remove your filthiness...”

Hosea 14:3 “…For in You the fatherless finds mercy.” This is the last line of a prayer that the prophet Hosea modeled for Israel, the northern kingdom, calling them to repentance. The verses following the one above, describe the blessings and restoration that God anticipated bringing upon repentant Israel.

Zechariah 7:10 “Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’ But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear… Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts… I scattered them… the land became desolate.”