God values all people made in His image. Genesis 1:26-27 says “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Since human beings were created in the image of God, every person possesses dignity, value and worth. This fact should affect how we view people. The fall of mankind caused sin, rebellion, sickness and death. However, none of this changed our WORTH. Since we bear the image of God, Christians should always show compassion.
James 3:8-10 says we shouldn’t curse those made after God’s likeness: “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
Acts 10:34 shows that God is not prejudice, so we should not be either: “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, ‘Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.’”
Zechariah 7:9-10 identifies at least three classes of people who often get ignored: widows, fatherless (orphan) and strangers (homeless): “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.”
Psalm 146:9 assures us that God cares for these people: “The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.”
Many churches care for widows, often through deacons’ ministries. But why don’t we have ministries of mercy for those who are down and out, girls who are trafficked and the 147+ million orphans worldwide? Each person is precious in the sight of God; however, it seems that too often God’s people could care less.
In the middle of Isaiah 1:16-18, these three groups of people are mentioned again. The context of this passage indicates that it’s sinful NOT to care for them: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
In Deuteronomy 24:17-22 God makes it very clear that His people should help meet the PHYSICAL needs of widows, orphans and the homeless – not only the SPIRITUAL needs. To simply tell a needy person, “Be warmed and filled” and then let them go hungry is sinful. We should help meet dire physical needs, which in turn will open opportunities to introduce them to the One who can meet their spiritual needs.
The passage in Deuteronomy was written to the people of Israel. In Verse 22 God says that since they were once under bondage in Egypt they should be willing to now help the less fortunate. Think of the spiritual parallels: We were sojourners until Christ found us. We were widows until we became the bride of Christ. We were orphaned until God the Father adopted us. Shouldn’t this cause us to care out of gratitude?
Throughout history there have been times when children were devalued. Think of the time in history when Moses was born and Pharoah made a decree to kill all of the Jewish baby boys that were born. Then during the time that Jesus was born, King Herod made a similar decree.
In Roman times unwanted children were thrown in trash heaps where people would take them for prostitutes, slaves and gladiators. However, early Christians were known for caring for abandoned children, which was very counter-cultural.
In the midst of this cruel Roman culture, Jesus set the record straight about how God values children:
In Matthew 18:5-6 Jesus warned about offending children: “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Matthew 19:13-15 demonstrates that our Savior loves, stands up for and has compassion for children: “Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.”
In our American culture, it’s easy to ignore their needs because we often don’t hear from them or we make the excuse that governmental programs should take care of these children. However, we are still COMMANDED these things:
Psalm 82:3-4, “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”
Proverbs 31:9, “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
James 1:27-2:1, “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. My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, with respect of persons.”
This passage in James says that one test of pure religion is how well we extend aid to the helpless in our world. The word “visit” isn’t a casual thing, but carries the meaning of getting involved. This is what Jesus did when he “visited” us on Earth.
Dear Christian brother or sister, will you get involved in helping the orphans of Haiti? No Place Like Home is a Christ-centered orphanage that takes a godly approach to helping meet the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of precious children in Haiti.
Much of the content on this page was adapted from the book Orphanology, co-written by Tony Mirida and Rick Morton. This is an excellent book for gaining a biblical view of orphan care.