Friday, August 12, 2011

Doing Nothing

Cover Image

Deuteronomy 27:19  tells us that God commands us not to "distort the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow." (NASB)

"So to deprive the fatherless of justice doesn't simply mean that you deny them a proper hearing in court.  It means not welcoming them into your home, not helping them when they are cold and hungry, not listening when they cry out.  In other words, the sure way to deprive the poor of the justice due them is to do nothing!"     ---The Fields of the Fatherless, by C. Thomas Davis

And yet that is what most of us do, isn't it?  We know about the plight of orphans.  We read the statistics.  We see the faces.  We hear the stories.  And yet we somehow can go to sleep at night without giving it much thought.  We simply DO NOTHING.

It's not enough to read about it and agree.  It's not even enough to have adopted or participated in some form of orphan ministry in the past and think we're "in the clear."  This is something God Himself commands us to make sure we do not distort the justice due an orphan.

God didn't say it just once.  The Bible mentions the importance of caring for orphans many times.  Why is it that something God repeats all throughout His Scriptures is so very easily overlooked?  

If the coach of the most respected and successful team in all of history stopped one day to lean over and give his "secrets" to success, wouldn't all the coaches want to listen and take notes?  If the most successful business owner in the world were to write a book giving the exact formula for success, wouldn't that book sell millions of copies?

And here in our hands, we hold the Living Book written by the God we desire to serve.  And tucked away in the book of James, we find a gold nugget...a prized jewel.  Here, we have the God of the Universe giving His description of what HE HIMSELF defines as pure and faultless religion.  I can picture all of His followers saying, "Oh, I want to know what Your definition of pure and faultless religion is!  I want to know so that I can offer that up to you!  Is it a sacrifice of great money that You want from me?  Is it going to church twice a week?  Is it tithing 10 percent plus an offering? Is it becoming a pastor or missionary?  What oh what is it, Lord, that You define as pure and faultless religion??  Tell me Your secret, Lord!"

James 1:27 says, "Pure and faultless religion is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." (NIV)  Think about it...  The God we worship...the very one we desire to please and love and worship takes the time to give us HIS definition of "pure and faultless religion."  And what do we do?

Many times, we simply do nothing.

It's that depraved indifference.  Indifference to the lives of orphans because they aren't in our own homes.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Indifference to the God who gave us His own definition of what He accepts as pure and faultless religion.

I am beginning to pray some very bold prayers.  One of them is for God to raise up many people who will shake off that depraved indifference.  Ones who simply cannot just "do nothing."

1 comment:

  1. I am reading through this book now as I get time. The thought that struck me is that when we leave orphans over there to languish, we are leaving Jesus. We always like to imagine ourselves being the woman that anoints Jesus' feet, but how we relate to widows and orphans is how we would relate to Jesus. What we do for them, we do for Him.