We see Paul's view of the world manifest in many ways. We see it in a world that cares more for baby seals than it does for babies. We see it in a world that discards and dismisses the elderly when it ought to reverence them. And, we see it in a world where 147 million orphans grow up without a loving and secure family.
Biological siblings Cassandra (7), Speedy (5-1/2), and Jaynie (8) at their orphanage in Russia in September 2001 just before we brought them home to AmericaIt seems these things ought not to be. But at the heart of all these issues lies the truth that our ways don’t match God’s ways. Our thoughts don’t follow God’s thoughts. Our hearts don’t reflect God’s heart.
So, as we try to make sense of the tragic events that culminated in a woman placing her adopted son all alone on an airplane to send him back to Russia… as we consider recent statements by Christian leaders that seemed to discourage adoption… as we read or hear secular humanist answers to the tough challenges faced by adoptive families… as even Bible-believing Christians give in to fear and doubt about whether or not to take on the challenge of adoption… we must look to His word and His ways for direction, courage and the grace to obey.
If we are to appear as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, we must hold fast the word of life. We must understand God’s heart and seek by grace to follow His ways.
Adoption is hard. But that shouldn't surprise us. After all, just take a moment to reflect on what you know of God's word. Does God call His people to do easy things? No! He calls them to do kingdom work... and that is not for the faint of heart.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing what I have seen in God's word about His heart for orphans. My hope is that these brief glimpses of His word will encourage those who need encouragement, convict those who need conviction, and point everyone back to the only source of truth about adoption – God’s Word.
Throughout Scripture God reveals that He has a special heart for the alien (or stranger), the widow and the orphan. We should not lose sight of any of these special classes of what He calls the vulnerable - they are all important to Him. However, for the purposes of addressing some of the un-Biblical thinking we read and hear about adoption, these writings will focus on showing God's heart for orphans.
One of the first things we learn from His word is that God views orphans as very important. He has deep feelings of compassion and concern for them, and He promises to be their father, care-taker and protector. A brief sampling of this shows up in the book of Psalms:
- “A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely;” Ps 68:5-6a
- “The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked.” Ps 146:9
His depth of passion for protecting orphans and the vulnerable is unmistakable. One of the first specific references to orphans makes this abundantly clear to the nation of Israel:
- “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.” Ex 22:22-24
Given that God views orphans as very important and worthy of His special care... even to the point of making a dire threat to those who would mistreat them... what else can His children do but conclude the same?
In part 2 we'll explore what this means about God's expectations of His children regarding the orphans and the vulnerable.~Mr. Beaver