I have written a little booklet entitled Orphans, Widows, the Poor and Oppressed. This booklet astonishes me. As I wrote yesterday, even after I had been preaching for well over fifty years, and when I had the impression that I would be preaching for the rest of my life, God gave me a new kind of compassion I never expected to receive. My rendering of Psalm 84:6 is, “When you pass through the Valley of Baca [weeping], God will open a fountain.”
I have passed through the valley of weeping, and God has opened that fountain for me. It is something sovereign that only God could do. It is compassion. I have become deeply concerned—almost passionately—about the people our society neglects and treads underfoot: the orphans, the widows, the poor, and the oppressed. I am amazed by how much the Bible has to say about our responsibility to care for them. From cover to cover of the Bible, it is a major theme of God’s righteousness—whether it is in the Patriarchs, under the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, or in the New Testament.
Generally speaking, we, as Christians, have completely missed a vital area of our faith and our profession, which is to care for those whom no one else cares for.