Today in the chronological Bible reading plan, we are in Deuteronomy 14-16, and there is a ton that could be said. Therer are a couple of things that jump out to me in particular about God's heart for the orphan. In His instruction about the tithe that is to be given every third year, He is careful to instruct the people not to forget the orphan, the widow, and the sojourner. In fact, in the Old Testament, those three groups are most often linked together like a triad. What makes them similar? They have no rights and they have no voice! In telling His people not to forget those three groups, God is telling us something pretty important about himself. He is a defender of the defenseless and a voice for the voiceless. He wants us to emulate Him in that as a way to bring glory to him among the nations. Why do we defend the defenseless? To show who our God is so that people will praise Him! Period!
Later in this passage, instructions are given for the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths. Again the reminder is made not to exclude the orphan, the widow, or the soujourner. Why? In general, the reason is the same as above, but maybe there is something more. In the Feast of Weeks, the people are remembering that they once were slaves in Egypt but now they are free. Could it bee that God is providing us with a beautiful picture? By having the people include the marginalized and voiceless, is He signalling to us that freedom (salvation) is open to everyone? In the Feast of Booths, the people moved out of their homes and lived in tents to remember the temporary homes they lived in while they wandered in the wilderness. It is also a beautiful picture of Jesus leaving his home in heaven and taking up a fragile human home to live among his creation for a time to bring about our redemption through his sacrifice. It is not insignificant that the orphans, widows and soujorners were included in this feast either.
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born gunder the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)
I wonder what God is trying to say about Himself to the nations today through my obedience and yours?