What Does the Bible Say About Orphans?

To help you connect with God’s heart for the vulnerable and the orphaned, we have compiled this list of Bible verses and prayer points that speak to how God asks us to defend, care for and act on behalf of orphans.

God Is the Father of the Fatherless

God has a special place in His heart for the orphan. In fact, the Bible says He is a father to them. All people understand what a good father should be, even if their own father wasn’t ideal. God presents Himself as a Father—someone who loves, cherishes, protects and values His children.

  • A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. — Psalm 68:5
  • You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror. — Psalm 10:17–18
  • The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. — Psalm 146:9
  • But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. — Psalm 10:14

Sadly, children without a supportive and loving father have difficulty understanding the boundless love and care their Heavenly Father holds for His children. How are you taking responsibility for these fatherless children? How can you show a child the fierce love their Heavenly Father has for them?

God takes special notice of the fatherless. He doesn’t overlook their cries. He hears orphans and defends them. Reach out to communities of the fatherless and show them the way to relationship with their true Father.

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little boy smiling and flexing his biceps
two girls sitting in the grass thoughtfully looking into the distance
God Commands Us to Defend the Orphan

In Biblical times and throughout history, government officials and ruling classes oppressed the poor with unjust laws and abusive policies. These oppressors withheld justice from widows and orphans. And it still happens today.

But we are explicitly told not to take advantage of the widow and the fatherless. In fact, we are told that we will give account for lording our power over others.

  • Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? — Isaiah 10:1–3
  • Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. — Exodus 22:22–23
  • He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. — Deuteronomy 10:18
  • Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. — Exodus 22:22
  • Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless. — Proverbs 23:10

In the Bible, God places special concern on those who are vulnerable or marginalized. He knows these segments of society are often at risk of exploitation. He calls us to look on the heart of others and to defend the oppressed, the weak, and the fatherless.

  • Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. — Isaiah 1:17
  • Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. — Psalm 82:3
  • Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. — James 1:27

When we invite Christ into our lives, we are called to become more like Him. Therefore, the burden Jesus holds for His children becomes our burden, too. Are you actionably obeying the Lord in His command to love and selflessly care for His people? Find an opportunity to actionably care for the vulnerable and marginalized.

young girl looking off into the distance
little girl looking from a doorway
young man in a church looking thoughfully into the distance
God Calls Us to Act on Behalf of the Fatherless

A Christian’s relationship with God should result in tangible care and compassion for others. The verses above describe an active faith—a faith that looks after orphans and widows.

  • What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. — James 2:14–18
  • Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. The LORD reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD. — Psalm 146:5–10

God is faithful! He promises to sustain the fatherless. Often, He uses us to do that. He calls us to love those who suffer and to shield people from abuse.

Our holistic child development programs are instrumental in keeping orphaned children off the streets and giving them the necessary resources for life. They can access nutritious food, clean water, medical care, education, and training in life skills.

Will you join us in serving the most vulnerable? You can do so by sponsoring an orphan today. Your sponsored child with gain hope as he or she experiences the Lord’s love and protection through your faith and action.

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