Psalm 146 is one of the most powerful songs of the Old Law. It is referred to as The LORD an Abundant Helper. “How blessed is he whose help is the God Jacob (vs. 5),Who executes justice for the oppressed(vs.7) The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow;But he thwarts the way of the wicked. (vs.9)”
It has always been clear to me that the responsibility of caring for the neglected has rested on the churches. Because the Nations have been under the Law of God, they should share in the burden for those who can not be helped by a church. Because the churches and the synagogues are unable to take on the burden of those who are not afflicted with a faith. But it also takes a commitment by the people to be honest with their tithe and their offerings. There are many organizations that are not Church Affiliated that are doing wonderful work but it still falls upon the Children to set aside a portion to care for the needs of the community. Because of the many that do not know the Lord and who unreachable to the Word, the government should reach out to them.
The message that is being placed here is that the churches need to step up and take charge of the caring for the widow, orphans and the homeless sojourners that fill our towns and cities. When God told the people Judea and Israel through Isaiah to Repent, He said (Isaiah 1:17) “Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless; Defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” He continues with (vs.18) ” Come now, and let us reason together.” He then proceeds to tell them of the transgressions against God and he ends with: (Isaiah 1:23) “…They do not bring justice to the fatherless ant the widow’s cause does not come to them.”
As did Israel, we ignore the cause of the widows and do not serve justice to the orphans, but we bring satisfaction to the “princes” of commerce and with false “righteousness”, seek to justify their sins with our own misgiving. We support cruel regimes, deal with countries that use forced child labor and we visit nations that employ children as prostitutes. As Isaiah says (Isaiah 10:2) “They turn aside the needy from justice, and rob the poor of my people of their right, the widows may be their spoil and that they may make the fatherless their prey.” This is what we allow to happen when we stand by and let churches build mega buildings and drive fancy cars and still do not care for the homeless and the defenceless within their communities. This is what happens when we do not challenge our government when they support evil regimes and even add them in their abuses.
I am not saying that all large churches or denominations are like this, but there are enough of them to make it an issue. But I see that companies are enriching themselves by the extortion of the weak and that they continue to use immigrants, children and single mothers to supply their workforce and fail to compensate them with adequate wages.
God told the prophet, Jeremiah, For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, ….then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.” And as you know, they did not obey and repent. So they lost their land and they were taken into captivity.
This is what we are allowing to happen when we stand by and let churches and the governments get rich while ignoring the needs of the very people we are commanded by God to protect. This is what is happening when we allow our leaders to impose laws that deny the needs of the fatherless orphans and the widows and those who have no home to go to. And if have governments and church leaders that do not make provisions to aid and protect the weakest of our societies, we are enablers of dysfunction. Because God put so much regard on the caring for the weakest, most vulnerable, of our society, He would take the nation away from the people if they did not repent and return to the Law.
Ezekiel speaks of the injustice that was rampant among the Chosen People of God (Ezekiel 22:1-12) and he includes the fatherless, widow, sojourners, and the elderly even before he lists the sexual sins or bribes and extortion. God regards the injustice to the homeless and the fatherless and the widows as major. God considers the injustice to immigrants, orphans and widow with the same contempt as idolatry and incest.
Malachi says that God will give swift justice against those who are oppressive. While I have heard pastors quote Malachi 3:8 many times in regard to tithing, I have no recollection of them ever quoting the verses that proceed it. The verses that say how the tithe is to be used. Malachi 3:3-5) “He will sit and judge like a refiner of silver, watching closely as the dross is burned away. He will purify the Levites (Pastors and priests), refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifice to the LORD. Then the LORD once more will accept the offerings brought befor him by the people of Judea and Jerusalem, as he did in former times. At that time I will put you on trial. I will be a ready witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, who deprive the foreigners living amongst you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.”
This is how we rob God of His tithe. We need to not only be generous in our offerings and giving to the church, we must be assured that the offerings are being use for more than just running a building or paying wages to a pastor-ship. It is to be used for the uplifting and support of the helpless.
I have only one New Testament passage that I want to impart with you. It comes from the Letter of James 1:27, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” In these few and simple words, we can be assured that Jesus calls upon us to care for the needy and to protect the defenceless. I call upon the Church that is Christ, to go forth and do as the command of God tells us to. Return to the Spirit of the Law and be blessed by the Spirit of God.