Rick Warren’s DAILY HOPE: God’s Heart for the Orphan is His Heart for You

DAILY HOPE this week features an article I had a chance to write exploring how God’s passion for the orphan also tells us worlds about His love for each of us.  Here’s the start of it:

God’s Heart for the Orphan is His Heart for You

The gods that the ancient world worshiped were concerned with great people — the mighty and cunning, the swift and the gorgeous. The rest of humanity served as a backdrop — bit players, foils, inconsequential fodder for the grand plans of kings, generals, and deities.

Not so with the God of the Bible.

We see God’s strange interest in the people on the margins carved upon every page of Scripture. It was evident in Yahweh’s selection of a nation of slaves to be his special people. It echoed in his choice of sheep-tenders to be the first to hear news of the Incarnation.

But perhaps nowhere do we see this curious reality more clearly than in God’s passion for the orphan.

We may miss how odd it actually is because we live in a culture that is deeply shaped by Christian assumptions. Though it is often violated, to care for the weak and vulnerable remains a Western virtue. This generally wasn’t the case in the cultures that surrounded Jewish and early Christian communities. Like modern Social Darwinists, ancient societies typically saw weakness as unworthiness to live. As the Roman philosopher Seneca described Roman culture during Jesus’ time, “We drown children who at birth are weakly and abnormal.”

Consider then the marvel of a God who not only tolerates the feeble and lowly, but places special premium on defending and caring for them…