Our Great Champion
A father of the fatherless and a champion of widows is God in His holy dwelling. God provides homes for those who are deserted. He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a scorched land.
When loss occurs, we have two options: we can choose to turn to God or away from Him. The pain can be so great that we feel His hand is against us or that He is punishing us for some reason. We may suffer guilt along with the pain and feel we somehow deserve what is happening to us. We may become angry, thinking our situation is unfair and that we don’t deserve such suffering. All of these are common reactions to grief, and they leave us with a choice to cry out to God and trust Him or to rebel against Him and try to handle things through our own coping mechanisms. The choice we make at this time is critical because each option has a very different outcome.
I can honestly vouch that God has been faithful to me regarding the first sentence of this passage. My household is one of the fatherless and the widow, and God has shown Himself to be strong as a Father to my son and as my champion or defender. In fact, if the Bible had illustrations, I honestly believe our picture should go right there! I have claimed this verse regularly since my husband died, and I still stand on it today.
God also provides homes for those who are deserted. Other translations state this promise as “sets the solitary in families,” “gives the lonely a home,” and “makes homes for the homeless.” He sets them in the context of community or family so they will have a place to belong. He connects them some place where they are a vital and functioning part of a loving and caring family of people. His will is never to leave those who have suffered loss in an isolated condition; He purposely reconnects them.
The term, prisoners, here indicates someone who is bound. We can become bound by our own sin, but God sets us free through forgiveness. He breaks the chains the enemy places upon us and leads us to a place where we can prosper by the riches of His grace toward us. This requires turning to Him, rather than to addictive behaviors, and allowing Him to set us free from such things.
The rebellious, however, suffer a different fate. They live in a dry, barren, sun-scorched land with no relief. They continue to be bound by their sins, and their coping mechanisms of choice bring them no real comfort. Turning from God is never a solution to suffering because it only increases the pain. Real hope is found by turning to Him and finding grace sufficient to meet every need.
These verses describe who God truly is. He dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. We are His temple, and it is His will to provide for the needs of the suffering and care for those who have encountered loss. His nature is to be good to us, but we receive His grace by turning to Him.
God allows us to go through times of suffering when He wants to bring a change to our lives. Lifestyle adjustments are necessary for His purpose, and we might want to rebel against them. Whatever God has planned for us is good, and we can trust it. We really can’t fight His hand in the matter anyway. We simply need to trust and allow Him to make the changes in us He feels are necessary. I’ll take a defender, a family, and prosperity over a dry, sun-scorched land any day! I choose grace today, and I hope you will, too.
Have a blessed day!