HUSBAND TO THE WIDOW, FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS
God understands that families that grow up fatherless are at a disadvantage in many ways, such as financially, emotionally, and even spiritually. That is why He has always made promises throughout the Bible to protect and safeguard widows and the fatherless. God is Husband to the single mother and Father to the orphan.
The fatherless, widow, and alien were the deprived members of any local community, but they were the objects of God’s special love and care. He was father to the orphan, husband to the widow, and friend to the homeless. If the Lord cared about such weak people, nobody in Israel must allow them to be forgotten.
God the Father
The Book of Exodus contains the following passage:
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. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.
This sentiment is echoed in the book of Deuteronomy, which contains an admonition against taking advantage of a widow or an orphan, reminding the Israelites that they were themselves slaves in Egypt and redeemed by God the Father.
In the Book of Psalms, the Lord asks us to defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed, rescue the weak and needy, and deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
The Bible clearly names God as Father. But God Himself and His Son Jesus are not ashamed to also use maternal metaphors for His care for His people.
The principle of God’s care for all single parents. This role includes dads and their children, who run through these promises.
In one sense—carefully defined, of course—the single dad has biblical warrant to see God as his wife and his children’s mother.
As we can see in the verse from Exodus, God had special care for widows and orphans. God considered it a crime to oppress them. The punishment for those who would harm this special group is reserved for God, making it more intimidating. This is one instance that reveals the Mosaic law’s extensive, comprehensive, and spiritual character. God did not restrict His people to fixed and literal obedience. Much was left to their common sense and humanity.
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