Where Do You Stand?

Harold Shank
National Spokesperson for CCFSA

According to the book of Isaiah, there are four positions one can take with regard to children who do not have fathers.  
First, some intentionally oppress orphans. In meetings they make laws that hurt fatherless children or they write documents that urge others to take advantage of them. The Samaritans so oppressed the orphans in their community (Isaiah 10:1-2).
Second, some intentionally defend the fatherless. Isaiah wrote his first chapter to the religious people of Jerusalem. In order for their worship to be acceptable to God, defending orphans was a priority (Isaiah 1:16-17).
Third, some intentionally despise orphans because of what their fathers did. Perhaps there is no more severe curse in the Old Testament than the promise to ignore the children of those who are about to die. Few take this role in Scripture. One who does is God. He tells the Samaritans that they have crossed the line and that he will have no compassion on their orphaned children (Isaiah 9:17).
Fourth, some do nothing with regard to the fatherless. They do not take any of the other three positions.  They don’t hurt orphans or defend them or turn away from them. They just do nothing (Isaiah 1:23).
Isaiah chapters 1-5 reflect on the people who take this stance. They do not appear to intend to hurt orphans, but are just preoccupied with other things. They are busy shopping (3:18-23), building houses in the suburbs (5:8), and attending parties (5:11-12), not evil activities in themselves, only wrong when it made them forget what they should be doing.
One might push this analysis to the side as not applicable to us, but note one more child in Isaiah: “For unto us a child is born” (9:6). His name is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6). His mission is “justice” (9:7). Isaiah leaves absolutely no doubt about how justice is practically defined: “seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (1:17).
Where do you stand?


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