His name is the Lord— rejoice in his presence! Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
James 1:27 is a New Testament passage teaching from the Old Testament passage of Psalm 68:5. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. God is our Protector and Defender; he is incorruptible, and he wants us to be like him.
There is no worse situation for anyone than to find themselves fatherless or widowed. To have no protection or to be utterly defenseless promotes hopeless and is really dangerous and frightening. And God wants the people who can’t take care of themselves to be taken care of. Literally.
This also illustrates so perfectly what God has done for everyone spiritually. There is nothing we can do to make up for our sinful nature. Trying harder usually means failing faster. BUT! When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:6-8)
All people are utterly helpless to save themselves from the punishment we deserve for the things we do and say. Thankfully, helping the utterly helpless is completely and totally exactly who God is!
Pure religion in sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you... Protecting and defending people who are helpless is the work God wants us to do. And refusing to let the world corrupt you is who God wants me to be.
This is God, whose dwelling is holy... God’s dwelling is holy - a clean, unpolluted, uncorrupted place. Where I situate myself, what I surround myself with, what I think about, and who I spend time with influences my dwelling place.
And I choose to dwell with him - my Protector and my Defender.
I am so thankful that your heart is fond of the helpless. You are my Father, Protector, and Defender. You have literally given me no worries. Help me to keep my heart and my entire self holy by refusing to be corrupted and influenced by the way the world thinks. I pray for you to be my sole source of influence today. I love you and thank you and pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.