Aiding the Vulnerable (Jeremiah 5:28) - Radical

Aiding the Vulnerable (Jeremiah 5:28)

They know no bounds in deeds of evil. They judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
– Jeremiah 5:28

This verse is one of many in Jeremiah 5, where God is indicting his people for ultimately their idolatry, their lack of fear of him, and their worship of him that’s led to all kinds of immorality. In verse 28, at the very beginning, it says, “They know no bounds in deeds of evil.” What a description. But then look at what it goes on to say. it talks about how God’s people were not judging with justice the cause of the fatherless to make it prosper. They were ignoring the cause of the fatherless. They were not working to cause the fatherless to prosper.

Jeremiah 5:28 teaches to serve the cause of the fatherless.

But I really want to hone in on this picture of the fatherless because obviously this is not the only place we see the fatherless in Scripture, they’re all over the Bible… Vulnerable children who don’t have parents. And God makes clear in his Word that those who fear him and love him and worship him, love and work for the fatherless, they work to make the fatherless prosper.

This is James 1:27, “True religion before God looks after the orphan.” That word looks after is not just like, hey, takes care of for a night, but takes responsibility for the care, for the prospering of the fatherless. And so I just want to ask you and for us to ask together, how are you working to make the fatherless prosper? I think about my country alone in the United States, over 400,000 children in the foster care system, in need of some kind of help, them and their parents, and about a hundred thousand of them in need of adoption.

And there are hundreds of thousands of churches in our country. So why is it that a hundred thousand children are in need of a home, are in need of the love of mom and dad, and the church that knows this is true religion is not caring for them? Surely that needs to change.

Jeremiah 5:28 reminds us to strive to see families prosper at home and around the world.

And not just in my country, but in places around the world where children are in need for us to come alongside those children and their parents working to see health in those homes and those relationships to the extent possible and when needed, when wise, to place those children in homes where they will be cared for in the security of a mom and a dad who will love them and will point them to the fatherless. So I just want to pray accordingly and trust the Holy Spirit to lead each of our hearts, the hearts of those who fear and worship God to make the cause of the fatherless prosper through our lives and our churches.

God, we pray that you would help us to fear you above all… Lord, to worship you above all… Above everything in this world, including comfort and our plans and our desires for our lives. God, we want your desires, your plans for our lives, and we know your plan is for us to do justice for the fatherless. So we pray, please lead each of us individually and all of us together as your people to make the cause of the fatherless prosper, to work with justice for children in need.

God, we pray you’d help us to work well and wisely and compassionately… And with all our hearts for the good of families around us… For those 400,000 children in the foster care system in my country. God, we pray for their good. We pray for the good of their moms and their dads. We pray that you’d help us to promote the good design that you have for children in homes with their moms and dads.

Praying for the Fatherless Among the Unreached

And God, when that’s not possible or not wise in this fallen world… Lord, we pray that you would help us as your people to be a picture of you… The Father to the fatherless to children who are in need. God we pray, please help us to make the cause of the fatherless prosper here and around the world. God, we think about praying for unreached people groups every day, and we know that among these millions of unreached people, there are countless, well, you know their number. Children in need like this. God, we pray that you’d help us to work for the fatherless. Those who’ve never even heard the good news. And those who don’t have access to the good news of you as the Father in heaven… Who loves so much that you sent your son that we might be adopted as your children.

God, we praise you for the gospel, for adoption. We pray you’d help us to spread it around the world. And we pray that you would help us to show it in our lives. Please lead each of us. I just pray over every single person who’s praying with me right now. God direct our thoughts, desires, plans, and dreams for our lives. Help us to plan and dream for the prospering of the fatherless. We pray this in Jesus’ name, according to your Word in Jeremiah 5:28. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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