“God defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you.” (Deuteronomy 10:18)
Late in his life, Moses reviewed God’s character and what He’d done for the people of Israel. “The Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them,” Moses told them . This love had a broad scope. “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing,” Moses said. “He is the one you praise; he is your God.”
Whether it’s through adoption or simply through love and service, we’re all called to reflect God’s love. Loving people become the hands and feet of God that can be used to extend His love to someone who might have gone unnoticed and unclaimed. We can serve as His hands and feet too.
- How have you sensed God extending His love to you in ways large and small?
- What small thing might you do today to reflect that love?
Heavenly Father, have mercy on the fatherless. Help us to be Your hands and feet today.
To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations-as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff necked any longer. For the Lrod your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is the one you praise, he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Today’s passage is written in a more elevated style from the rest of the book; it contains more descriptive language and uses rehtorical devices-such as repetition of ideas in different forms-to allow the hearer to absorb the content. This suggests that Moses’ speech is reaching a climax. Old Testament scholar Daniel Block says that Moses “is about to declare the moral and spiritual implications of the privilege of covenant relationship that he has been preaching to this point of the second address.” The moral requirement is adherence to the law of God. Moses reiterates this three times with three different admonitions: keep the commands, circumcise your heart, and fear and serve God. Each of these calls to submit to and serve God is followed by an attribution of praise.