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God's "causes"

I had just posted a response to the question on today's Cafe Chat about what cause or passion I have- what Christ burden's my heart for. Then I wrote a lengthy email to a dear sister about how God is stirring my heart and my husband's heart for the cause of the orphan.

Afterward I thought, "Is 'cause' the right word? Am I just donating to a 'cause' or am moved by Christ's heart?"

So I went and did a quick word search on the word "cause" at Crosswalk. I just used the NIV at first and then dug a little deeper from there. Here's what I found:
  • There are specific causes God specifically talks about that HIS heart cares about.
  • The word "cause" really means to execute right judgement, or justice. In other words to do what's right concerning this people group or situation.
  • God calls His people to take up the causes He takes up.
  • God tells His people to "learn to do what's right." And surely that is because we think this or that is right. But He tells us what's right. He tells us SPECIFICALLY what "right" He wants us to be concerned with as His people.
  • God does not want us to wait on our government, or our "rulers" for these causes He's concerned with to be defended. He says they- the rulers- DO NOT DEFEND HIS CAUSES.

Here's the verses which popped up with the word search in the NIV for "cause":

  • He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. - Deut.10:18
  • Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. - Psalm 82:3
  • ...learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. -Isaiah 1:17
  • Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.- Isaiah 1:23

I found this VERRRRRY interesting. It's stirring me to pray and look at these things specifically. As a Christian I could easily think of a lot of things that I think a good Christian should do. But God says, "These are the good, right things I want you as Christian to be about doing":

  • Doing what's right by the fatherless. Do I know any fatherless? Do I know about any fatherless? What can I do to partake in this cause which God defends?

  • Doing what's right by the widow. Do I know any widows? What can I do to take up this cause of God's.

  • Loving the alien. Oooh. This one just hit me. I live in a "border state" where illegal aliens are rampant. How can I be sure to show them love and not expect the "rulers" to do so? These verses says God provides them food and clothing- shouldn't I?

  • Doing what's right by the weak. Who do I know that is "weak"? A little further digging into the verse in Psalms reveals that this is speaking of those who are poor, or low, needy or weaker than me.

  • Maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed. A little digging into those words reveals God is talking about personally doing what's right and standing for what's right for those who are afflicted or wretched (makes me think of those with disease, even shameful diseases like HIV) and for those who are hungry, even impoverishing themselves (I think of those who are hungry because they worship idols and those who are spiritually hungry because they...worship idols).

  • If you don't know what to do LEARN! Learn to do what's right- what I do! (God talking there, not me :)

  • Encourage the oppressed! Makes me think of writing letters to Christians who are imprisoned for the gospel in foreign places. But there are those all around me who are oppressed. Am I encouraging to them?

  • DON'T DEPEND ON THE GOVERNMENT TO DO THESE THINGS! YOU DO THEM!!! It really grabs me that God is talking to His people in all these things that we tend to look for the government to set up programs and systems for. But God says, "No! YOU do it!!"

Wow! That was a swift kick in the britches study! Lord, it encourages me and convicts me. Be my teacher as I seek to LEARN to do what is right.


  1. Such a deep post and such huge problems... What are we to do? I think you did say at least one thing that we can do in your post... Learn from God :) Blessings, your posts challenge me too.

  2. Amen! This was very inspiring! I love your passion!

  3. Was just on the conversation with a fellow missionary. We as Christians are supposed to be looking after the widow and orphan--my heart cries out as I read statistics and even more so, SEE first hand the effects of sin on children. My passion is for orphans...believing that God desires that evey child be loved, nurtured and embraced. This should not be left up to a pagan, governmental, socialist, sinful system. As the last days get closer I see a larger gap between living according to the Word and living a life of compromise.

  4. Excellent post. It is sometimes said that the Old Testament view of God is much harsher than the New Testament, yet you have shown how His constant special concern was the most needy and vulnerable within society.

    And isn't it interesting how little modern Christians talk about being good to "aliens". I wonder if immigrants are the modern scapegoats?


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