“Learn to do good...”
The Bible is an instruction book and an SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) on how to be like God. We are to be imitators of God (Eph. 5:1). One reason that Jesus came to this earth was to show us the Father (John 14:9). The Bible is the pure and reliable source to learn how to be like God and His Son Jesus (Ps. 119:102, 140; Pro. 30:5; 1 Pet. 2:2, 21).
We are taught in Isaiah, “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow” (Isa. 1:17). Our education in godliness never ends in this lifetime. Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8). His greatest suffering took place in the hours and minutes just prior to His death (Mat. 27; Lk. 23; Jn. 19).
Defending the fatherless and pleading for the widows is a theme that is found throughout the Bible. Exodus 22:22-24 says, “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.”
Deuteronomy 24:17 says, “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow's garment as a pledge.”
God condemned the city of Jerusalem because her princes “loves bribes” and chased after “rewards.” This perversion caused them to “not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them” (Isa. 1:23).
Job, in his defense of himself from the false accusations of his friends, said, “Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?” (Job 31:15.) He speaks this in reference to his servants. But in the next two verses he speaks about how he has helped widows and orphans.
Job’s SOP of doing good was not based in his material possessions or social status or education standards or nationality. He treated servants, the poor, orphans and widows with kindness and supplied their needs because the same God who formed Him in the womb also formed these others in the womb. (This forming in the womb begins at conception.)
Near the end of God’s instruction book we read, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (Jam. 1:27). Is your religion pure?
Paul said of himself, “Yes, you yourselves know that these [his] hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Giving is an investment in your own blessings.
Presently, Jesus is dedicated to His work for you. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Jesus, after living 33 years with mankind, and after seeing the worst of men, and the failures of those who would be His followers, has dedicated Himself to make intercession before God on your behalf. While living here, He prepared Himself for this work.
Are you learning to do good? Are you making intercession for those who fall short? (Mat. 5:44-45.) May we learn from Jesus and commit ourselves to become more like Him day by day.