Home » Derek Prince: Orphans, Widows, the Poor and Oppressed (Transcript)

Derek Prince: Orphans, Widows, the Poor and Oppressed (Transcript)

Full text of Bible teacher Derek Prince’s sermon titled ‘Who Cares for Orphans, Widows, the Poor and Oppressed? God does… Do we?’ which was delivered in San Antonio, Texas.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Derek Prince – Bible Teacher

The slogan that our ministry has had for good many years is ‘reaching the unreached’, and ‘teaching the untaught’. And we have done that to the best of our ability.

I think my radio program is in about 13 languages. My books are in probably more than 18 nations and in more than 50 languages. But recently we got involved in Kosova. We didn’t plan it, God did it.

And we’ve added a new phrase to our slogan. It’s ‘reaching the unreached’, ‘teaching the untaught’, and ‘touching the untouched’. And really, that’s what I’m going to be talking about tonight.

I have a message which God has laid on my heart and which I will seek to communicate as faithfully as I can. I would like to begin from Philippians 3:9, where Paul says his prayer is that ‘I may be found in Him, [that’s Jesus] not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.’

I want to speak about that: the righteousness which is from God by faith. And I want to suggest to you that there’s only one kind of righteousness. It runs all through the Scriptures from the beginning to the end: the righteousness which is from God by faith.

And it’s a very practical righteousness. It’s not a religious kind of righteousness. It’s not sentimental, it is down to Earth. It is practical, and it is demonstrated in every age of God’s dealings with His people.

And I want to take you briefly through the various main ages of God’s dealing. I want to start with what we would call the PATRIARCHS, and I want to go to the Book of Job.

I have been so grabbed by this Book of Job just recently, I could never believe there was so much in it as I found lately. Basically, theologians, if you want to use that rather unpleasant word. I mean, I’m suspicious of theologians to say the truth. The word ‘theologian’ means the word of God.

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And if that’s what theologians were telling us, I’d be delighted. But most of the time it’s not; that’s a simple fact. Anyhow.

The main ages of God’s dealings, I would say, are the PATRIARCHS, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the LAW OF MOSES, the PROPHETS and the NEW TESTAMENT. And I want to look at the kind of righteousness God looks for in each of those ages. And I want to show you it never varies. It’s always the same. It’s very practical, it’s very down to Earth.

Let’s turn to the Book of Job 29:11 through 17. This is Job’s testimony of the way he lived, and God Himself bore testimony to Job that he was a righteous man. And this is what Job says. And these words have gripped me so much I can hardly get beyond them.

Job 29:11-17: ‘When the ear heard, then it blessed me, and when the eye saw, then it approved me, because I delivered the poor who cried out, and the fatherless and him who had no helper. The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me. My justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, and I was feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the case that I did not know.’

Isn’t it remarkable that Job’s righteousness was not his own? There is no kind of self-righteousness anywhere in the Bible. Job said, ‘I put on righteousness, and it clothed me.’ He was clothed with a righteousness which he had received by faith from God.

And this is the outworking of his righteousness: ‘I delivered the poor, the fatherless, and him who had no helper. The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.’

The poor, the widow, the fatherless, are the objects of God’s compassion, the way we express our righteousness.

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‘I put on righteousness, and it clothes me. My justice or my righteousness was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, I was feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor.’

You’ll find the people whom God has in mind when He speaks about righteousness are the widow, the fatherless, the poor, the blind, and the lame. And we can measure how much we have God’s righteousness by the way we relate to those people: the fatherless, the widow, the poor, the blind, and the lame.

So tonight you’re going to have an opportunity to search your own heart and life and see just how much of that righteousness there is in you.

And I go on to Job 31. And this is the most remarkable passage, verses 16 and following, and I want you to understand, Job is here justifying himself, and he’s listing sins that he did not commit. So all the things that he speaks about here are sins. But he says, I didn’t commit these sins, but we need to recognize they are sins.

Job 31:16-22: ‘If I have kept the poor from their desire, or caused the eyes of the widow to fail, or eaten my morsel by myself, so that the fatherless may not eat of it. But from my youth I reared him as a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow. If I’ve seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or any poor man without covering, if his heart has not blessed me, and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep, if I’ve raised my hand against the fatherless, when I saw I had help in the gate, then let my arm fall from my shoulder, let my arm be torn from the socket.’

Job blessed the things which he was doing. He provided for the poor. He blessed the widow, he cared for the fatherless, and he provided clothing for those who were without clothing.

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And then this is the most remarkable statement. It gripped me when I saw it. He said, ‘If I have not done these things, then let my arm fall from my shoulder and let my arm be torn from the socket.’

If I understand it, Job is saying, if my arm and my hand have not been continually engaged in these acts of love and mercy and provision for those who need it, then it has no right to a place in my body.

That’s a dramatic statement, isn’t it? It’s a dramatic statement. And I want to say it again.

Job says, if my right hand and my arm have not been engaged continuously in these acts of mercy and love for the poor, the needy, the widow, the blind, and the lame, then this right arm of mine has no place in my body. I don’t own it. It’s a disgrace. That’s strong language, but it’s the truth.

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