The Friend of the Fatherless
"In You, the fatherless finds mercy." Hosea 14:3
It is a painful affliction to be deprived of a father, especially of a wise, judicious, and kind father — yet it is a common calamity. There are now thousands of families that have no head, and tens of thousands of children who have no father. To them the Lord speaks in His Word, and proclaims Himself the "Father of the fatherless, and the judge of the widow." To them He condescends and proposes to fill the father's place, saying, "Will you now from this time cry unto me: My Father, you are the guide of my youth." He is "the helper of the fatherless." In Him, "the fatherless finds mercy."
The children have lost the parent whose business it was to care for, guide, educate, comfort, protect and train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. No other creature can fill a father's place — but the Lord can. He has a father's heart and a father's eye — and "He relieves the fatherless and the widow." He is . . .
that suitable friend,
that present help,
that wise counselor,
which they need — and He has mercy for the fatherless.
They stand especially in need of mercy — and He has every variety of mercy, which He will illustrate and display in the experience of every fatherless child which seeks Him in sincerity and truth. Men may be deficient in mercy, even toward the fatherless; but God, our God in Jesus, will display the greatest kindness and compassion to His fatherless children. This renders Him so amiable, suitable, and glorious in the estimation of His people. Mercy is His sweetest attribute . . .
as beautiful as the morning light,
as measureless as the waters of the ocean,
as boundless as illimitable space,
as refreshing as the early dew,
as glorious as the noon-day sun!
Mercy is like His nature — pure, lovely, and eternal. Mercy is suited to all the needs of the fatherless — it is free, full, and meets every case!
Christian reader, are you a fatherless child? The Lord speaks to you. He assures you that He has mercy for you! He gives you His Word that you shall find mercy in Him.
He has pardoning mercy — which will suit your sinfulness; mercy that will blot out your sins, and remove them from you as far as the east is from the west!
He has delivering mercy — which will meet your misery; mercy which will deliver you from . . .
the power of sin,
the bondage of Satan,
the curse of the law,
the fear of death,
the terrors of judgment, and
all the soul-troubles which may fall upon you on earth!
His mercy is tender mercy, which will suit the sickness of your soul. He will sympathize with you, pity you, and manifest the greatest forbearance and love. His mercy is so tender, that it will not break the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax. It will . . .
encourage the weak desire,
fan the feeble spark into a flame,
and take the will for the deed.
His mercy is supplying mercy — to meet your needs and defects. It will supply all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Whether your needs are temporal or spiritual — He will supply you. He will give you both grace and glory; and no good thing will He withhold from you, if you walk uprightly.
It is also sanctifying mercy — to suit your impurity. It will wash you in the laver of the Word, and in the fountain of a Savior's blood. It will teach you to wash your robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It will sanctify your troubles, and make all things work together for your good.
It is rescuing mercy, which will appear for you, and deliver you from all the dangers which may line your way, and at last present you faultless before the throne of God!
In a word, God's mercy will meet every case, circumstance, and condition in which it is possible for you to be placed! And it will more than fill a father's place.
Reader, will you not seek this mercy? It is in God. It is promised for the believer who is fatherless — yes, for all who are destitute. Oh, may you obtain this mercy!
Or, if you have obtained mercy, let me exhort you to dwell much on this excellent attribute of your God. Reader, let me exhort you to dwell much on this excellent attribute of your God. Meditate on God as all-merciful and all-sufficient for our every state!
May we all imitate our merciful God, who is the friend of the fatherless.