The book of Jeremiah is still in a mode of doom for those to whom the prophecies are given. This verse pops up in God’s prophecy to Edom.
What struck me about this verse is God’s concern for the results of the judgment. He cannot withhold judgment and remain just, but He cannot leave the widow and the orphan without help and remain merciful. So He does neither. He drops the judgment bomb on Edom and makes this promise: He will take care of the widows and orphans.
That is all well and good and has nothing in the way of application for me today. Except that it does. See, the church; believers are spoken of as being the body of Christ in The Bible. This means that believers act as His hands and feet. We are to go where He would go and do what He would do. If He would take care of widows and orphans left behind after a catastrophe, then so, too, should we. God wanted to drive this point home so directly that there is a verse in James that says that visiting (i.e. helping) widows and orphans in their distress is undefiled religion.
What can I do to help? This should be what comes to my mind when I am made aware of a widow or an orphan. I cannot do everything — and God does not expect me to — but I can do something and God expects that something to be done. If there is legitimately nothing within the scope of my ability to be done other than praying for the individuals then my prayer is what God expects and He will take care of those.
At a minimum, let me pray for those who need God’s help to stay afloat. In addition to prayer, let me look for ways to be God’s hands and feet and to help those who need it.