At first glance, this text seems to support the idea that if we do good things for people in need, we will go to heaven, but that is far from the truth. Christ does indeed encourage us to manifest righteous behavior and to do good works, but our labors are not what saves us; they are evidences of the fact that Christ has saved us by His work on our behalf. As we are in Christ, we will bear out the fruit of Christ, and one of the most significant fruits of Christianity is our compassion for those in need, particularly our compassion for the fatherless.
The Mercy that God Displayed to His Once Orphaned Children Impacts the Mercy that His Adopted Children Display to Orphans
The more Christians understand their former position as an orphan, the greater burden they will have for orphans. The more Christians worship the God who displayed mercy to them, the more they will show mercy to orphans. Orphan care is a visible picture of the gospel.
Though Paul speaks earlier of us either being slaves to sin or slaves of Christ, God means for His children to look far beyond that metaphor and understand that He has brought us, not merely to a new master, but into a new family relationship. As adopted children of Almighty God, we know Him as our “Abba” Father. Thus, His love for us and our love for Him, as testified to by His indwelling Spirit, is our motive for killing sin, the ground of our assurance, and our hope in suffering.
Exodus is a story of Adoption. God set His heart on a people, He delivered them out of their slavery, He gave them His identity, and He called them his own. As the people of God, we are called to serve Him, love Him, fear Him, and represent Him by following His example. And from Deuteronomy 10, we understand that we are to care for the alien, the orphan and the widow.