But I will strip Esau bare; I will uncover his hiding places, so that he cannot conceal himself. His children, relatives and neighbours will perish, and he will be no more. Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives. Your widows too can trust in me.
This passage is incredibly fascinating. I think, too, that it reveals something powerful about the desire of our God for justice. Here God is pronouncing judgment on the ancient nation of Edom for their violence against Israel and their idolatrous practice. In characteristic fashion, the word sent through Jeremiah is terrifying, dark and thunderous. Yet, curiously, it is followed by God’s promise of protection for Edom’s orphans and widows. This is incredible, first, because God is making a promise to a Gentile nation—that is, a nation that is not His chosen, not His people. God’s care, therefore, must be universal—not limited solely to Israel (or in our day, to the Church). Also, even in the midst of God’s fierce anger against an unjust nation, God preserves care for the suffering—the orphan and the widow. He even uses the language of faith: “Your widows too can trust in me.”