“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless."
After the Lord gave Moses and the Israelites the Ten Commandments while on top of Mt. Sinai, the Lord then gave them rules, regulations, and procedures about other things, including laws about slaves, restitution, and laws about social justice.
Because the Israelites were strangers in the land of Egypt, the Lord wanted them to be reminded of how they were treated in that land. Thus, the Israelites were to treat foreigners better than how they were treated in Egypt. Therefore, the Israelites were not to make slaves of foreigners or seek to do evil against them on the basis of their race. The Israelites were also not to take advantage of widows or orphans. These people were not only to be treated with respect, but also to be cared for.
The Lord gives a strict warning, in verses 23-24, to those who abuse foreigners, widows, and orphans. When those who have been mistreated cry out to the Lord, as the Israelites had done in Egypt, the Lord will respond to their prayers with destructive punishment.
God is always on the side of those who are weak, helpless, and downtrodden. He sent His own Son into the world to save those who were weak and helpless in their own sinful condition. We should use this example to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves and have no voice in society. We should not mistreat someone on the basis of their race, but should strive to show the love of Christ to this person, who most likely has come from an idolatrous culture. We should not look down on the elderly, but should strive to minister to them and to help them in their everyday activities. We should not mock or frown upon those who have been born with mental or physical disabilities, but should strive to help them live functional, God-pleasing lives. We should strive to care for those children whose parents cannot, and should stand up for those unborn babies who are systematically murdered by abortion every day. If we do not stand up for the weak and helpless in our society, the wrath of God is upon us, and that is something that no one should desire.