I am compassionate. That’s how the Lord describes Himself.
So, what does it mean?
Technically, it means showing concern for others.
What does it mean that God shows compassion? What do we see in our good Father? It means making sure no one is taking advantage of the poor. It means making sure no one is charging them interest when they were already in a position to need to borrow money. It’s even making sure that they are warm at night.
There is no qualifier on when God would hear them and help them other than them crying out to God.
In God’s list of those they are specifically commanded not to wrong includes: the foreigner or immigrant, and also the widow and the orphan. Basically, God commands special protection over those without standing in society, those some would try to take advantage of because they were more defenseless. God will not allow it.
God even says He will go mama bear on anyone who mistreats the widow and the orphan. He will defend those women and children to the death, the death of those doing the wronging.
There are many other detailed rules in this chapter, each with its beauty. A raped woman must be bought with a bride-price, even if she isn’t given in marriage to the man. Either way, she is shown to have value.
The Israelites are asked to trust this God of compassion. When something happens to someone’s property, but no one was there to see it, they aren’t to blame each other. If someone takes an oath to the Lord that they didn’t do it, they are to be believed unless the Lord shows that one is guilty.
He sees all. His eye is on the sparrow, not just to show compassion, but to be its strong defense.