“The darkness of our trials only makes God’s grace shine brighter.”
I have the privilege of attending a Widow’s 8 week Bible Study at my daughter’s church. For the next several postings, I’ll share some of the nuggets I’ve been gleaning from the study. The title is “Wisdom for Widows.”
The ladies who attend the study range from in their 50s to 90s. The length of time spent into the journey of widowhood range from 2 weeks to 8 years. Grief’s like a thumbprint. All thumbprints are different; yet, they’re still a lot alike.
It’s the same with widows. Although we’re walking different paths as widows, we still have many things we experience that are the same. Because of this common thread, regardless of our age or where we are in our walk, we benefit from studying together.
Grieving is a process, and it’s painful. Oh, how glad I am that we don’t have to go through it alone. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1(KJV)
Part 1 in this study: God’s Heart for the Widow
In this first part of the study, we’re reminded of the many places in God’s Word that give reference to widows.
In Exodus 22:22-24 (NIV), God warns the people, “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do, and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused….” He goes on to tell of strong consequences for those that do.
Instructions in regards to treatment of widows:
Do you know there are several scriptures in the Bible concerning how widows are to be treated?
For instance, in the Old Testament:
Deuteronomy 24:17-22: God gave Moses laws for the Israelites concerning how to treat widows, strangers, and the fatherless. He told the Israelites to leave grain, olives, and grapes behind for the needy when harvesting. If the laborers dropped any, they were to let them lay so the needy, including widows, could have food.
Jeremiah 7:6-7: God commanded that no one was to oppress strangers, the fatherless, or widows if they wanted His blessing. They were commanded to treat them fairly.
Zachariah 7:9-10: God warns of any social injustice toward the widows, fatherless, stranger or poor.
God continues to give instruction in their treatment in the New Testament also:
Acts 6:1-7: We see a concern over the neglect of ministering and caring for widows as the early Christian church grew. Because of that, God said they were to seek out seven men to relieve some of the duties, allowing enough time to care for the widows.
James 1:27: In this scripture we are challenged to be doers, not just hearers. We are to visit the fatherless and the widows.
God also shows us His love for the widows by several examples in both the Old and New Testament:
1 Kings 17:8-24: God chose a widow to meet Elijah’s need. He also used a miracle to save her and her son.
2 Kings 4:7: God sent Elisha to miraculously help a widow get out of debt.
The Book of Ruth gives us the beautiful story of Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth. He used those widows to depict our Redeemer as well and to show us the wonderful way He can use widows. Ruth went from deep sorrow to becoming the great grandmother of King David!
The examples God gives us of His love for widows, continues in the New Testament.
Luke 2:36-38: These verses tell us about Anna, who lost her husband after just seven years of marriage. She chose to give the rest of her life to serving God in the temple.
Luke 21:1-4 and Mark 12:41-44: You’ll read in this passage about the poor widow and the two mites she gave in the offering and how much that meant to Jesus.
Luke 7: 11-18: We read about the widow of Nain. Jesus touched her son who had died and raised him up.
Acts 9:36: We read how Peter raised the widow Tabitha from the dead.
Yes! God certainly has a heart for widows! Although I have read all of the previous passages many times, having them all presented in one hour of study helped me to realize how many times our Lord showed His special love for us. We truly do have a wonderful caring heavenly Father.
I encourage you to sit down with your own Bible and read each of these passages I’ve listed today. You will be blessed!
The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains
The fatherless and the widow,
but He frustrates the ways of the wicked.
God Bless you,