A Widow's Plight

Saturday, June 27, 2015
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Listen while you read: "He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought"1 (Lyrics)

James 1:27a – Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for … widows in their misfortune. (NET)

A friend of my wife lost her husband about three years ago to cancer. She has no children, and her remaining relatives are scattered, some nowhere to be found. So we make it a point to occasionally include her for dinner, especially during the holidays. Despite her loss, the smile on her face can brighten even a cloudy day because her focus is always on the Lord. It is a pleasure to have her in our company.

Widows are frequently mentioned in both the Old and New Testament economies. From the beginning, our creator God intended for the woman to be under the protective care of her husband. As a suitable helper, she complemented the man. But if the woman suffered the loss of her husband, she would then fall under God's provision. Scripture describes the Lord's position in this fashion:

Psalm 68:5b – A defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. (NIV)

Isaiah 54:4b-5a – The disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name. (NRSV)

A blessing was given to those who cared for widows:

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 – At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that … the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied. (NIV)

A curse was placed upon those who abused them:

Deuteronomy 27:19a – Whoever deprives … widows of justice will be cursed. (GWT)

Isaiah 1:17 – Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! … Defend the rights of the widow! (NET)

Unfortunately, throughout the gospels, we read of the Pharisees and Sadducees taking advantage of widows:

Luke 20:47a – They shamelessly cheat widows out of their property. (NLT)

Of the three people He spoke to on the cross, Jesus bade His disciple to care for a widow — His mother. James instructed the early church to visit widows in distress, and God's original intent is reiterated in Paul's epistle:

1 Timothy 5:3 – Honour widows that are widows indeed. (KJV)

Thus we observe throughout Scripture that God is very serious regarding the plight of widows. Apart from the extended family, the Church — the body of believers — should be sensitive, recognizing and supporting the well-being of widows. Perhaps an unexpected phone call or a card that simply states, "Thinking of you" or "You are in our prayers" may be sufficient to gladden the spirit of one. As a result, the Lord's joy and blessings may visit our hearts.

Prayer: Father God, open our hearts, quicken our consciences, and present us with opportunities to reach out in love to widows, who are special in Your sight. Allow our faith to come alive by our works. We ask this in Your Son's most holy and precious name. Amen.

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About the author:

Lou Ciccanti <breadoflife@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A great reminder Lou. God bless.

    Amen to your prayer. Thank you for the reminder.

    Even though I’ve read most of these, I find it such a comfort to be reminded.

    What a beautiful and inspiring Devotional. As a widow myself, the verses you listed from the Word of God brought me much comfort reminding me that the Lord is and has been with me, and I have seen in my own life that truly God is my defender! Thank you for this Devotional!

    Lou: During my months that begin each day with the PresbyCan online Devotional I do not recall the subject, the Plight of widows discussed with such Scriptural support and such depth of need as the Devotional seems to request. With that I thoroughly agree as I am experience widows on a daily basis.
    We live in an apartment building where (my estimate) 50{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} are widows.
    Unfortunately we have come to accept, without a tear, nor describing the lives of widows as living with a Plight existence. I pass them every day with just a smile and maybe a “Hello. How are you?” Except with 2 or 3 with whom I have exchanged homemade vittles( i.e. pies or bread, etc) this group of ladies living solo can be summed up as: six playing once per week card games and the remaining time, as far as I can determine, struggling with loneliness interrupted with a very few visits by family or friends. I must admit that many also seem to find solace in the local churches, thank Heaven!
    If there is a situation with widows that can be described as ‘plight’ then what can be done within our modern societies to ‘deplight’ these lonely ladies lacking the support and fellowship of a loving husband?

    A wonderful reminder, and I might add, He is there to provide even the littlest need when we lean on Him. I know from daily experience. The other day I needed a strong stick to open the vents on the side of my house ‘s foundation. We have large stakes set in front of our houses to show the plough the height of the edges of our property All the sticks on the street had been collected. When I turned the corner I saw one. It was standing there on my property.
    Praise the Lord.

    Lou, thank you for reminding us of our biblical responsibilities. I know that the deacons of our church are assigned one widow to look after. Our congregation is not small or large. We have many deacons and if we don’t have enough widows in our church they go outside the congregation to find ones in need.
    I think this responsibility has been lost in today’s culture. A local minister said today,” our nation is becoming a dark place, but we Christians can be light in this darkness and light becomes more bright in the dark.”
    Thanks for your ministry I enjoy following both you and Lori.
    Blessings to you my friend.

    Lou – Thank you for always giving us spiritual insights for us to consider. Yes, the Bible speaks for assisting widows and orphans. However, as a God-fearing single women my whole life, I feel our needs are often neglected by our church brethren and from the pulpit as well.

    Dear Lou,
    Thank you for a very fine devotional about God’s care and concern for widows.
    I pray too for all who are sometimes like widows, that they too will know that God is very near and dear to all — especially to those who are suffering.
    Keep writing.

    Thanks for the survey of the Lord’s concern for widows. You could also include the book of Ruth which is a wonderful story of God protecting and blessing more than one widow.

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