Topical - Widows (Pastorals)

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The Life of the Church in Proper Administration

May 12, 2002


Our Widows

(80% of women are widowed by age 52)








Our Single Women




The persistence of motherhood in providing, protecting, and caring for life:

            Milk cow with calf back home on the farm pinned me to the wall.

            Sow with fresh litter of pigs put gash in my father's leg.

            Pigeons trying to nest on our front porch.

            Mothers in Africa holding on to infants nearly dead.

This is the persistence of life that "civilization" is trying, and succeeding in, perverting.

If our mothers persisted in caring for our lives, we must return this care.

It is the way God crafted them, and us.

If men are to administer they must also protect. (The administrators of Enron didn't protect their company or their employees.)

Administration is a spiritual gift (1Cor. 12:28).

And in the church, whatever men are left must do so as long as they live and are able.

But each does their part. Even the widows have a place in the church.

"They love one another.  They never fail to help widows; they save orphans from those who would hurt them.  If they have something they give freely to the man who has nothing; if they see a stranger, they take him home, and are happy, as though he were a real brother.  They don't consider themselves brothers in the usual sense, but brothers instead through the Spirit, in God."

   -- Aristides Describing Christians to the Emperor Hadrian.

Instructions About Widows


God's Oversight:

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

 (Deuteronomy 10:18 NIVUS)

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

 (Psalms 68:5 NIVUS)

The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

 (Psalms 146:9 NIVUS)

The LORD tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.

 (Proverbs 15:25 NIVUS)

Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives. Your widows too can trust in me."

 (Jeremiah 49:11 NIVUS)

"So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.

 (Malachi 3:5 NIVUS)

They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."

 (Mark 12:40 NIVUS) (Luke 20:47 NIVUS)

God's Command:

"Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.

 (Exodus 22:22 NIVUS)

 Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.

 (Deuteronomy 24:17 NIVUS)

 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

 (Deuteronomy 24:19 NIVUS)

 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.

 (Deuteronomy 24:21 NIVUS)

 "Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

 (Deuteronomy 27:19 NIVUS)

 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

 (Isaiah 1:17 NIVUS)

 Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them.

 (Isaiah 1:23 NIVUS)

 Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,

to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.

 (Isaiah 10:1-2 NIVUS)

 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,

if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever.

 (Jeremiah 7:5-7 NIVUS)

 This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

 (Jeremiah 22:3 NIVUS)

 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’

 (Zechariah 7:10 NIVUS)

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

 (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 NIVUS)

 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 (James 1:27 NIVUS)

Famous Widows of the Bible


 Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Live as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up." For he thought, "He may die too, just like his brothers." So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.

 (Genesis 38:11 NIVUS)

 she took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.

 (Genesis 38:14 NIVUS)

 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothes again.

 (Genesis 38:19 NIVUS)



 Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property."

 (Ruth 4:5 NIVUS)

 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!"

 (Ruth 4:10 NIVUS)


 David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.

 (1 Samuel 27:3 NIVUS)

The Widow of Zarephath (Ezekiel)

9  "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food."

10  So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?"

 (1 Kings 17:9-10 NIVUS)

 Then he cried out to the LORD, "O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?"

 (1 Kings 17:20 NIVUS)

25  I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.


26  Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.

 (Luke 4:25-26 NIVUS)

The Widow's Offering

42  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

43  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

 (Mark 12:42-43 NIVUS) (Luke 21:2-3 NIVUS)


and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.

 (Luke 2:37 NIVUS)

The Widow of Nain

 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out— the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.

 (Luke 7:12 NIVUS)

The Parable of the Widow Who Sought Justice

3  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4  "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men,

5  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’"

 (Luke 18:3-5 NIVUS)

The Grecian Widows

 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

 (Acts 6:1 NIVUS)

Dorcas (or Tabitha)

 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.

 (Acts 9:36 NIVUS)

 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

 (Acts 9:39 NIVUS)

 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.

 (Acts 9:41 NIVUS)

Bad Examples of Widows

Jezebel and Sapphira

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