Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 1 Timothy 5:5
Paul continues to explain verse 3 which spoke of honoring widows who are really widows. By definition, a widow is one who has lost her husband, but for the sake of care in the church, there is the need to ensure that it is not burdened with caring for someone who could otherwise be cared for by others. He continues now, describing the situation of one who is really a widow by saying, “Now she who is really a widow, and left alone.” This is a widow, but more than just lacking a husband, she has no one who is there to care for her. She lacks the care of “children or grandchildren” of the previous verse, and she may even lack friends. As the wife to a husband, her life may have been so dedicated to him that she didn’t really acquire friends close enough to say, “Come, live with us.” And so she now faces life alone, probably for the very first time.
Such a person “trusts in God.” The Greek more rightly indicates, “has her hope in God.” She has nowhere else to turn. She has never taken care of herself, her husband is dead, and there is no one else who can take care of her. In such a state, her hope of daily sustenance is found in God alone. Because of this, such a poor soul “continues in supplications and prayers night and day.”
When one has nobody else to trust in, even self, God will inevitably be the recipient of the strains of the heart. When she wakes, “O God, be with me today,” and when she lies down again, “Protect me, O God.” Throughout the day, He is the only One she can direct her attention to. Such is the life of a God-fearing widow who simply desires comfort, companionship, and support. One who followed this pattern well after the death of her own husband is Anna, the daughter of Phanuel. She is noted in Luke 2:36-38. In the loss of her husband, she directed her heart to the Lord, and faithfully prayed and fasted for the rest of her many years.
Life application: At what point in your life will you call out to the Lord? Will you wait until there is a family emergency? Will you wait till death leaves you alone and without any other help? Until your money is all lost in a financial collapse, do you feel secure enough to ignore God? Isn’t it better to ask Him to be near now? Should any calamity come when He is near, you have already obtained a place of refuge from the storms which lie ahead. Call on the Lord, and speak and pray to Him always. He is there, but have you acknowledged it yet?
Heavenly Father, truly You are but an afterthought (at best) to most of the world. Our last thought may be You, but You certainly aren’t our first thought. And yet, what happens when things suddenly go bad? “Help me O God. Don’t let this terrible thing happen!” Forgive us for only putting You first when You are the last resort. Help us to put You first now, tomorrow, and always. May our hearts and minds be filled with You at all times – both in the good and the bad times. Amen.