It seemed fitting to provide a follow up from the last post. The theme of the widow is pervasive in Scripture. The testimony is uniform. God is passionate about widows. He cares deeply about their vulnerability and needs. Here is a brief overview of the key ways that God shows his concern for the widow in the Bible.Widows and the Old Testament
There are 63 references to widows in the Old Testament. It is evident throughout these references that God has a soft spot for widows. The following is a bullet point summary of Old Testament thought on the widow.
- God requires that widows never be mistreated (Ex 22:22, Deut 24:17).
- God executes justice for the widow (Deut 10:18).
- God is the protector of the widow (Ps 68:5, 146:9, Prov 15:25).
- God punishes anyone who perverts justice for the widow (Deut 27:19).
- God requires that provision be given to widows (Deut 14:29, 24:19-21).
- Godliness is expressed by caring for the widow (Job 29:13, 31:16, Is 1:17).
- Blessing is promised for the one caring for the widow (Jer 7:6, 22:3-4).
- Wickedness is marked by hurting or neglecting the widow (Ps 94:6, Is 1:23).
There are 30 references to widows in the Old Testament. This brings us to a total of 93 references to widows in the Bible. The New Testament affirms the Old Testament conviction about taking care of widows. Here is a bullet point summary of the New Testament teaching on widows.
- Condemnation awaits those who mistreat the widow (Mk 12:40-43).
- Widows are to be honored (1 Tim 5:3).
- Widows are to be taken care of by their families (1 Tim 5:4, 16).
- Widows with no family are to be helped by the church (1 Tim 5:9).
- Pure religion in God’s sight is taking care of widows (James 1:27).