November 21, 2022 – Monday
Widows on My Mind
Exodus 22:22-23 NIV
22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.
23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.
Exodus 22:22-23 ESV
22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child.
23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry
Widows are on my mind today. My Mother, Docie Louise Driver, was a widow and I believe her children kept our Father’s, Claude William Driver’s, request as he prepared to pass away he told us time and time again, “Take care of your Mother.” We did that until she too passed away. Today a different chapter in my and Sharon’s lives begin as we are preparing for Sharon’s Mother, Ruth Anderson (age 91) to move in with us hopefully prior to Thanksgiving Day. The preparation has been ongoing for a while, but now it is almost upon us. While we look forward to it, it is a great responsibility as we take her into our home.
As a result, I thought to look up widow in the Bible. Discovered it occurs 68 times in the Old Testament and 35 times in the New Testament. Not all references refer to how to treat widows, but enough do so that I remembered that God surely has a soft spot in His heart for both widows and orphans (the fatherless).
How great is that soft spot of His? Consider the verse that follows the above where we already know He hears their cries when they cry out to Him. When they do cry out to Him and the widows or fatherless have been mistreated or taken advantage of we get to see what His wrath is like in the very next verse NIV, 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless or the ESV, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
Whether it is His anger that is aroused or His wrath burns the result will be terrible for the family of the man that takes advantage of the widow or the fatherless for He will make the man’s wife into a widow and his children fatherless. Then they will have to live on the hope that men will treat them better than their husband/father treated those in like circumstances.
Key here is how God cares for the powerless who should not be taken advantage of which includes sojourners or foreigners as well as noted in the preceding verse, 21 “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt NIV or 21 “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt ESV. In Egypt they were initially welcomed, but eventually were treated as mere slaves good only for doing the Pharaoh’s will. God heard their cry and He made sure they were freed.
Bottom Line: The Bible could not be clearer, God does not like, nay prohibits taking advantage of those who are virtually defenseless. Punishment for doing so will be the result of His anger and wrath.
Prayer: Almighty God, Help us to always reach out to the weakest among us in such a way that You are pleased with how we do so. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton