By Paul Palmer Sr.

I am impressed with many precious things while reading the Scriptures, not the least of which is the Lord’s care for widows. Before his departure to be with Christ, a brother told his wife, “The Lord will take care of you.” He left her in the competent care of the One who loved her and gave Himself for her (Gal. 2:20).

Both of my grandmothers as well as my mother were widows. I have seen firsthand the Lord’s special grace given, causing them to be blessings to others. The Lord is “a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Ps. 68:5 NKJV). “He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow” (Dt. 10:18).

Dear Christian widow, the Lord is on your side and He will never leave you nor forsake you. Remember the words of Romans 8:31, given by the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul: “If God be for [you], who can be against [you]?”

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly FriendThrough thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
—Kathrina von Schlegel (1697-1797)

The Lord Provides 
“Widow” is mentioned four times in Deuteronomy 24. The number four speaks of that which is worldwide or universal. Wherever we go in the world we will find widows, and wherever they are the Lord will provide for them.

Their basic needs are food and clothing. “When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord may bless you … When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again … When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for … the widow” (Dt. 24:19-21). “You shall not … take a widow’s garment as a pledge” (v.17). The Lord secures the food supply and the clothing for the widows. “Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Tim. 6:8).

A Widow Of Zarephath 
The Lord told Elijah to go to Zarephath. He said, “I have commanded a widow there to provide for you” (1 Ki. 17:9). On arriving at the gate of the city, he saw the widow gathering sticks to make one last meal for her son and herself, before they would die. Elijah asked her for two things, a little water and a morsel of bread. She told him her plight, and he replied, “Do not fear … make me … first.”

Dear Christian widow, do not fear. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn. 14:27). “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6). The Lord Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (Jn. 14:1). Make the Lord Jesus first in all things; give Him the first place that “in all things He may have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18).

This widow of Zarephath “went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah” (1 Ki. 17:15-16). The flour speaks of the Lord Jesus and the oil of the Holy Spirit. Divine persons remain the same; they do not change. The Lord Jesus will ever be faithful. He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). The Lord Jesus cannot fail; He never fails.

Because of her obedience and faith in the word of the Lord, she experienced His gracious provision for her and her household. The flour and the oil remained the same, though she used these ingredients daily to sustain them. The Lord is still using faithful widows today in many ways to encourage His people.

The time came when the widow’s son died. She was then without husband and son. How sad it must have been for her. But as a result of her son’s death she was to witness a great miracle: He would be brought back to life. Elijah the man of God prayed that the “‘child’s soul come back to him.’ Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived” (1 Ki. 17:21-22). “I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy” (Job 29:13) we believe was the widow of Zarephath’s experience – her sorrow was turned to joy.

A Few Other Examples 
The Lord wants widows who know Him to trust Him daily for their needs. “Let your widows trust in Me” (Jer. 49:11). The apostle Paul said, “My God shall abundantly supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19 JND).

The widow Naomi experienced the kindness of the Lord through Boaz. “Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!’” (Ruth 2:20 NKJV).

Anna was a widow who “served God with fastings and prayers night and day … she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Lk. 2:37-38).

A sister in Christ, a widow, told me recently that her cup was full, “overflowing into the saucer.” This dear lady has been an encouragement to many as undoubtedly Anna was too.

Instructions For Others 
Let us pray for our widows, encouraging and assisting them in whichever way possible. Honor them as we are told to do – “Honor widows who are really widows” (1 Tim. 5:3). “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (Jas. 1:27).