When the Lord impressed upon me to study and write on this topic, I was very intrigued and curious.
The Hebrew definition for the term ‘widow’ according to Strongs’ Concordance is אַלְמָנָה ʼalmânâh, which when translated, means a bereaved lady or a desolate place/house (palace).
Widowhood is a state characterized by:
living in shame, being disgraced and abandoned (Isaiah 54:1-7)
being taken advantage of (Exodus 22:22-24)
facing oppression (Malachi 3:5)
being distressed (James 1:27)
being in need (1 Timothy 5:3-6)
being desperate (1 Kings 17:8) and
living in poverty (Mark 12: 41-44)
This is the plethora of emotions and challenges a person experiences in this state. Let that simmer for a bit.
While studying, I kept asking the Holy Spirit: Why is the widow this important to God? What is it about the widow that moves God so much?
The revelation I got was that the widow understands what God means when He says, “Trust Me” and “Draw nigh to Me.”
1. Love the Lord with your ALL
When the poor widow at the temple gave two small coins as an offering, Jesus said that she gave God everything she had to live on (Mark 12:41-44). Imagine how vulnerable she must have felt in that moment, prying eyes and all. Nonetheless, she emptied herself before the Lord- withholding nothing.
Jesus was moved by how much the poor widow LOVED Him. She embodied His words in Matthew 22:37, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment”.
2. The Lord desires deep intimacy with you
Prophetess Anna devoted 84 years to worshipping God day and night with prayer and fasting. (Luke 2:36-38). One might deem her too extreme, but quite to the contrary, she portrayed what deep intimacy with the Lord is.
She embodied Psalm 63:1-8.
The Lord was her EVERYTHING.
God honored her private seeking and worship of Him publicly by giving her the opportunity of her lifetime. She saw Jesus the Messiah, believed it was Him, and even praised God!
Seeing the long-awaited Messiah, judging by Simeon’s reaction, was a huge deal. Isaiah and Daniel are among the prophets who died without seeing the Messiah they spoke about.
This experience proved to Prophetess Anna that the God to whom she had devoted her every waking moment to was faithful and true.
3. The Lord rewards blind obedience
The widow of Zarephath obeyed Prophet Elijah’s instructions to prepare for him a piece of bread with the very last of her supplies. As a result, she received a prophet’s reward and experienced supernatural provision through the miracle of multiplication. Her oil and flour never ran out for the 3.5 years the famine lasted in the land (1 Kings 17:9).
In 2 Kings 4:1-7, Elisha performed a miracle of multiplying olive oil to assist a distressed widow pay off her husband’s creditor and have a source of livelihood.
Strongs’ Concordance defines oil as ‘fatness’ (of the earth), ‘fertile meadows’. It further defines fertile as ‘rich’ and ‘to be plenteous’.
Both widows never questioned or cross-checked the prophets’ instructions. They obeyed quickly and entered a season of plenty when they would have otherwise experienced economic hardship (famine).
4. Be anxious for nothing, trust Him
Widowhood makes Philippians 4:6-7 come alive.
If you have ever interacted with a widow, you’ll quickly notice how Psalm 68:5 is literally imprinted in their souls.
Widows know that they know that their hope is built, LITERALLY ON NOTHING ELSE OTHER THAN GOD. They are confident that He can take care of, provide for, comfort, defend and watch over them.
If you’re struggling with trusting God or finding intimacy with Him, may these lessons from the widows be your encouragement.
If you look at your life and recognize any traits of widowhood, don’t despair. This is your opportunity to lean in and learn to trust in God fully.
Trusting in God is always worth it in the end.