1Ti 5:5-8 “Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
It is obvious in the verses before this that Paul has described a literal widow. There is certainly no error in continuing to see his admonishment here as pertaining to the same. Clearly, there are those who are truly widows. They have no children to rely on for their daily benefit.
Is there a deeper meaning for us in the things that Paul describes here? There may have been a time in our lives when we were married to the things of the world. We sought after the pleasures of the flesh. Our chief desire was to do whatever seemed good to us and to prosper in this world’s goods.
When the grace of our loving God shined in our hearts, we were able to see that we are sinners. Suddenly, we discovered that we were dead in the pleasures we once lived in. Our supposed peace in carnal prosperity had vanished and what had once seemed like life was now death.
The sinful pleasures we had pursued are now dead to us, and we may find ourselves dead as one dead from those who once hailed us as great friends. Reliance on our own strength fails us. We are widowed and desolate. However, this is not the sad end it might seem on the surface.
If we have become widows indeed, then we place our trust in God. We are steadfast in laying our petition at His feet and worshipping Him. This is something we continue in night and day. Why did Paul phrase it as night and day rather than day and night (as we often do)?
You might ask if that really makes a difference, but I am persuaded that it really does. It points to the very manner in which God did His work in creation. The book of Genesis declares that each day God created was comprised of “the evening and the morning.” In this we find the pattern of God’s truth that the light is coming, no matter how dark the night may be.
We were dead while we lived in the pleasures of this world and became widowed. We struggled with the truth of our sinful nature and found ourselves desolate. Then the light of God’s grace revealed to us the wondrous love of our Redeemer. In Him, all the darkness of this world faded into the glorious light of the Son of God.
We need to charge (instruct) one another on the truth of being a widow indeed to the things of this world. This is a solemn responsibility, to declare both the truth of sinful selves and holy perfection of God who saves us. Our chief employ should be to continually pour out our petitions and our worship before His throne. We need to remind each other that “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psa 30:5).”
Just as the widow’s children or nephews are commanded to provide for their widow (1Ti 5:4), so are we to provide that which is right before God to His children who find themselves bereft of those things they once relied on. This is a truth whether we are talking about the physical needs of the body (food, clothes, shelter) or the spiritual needs of His people. If we fail to provide the truth which God has given us charge concerning, then we are denying the very faith of Jesus Christ. Having this faith and then acting in contradiction to it makes us worse than if we had no faith at all (an infidel).
May we be blameless before His throne in our love for, and faith in, Him who has called us to be widowed from the pleasures of sin and to be the Bride, the Lamb’s wife!