Archives for posts with tag: widow

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve taken a screenshot of Deuteronomy 24.17-22 so that you can see how often the word “sojourner” suddenly appears in the text.  The word can also be translated “alien, stranger, foreigner, or resident alien.”  It refers to the people living in Israel who were not Hebrew.  These were immigrants or aliens residing in the land and they were very often poor.  Notice how God’s heart and concern were for the alien, and he wanted the people to be for them also because they had once been foreigners themselves in the land of Egypt.

Notice also that they were grouped together with the fatherless and the widow.  The reason for this is that orphans and widows, along with resident foreigners, were often the most financially vulnerable in the country.  This was the position of Naomi and Ruth when they returned from Moab after the great famine.  Indeed, Ruth herself went out and gleaned grain left over from those who had harvested the crop so that she and Naomi could survive.

The point of all this is that the most vulnerable in society should be the ones that the people were most concerned about.  We see this same concern in the New Testament as well.  One of the instructions that we see again and again there is to remember the poor.

How we remember the poor and how we serve them is a matter for our own wisdom and creativity to figure out in our particular culture.  Tim Keller has written an excellent book on that particular subject that is well worth reading.  That we remember and serve the poor, is not a subject for debate because this is one of the clear commands of Scripture, and something we see practiced throughout the Bible.

 

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  Luke 7:13-15

When the Lord saw her, he felt compassion for her and said to her, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then he came close and touched the coffin, and the pallbearers halted. He said, “Young man, I say to you: get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Yeshua gave him to his mother.

When you ponder this event from a fresh perspective it becomes breathtaking, but not for the resurrection that takes place.  The raising of the widow’s son is unimaginable, what is breathtaking is Jesus’ taking up the matter at all.  How stupid would Christ have looked if he had said, Young man, I say to you: get up! and nothing happened.  The crowd would have shook their collective heads and said, “poor deluded man, what ever was he thinking?”
The only way Christ does something like this is if he knows the boy is going to respond to his command. The sheer authority that Christ exudes here is shocking; he fully expects a dead boy to listen and obey his voice!  Ponder that for a minute. That, my one many thousands of avid readers, is a different sort of person isn’t it? 
This throws into a whole new light the second coming of Christ when he will descend from heaven with a shout and with the sound of trumpets.  If he expected (and received) the obedience of a dead young man, what do you think will happen when he commands the dead in Christ to rise?  Do you think they/we will listen? Do you think they/we will obey?