Braving the Deep

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The Fatherless and the Widows

In the passage in Acts, we see those from more Greek areas complaining that their widows weren’t being treated fairly compared to the Hebrew widows when it came to daily distributions. In the time in the early Church when they had everything in common, the community was dependent upon each other to survive. Here we see an example of injustice right in the scripture. We see that widows are being taken care of, as God prescribed in His Word, but the care is not equal or just. What I love, though, is how the Twelve responded to this complaint. They don’t take it personally or deny that it was happening—they moved to fix the issue. They know that God requires His people to take care of people on the margins in justice and righteousness, because that is not only what He does, but who He is, Himself. 

So, they appoint godly men with good reputations to fix the issue while they continue to spread the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is from this group of men that we have our first martyr for the cause of Christ—Stephen. The first witness to give his all for the cause of Christ was a man that was doing the administrative task of balancing the scales among the people of God. This is not lost on me. I believe God takes this task seriously in the Body of Christ, and we should take it seriously, too.

Oppression and injustice found among the people of God is what God is holding against them in our passage in Isaiah. He is refusing to hear their prayers and honor their sacrifices until they fix these issues. I believe this is why the Twelve were willing to deal with this issue immediately, and we should be ready to do this when it is brought to our attention as well. God has always cared about the people on the margins of society, and He expects His people to care as well. As the hands and feet of a God who becomes the Father to the fatherless and the Judge for the widow, we must be willing to participate with Him in those expressions. Will you be willing to participate with God in this way today?