Why is the Widow a Reproach?
Widow- Strong’s H#490 – almana
G#5503- chera- from the word ‘deficiency’
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shall not remember the reproach of thy widowhood anymore. For thy maker is thine husband. Isaiah 54:4,5
As I struggled through the anguish of my widowhood, I sought the Word for truth concerning it. I know that the Word of God is the only real solace that I can find, for through it, the Holy Spirit will reveal the heart of my Heavenly Father, the Person of His Son, Jesus and the Comforter Holy Spirit. His truth sets me free. Above is the scripture the He led me to, and it was not what I expected! I had to cry out, “Why am I, as a widow, a reproach?”
Here is His answer to me. His council first reminded me that He is the Good God, a God of the Hebrews, and this is the perspective from which He speaks.
Why is the widow reproached?
A widow is used merchandise; her womanhood is no longer fresh and new; she is not a virgin. She is, therefore, undesirable as a mate. She is “Eve” without “Adam”.
At the same time, she is vulnerable because she appears to have lost her protector. Indeed, a Godly husband covers his wife with a hedge of protection. In conversation, he protects her secret thoughts. In devotions, he presents her before the LORD and teaches her the Word. In his physical strength, he protects her body and provides for it. In his prayers over her, he guards her spirit.
But when a woman’s husband dies, their covenant is voided and a widow appears vulnerable, both to herself and those around her. Often, her behavior seems to draw reproach: there can be constant weeping, indecision, deep depression, lethargy, and childishness. Her temper can be short and her helplessness acute.
People are keen to a widow’s obvious vulnerabilities and may have an initial desire to help, but after fruitlessly attempting solace, they often shun her because of her shamefully unpleasant behavior and speech. Unconsciously perhaps, those around her accept a time-frame for a widow’s mourning, but having exceeded that, they simply find her demeanor unwelcoming. She suffers public reproach.
Worse yet, the evil spirits see her covering removed and race in to overcome her. “Die”, is their mantra. They remind the woman that she is, indeed, used up. They confirm her fears that she is no longer desirable as a mate or as a friend, due to her negative behaviors. Egged on by these evil voices that can seem to be her own, she is certain that she will always be alone – the spirit of Fear attaches itself to her, joined gleefully by Despair.
As long as the widow is trapped in her earthly body, she will be tempted to remember the shame of widowhood; her unmasked behaviors, other’s actions toward her, and the spiritual oppression. She will bow her head at the memories, regretting the weakness exposed in her character and faith; ashamed at what this vicious battle has revealed about her. She reproaches herself.
But in this day she must know – Her maker, Jesus , IS her husband! He loves her and forgives her.
In her marriage, Jesus manifested through her husband’s earthly presence as her provider, confidant, protector, priest, and companion. Although her husband’s body is now dead and his spirit in a dimension that the widow is forbidden to communicate with or touch, Jesus wants her to be confident that she has not been abandoned.
Jesus, her Creator, has called Himself her Husband! He is still her provider, confidant, priest, and companion. If she will seek His presence, even for her emotional self, Jesus is still I AM. If she will believe Him, He will be a husband to her. She is NOT alone.
When a widow is finally allowed to leave her body as a carcass and depart into Jesus’ unveiled presence, she will NOT remember the reproach of her widowhood, anymore! She ascends to Him as a spotless Bride. Thank you, Jesus!