This is a story about a beautiful lady – a widow I love dearly. She was created beautifully inside and out, nourished with the best kinds of food, blessed with tremendous blessings, studied at the feet of the best teachers. These were all men who believed in God, knew His ways and taught her all they knew. Later she married the best man I have ever met. He loved her dearly, and was even willing to give his life for her.
Who is this widow?
Her name is Israel. Indeed, she is beautiful. And yes, she has done any thing she could to betray her Husband. Those who say she deserves what she has been going through are right, in a certain sense. They just don’t really know her Husband. They don’t fully understand what a promise or a covenant are.
The nation of Israel today indeed looks like a forsaken woman who is grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife who has been refused (Isa. 54:6). Yet, God says that though for a mere moment He has forsaken us, with great mercies He will gather us. Though He hid His Face from us momentarily, with everlasting kindness He will have mercy on us. “This is like the waters of Noah to Me,” He says. “For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed” (Isa. 54: 9-10).
Look at verse 13, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” What a great comfort for a widow!
Israel is a widow, not because her Husband died, God forbid! She is a widow because spiritually, there is no one to manage her. Most Israelis do not believe in God, and those who do, claim that God is hiding His face from us. Most of the nations of the world trample Israel, and almost all the leaders of the world think they know better than her what she needs to do in order to exist. Some of us believe that all we deserve is to glean some wheat in foreign fields, so long as we have something to eat at the end of the day. That there is no chance we can achieve the rest and redemption we so desire.
The original meaning of the word Widow
The original meaning of “widow” in the Old Testament had a far wider scope than the one we attribute to it nowadays. A widow was someone whose husband died, but it also referred to a neglected or abandoned city or land, who had no one to manage it, who had no one to lean on, and specifically to Zion, and to Jerusalem. God calls Israel a widow:
“How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow is she, who was great among the nations!” (Lam. 1:1).
“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore” (Isa. 54:4).
Israel is a widow, not because her husband is dead, God forbid! But because He turned His Face from her. Only for a brief moment, but He did. Israel is a widow because she doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of a loving Husband, capable of providing for all of her needs.
Thank God the amazing promise of restoration of this widow unto her Husband, “ ‘For your Maker is your Husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,’ says your God. ‘For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My Face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,’ Says the Lord, your Redeemer” (Isa. 54:4-8).
This is where you come into the picture. You can reveal to Israel, the bitter and ancient widow, the Face of her Redeemer, the One she still does not recognize.
This article originally appeared on Ot OoMofet Ministries – A Sign and Example, and reposted with permission.