“You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.”
This is another one of those places in Job where we see one of his friends, these miserable comforters here, it’s Eliphaz, attributing wickedness to Job that is not true. In Job 22:9 specifically he’s saying, “You’re suffering because you have not cared for others in need. Specifically, ‘You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.'” This is not true. We know this is not true. Obviously, Job is not perfect, but we know that Job was blameless before God, that he was honoring God with his life in the way he loved and cared for others in need.
Honestly, struggling some of these days with what verse to pray according to in Job because especially when these miserable comforters are speaking, they are speaking things that are not true. At the same time, and we’ve talked about this, at different points what they’re saying is in some sense biblically true, that God does call his people to care for widows. God does cause his people to care for orphans, to care for children who are in need of a home, because it is true that God does in his word call his people to care for widows.
Job 22:9 Teaches Us of God’s Care
God does call his people to care for children in need. So I want to lead us to pray according to God’s word along these lines, even as we realize that this truth is being totally misapplied to Job, but it is a reminder when we read Job 22 verse nine that God has called all of us to care for widows and children in need, that this is “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless.” So let’s look at our lives and ask. How are we caring for widows in need personally in the churches of which we’re a part, and how are we caring for children in need?
Reminded that Christ is Blameless
God, we pray that these things would mark us. We want to be blameless before you and selfless in our love for others. We pray that you would make us that kind of people. God, we pray that a mark of our lives and our families and our churches would be care for widows. I think about just immediately just pictures of that kind of care in the church around me. I praise you for your goodness expressed toward widows in need like we read about in I Timothy. God, we pray that you would help us to faithfully care for widows in our lives, in our families, in our churches. God we pray the same in a world where so many children are in need. Reflecting God’s Love
Whether it’s foster care or adoption or coming alongside single parents. God, we pray that you would help us to reflect your love. Your provision, your character for children in need. God, that it might not be said of us that we “sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.” He makes us a people who have true religion that looks after, provides for, goes to, comes alongside, serves, and gives our lives for the sake of the widow and the child in need. May it be so. Oh God, may it be so. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.