The Big Read – Daily Read
1 Timothy 5:3-16
v3: In the time of the early church, widows were often poor and vulnerable. If they were members of a local church, that local church, as far as they are able to, are to care and provide for them. Their example remains a good example for us to follow
v4-8: Churches, when giving gifts to those in need, are to take care to make sure “that those who most need and deserve it” are supported. Widows who have relatives who are able to support them are not to be supported by the church. “It is the indispensable duty of children, if their parents are in need and they are able to relieve them, to do everything in their power to that end.”
v9-15: “The reputation of… churches is greatly affected by the character and behaviour of those who… receive gifts from the church.” For this reason, the character of widows is to be taken into account before providing support. Caution is to be taken about supporting those in need who are idle, because “it is rare that those who are idle are only idle.” With the extra time on their hands, they are often gossips and busybodies who cause trouble and sow seeds of discord among their brothers and sisters in the church.
v16: It is important that those who can help their poor relative, do so, rather than burdening the church with that need. This is “so that the church may relieve those who are widows indeed” with “no children or grandchildren able to help them.”
Devotional notes adapted from Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
(Photo: Brad Neathery)