Paul in Chapter 5 is giving the Church instructions on how it is to take care of those who are truly vulnerable in our society, for the record I don’t believe Paul was expecting widows to remarry immediately. Paul makes it very clear that those who can remarry and make an honest living should, and not become a burden on their local community / church; by heeding his advice it would free up resources for those who were / are dire need.
God never intended us to live idly in Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” [ESV] Work itself was originally intended to be spiritual stewardship and not a secular requirement which puts a totally different perspective on going to work and how we should view it.
In verse 18 Paul quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” [ESV] with some Scholars saying this could be one of the earliest moments when the Lord’s Word is been quoted as Scripture, with Paul reminding the Church that animals are to be treated in a humanely manner. The verse that came to mind when Paul instructs employers to treat their employees fairly is Malachi 3:5 where the Lord says he will ‘swiftly judge those who oppress their workers with their wages, widows and fatherless’ (paraphrased).
Verse 19 is counter-cultural to today’s current social media climate where anyone with a number of followers can make an accusation against someone / organisation, and it becomes viral usually with the accused having their jobs put at risk, threats been made against them and their families; and in a number of cases the story has been blown out of proportion with some additions to what actually happened. Again Paul is quoting Deuteronomy from 19:15 “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offence that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.” [ESV] But the Church needs to investigate accusations of abuse, sexual sin; this doesn’t need to be made public until the investigation is complete (safe guarding measures will need to be put in place to protect the congregation both physically and spiritually). A current story in the media and on social media is a recently deceased evangelical preacher, who was abusing his position of trust against vulnerable women. When the first allegation came to light, his family, friends and board didn’t believe the victim allowing further women to be exploited until his death.
This coming week, try and think of someone / family who are in need and seek the Lord for His wisdom on how you can help them, not all help requires you to spend money.
All Bible quotes and links have been taken from http://www.biblegateway.com