Elijah Visits a Widow at Zarephath

A young girl had to pass through a bad neighborhood. As she went down a dark street she noticed a shadowy figure stalking her. She was gripped with fear, but to her relief the stalker did not attack. Later, she read of another young lady who was attacked that same night in that s … More

Provision

 

 

Elijah’s prophetic ministry dominates this section of the book of l Kings. He had been prepared by the Lord to demonstrate to all of Israel that God and not Baal is still the only true God. Perhaps as Elijah heard reports of Jezebel’s increasing maneuverings to replace the worship of the Lord with Baal worship his godly heart was stirred up. God gave him a mission..

 

Appearing suddenly on the scene, Elijah stood before Ahab and announced a three and one-half year drought. Having made this dramatic announcement, Elijah was told by the Lord to leave Samaria and travel eastward. He was to ride from Ahab by the brook Cherish, east of the Jordan River. There the Lord provided him with water, bread and meat brought by the ravens. (l7:l-7).

 

In his next directive Elijah is sent into Jezebel’s home territory. From here he went to Zarephath where God had already commanded a “widow” to provide for him. Although the widow only had enough flour and oil to make bread that would last for one meal for her and her son, Elijah assured her that God would provide.

 

Soon after his arrival the widow’s son died. She had a guilty conscience and immediately concluded that God was punishing her for her sin by killing her son. She took him to Elijah and he took the child and prayed. His prayer was not a simple request but out of a heart of deep concern. The Lord miraculously restored the boy’s life. This is the first recorded instance in Scripture of restoration to life of one who had died. This miracle proved to the widow that Elijah was indeed a man of God.

 

Application

 

 

In a nation that was required by law to care for its prophets it is ironic that God turned to unclean birds and a widow who was a foreigner to care for Elijah. It is amazing how God provided for me in areas where I least expected it.

 

I Kings 17:1-24 (English Standard Version)

Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word." And the word of the LORD came to him: "Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there." So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him, "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you." So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink." And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." And she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die." And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'" And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah. After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elijah, "What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!" And he said to her, "Give me your son." And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. And he cried to the LORD, "O LORD my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?" Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD, "O LORD my God, let this child's life come into him again." And the LORD listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, "See, your son lives." And the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »