Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath

1 Kgs 17:1-24

This chapter introduced Elijah, one of Israel‘s most famous prophets, for the first time. He told Ahab that there would be no rain nor dew in the land until he said otherwise. After this declaration, God told Elijah to go hide in the brook of Cherith close to Jordan. At this brook, God sent ravens to feed Elijah with bread and flesh morning and evening, and he also drank from the brook.

After a while the water from the brook dried up because of the drought, then the word of God came to Elijah again. This time God told him to go to Zarephath, and that he had given command to a widow woman to sustain him there. God showed that he goes ahead of us and makes provisions for our needs even before they arise. Maybe this widow was praying and God already told her that she would be hosting a prophet in Elijah, or maybe he had simply prepared her heart to be kind and welcoming to strangers, all are different ways in which God could use others to minister to us.

So, Elijah went to Zarephath, and as he got to the gates he saw the widow gathering sticks and told her to get him some water. As she went, he asked for more, “and some bread”. The woman then made him know that the stick she was gathering was to make the last bread from the little flour and oil left  in the house, herself and her son would eat that and afterwards die. Elijah, however told her not to worry and go prepare his first, and that at God’s word, the flour and oil would both not finish until God sent rain again. The woman went and did as she was told, and she and her her house ate many days. Through her faith in God, this woman was sustained through famine, she did not argue with God’s word, trusted his servant, and was fed.

However, in the nature of many things in life, despite Elijah’s presence, evil still raised its head as we learnt that the only son of this widow got sick unto death. The widow thought it was due to the presence of Elijah, and God bringing her own sins to remembrance, just like we would all want to explain the reasons for the bad things that happen to us. Elijah however took the boy to his bosom, interceded to God on his behalf, and the boy’s life was restored as his soul came into him again. When the widow received her son back alive, she testified that Elijah was indeed a man of God, and God’s word in his mouth was truth.

Walking with God is usually not a straight or smooth path. It is a whole journey, an adventure that could be filled with thrills and frills. Both the life of Elijah and this widow of Zarephath exemplified this.  The main thing however is that through them all, we should trust in him who has called us to walk with him, and know that he has good thoughts and intentions for us.

Will you believe and trust Him???

Some verses to remember

vs 5:  So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

vs 14: For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

vs 22:  And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

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