Elijah and the Widow
May 17 - Nº 137 1 Kings 16:29 – 17:24
When Ahab became the king of Israel, he married the daughter of the king of the Sidonians. Her name was Jezebel. The people from Sidon were notorious for worshiping false gods—especially Baal. Jezebel was no exception. As a matter of fact, she convinced Ahab to worship Baal, too. He even built a temple in Samaria (the capital city of Israel) and dedicated it to Jezebel’s false god. This made God very angry! He sent a prophet named Elijah to Samaria to talk to the king. “I come with this message from God,” he said. “There will be no dew or rain for the next few years until I say so!” God knew that King Ahab would try to kill Elijah, so He told His prophet to leave Samaria and hide in the Kerith Ravine near the Jordan River. He added, “The brook will provide you with fresh water, and I have already instructed the ravens to bring you food.” Elijah did exactly as God had instructed him. Every morning and evening the ravens brought him bread and meat, and he drank all he needed from the brook. But as the drought continued, the brook dried up. God told him to leave that place and go to a town outside of Israel named Zarephath. “I have instructed a widow there to give you food,” He said. When Elijah entered the village of Zarephath, he saw a woman gathering sticks. He said to her, “Please bring me some water.” As she left to get it, he added, “And could you bring me a piece of bread?” “I don’t have any bread,” the widow responded. “All I have is a handful of flour in a jar and a little bit of olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to light a fire so that I can make one last meal to share with my son. Then we will die.” Elijah said, “Don’t be afraid to follow my instructions. Go home and make a small loaf for me first. Then after I eat, make something for yourself and your son. The Lord God of Israel has promised, ‘The jar will always have flour and the jug will always have oil until the day that God sends rain.’” The woman chose to honor Elijah’s request. She made a small loaf and gave it to the prophet. Sure enough, from that day on, the jar always had flour and the jug of oil never ran dry. Elijah stayed in the widow’s home until the famine ended. While he was still there, her son became sick—so sick that he died! The woman went to Elijah and cried, “Man of God, why did you come to my house? Did you come to remind me of my sin and then punish me by killing my son?” Elijah took the boy from her arms and carried him upstairs to the guest room. He laid the boy on his bed. Then he cried out to God, “Oh Lord, why did you bring me into this woman’s home and then bring this tragedy?” He stretched his body out over the boy three times and prayed, “God, please let this boy’s life return!” Suddenly the boy started to breathe. Elijah picked him up and carried him down to his mother. He said, “Look, your son is alive!” As she embraced her son, the woman exclaimed, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God! The words you speak are true because they are from Him!”
Do you realize that the things we own cannot bring us security? Only our willingness to trust God can! This poor widow seemed to have nothing to gain by giving Elijah her the last or her flour and oil. Yet she was willing to trust that God would take care of her. Because she was willing to give up all that she had, God took care of her needs in miraculous and abundant ways!