1 Kings 17:8-24
8 Then the LORD said to Elijah, 9 “Now go to the town of Zarephath, near Sidon, and stay there. I have commanded a widow who lives there to feed you.” 10So Elijah went to Zarephath, and as he came to the town gate, he saw a widow gathering firewood. “Please bring me a drink of water,” he said to her. 11 And as she was going to get it, he called out, “And please bring me some bread, too.”
12 She answered, “By the living LORD your God I swear that I don't have any bread. All I have is a handful of flour in a bowl and a bit of olive oil in a jar. I came here to gather some firewood to take back home and prepare what little I have for my son and me. That will be our last meal, and then we will starve to death.”
13 “Don't worry,” Elijah said to her. “Go on and prepare your meal. But first make a small loaf from what you have and bring it to me, and then prepare the rest for you and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The bowl will not run out of flour or the jar run out of oil before the day that I, the LORD, send rain.’”
15 The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16 As the LORD had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil.
17 Some time later the widow's son got sick; he got worse and worse, and finally he died. 18 She said to Elijah, “Man of God, why did you do this to me? Did you come here to remind God of my sins and so cause my son's death?”
19 “Give the boy to me,” Elijah said. He took the boy from her arms, carried him upstairs to the room where he was staying, and laid him on the bed. 20 Then he prayed aloud, “O LORD my God, why have you done such a terrible thing to this widow? She has been kind enough to take care of me, and now you kill her son!” 21 Then Elijah stretched himself out on the boy three times and prayed, “O LORD my God, restore this child to life!” 22 The LORD answered Elijah's prayer; the child started breathing again and revived.
24 She answered, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the LORD really speaks through you!”
Some lessons to learn:
God does punish sin.
- King Ahab was incredibly wicked, even more wicked than any of the kings before him.
- He married a very wicked woman.
- He killed Naboth in order to have his vineyard for his own.
- He provoked God to anger by what he did and didn’t do.
God cares for widows and woman
- She had lost much and was discouraged.
- Elijah was sent to help her and as a result himself.
- She told Elijah she had only enough food for one more meal for her and her son, then they would die. Such was the famine in Israel.
- Elijah, in God’s authority, spoke that her flour and oil would not lessen in amount until the rains came.
She believed God.
- God gives many promises in the Bible.
- We need to believe these.
- God gives these promises to encourage and help each believer.
Her faith was tested when her son became sick and died.
- Even though she was discouraged, she still sought God’s help. She passed the test.
- We will be tested in many ways to see if we will continue in the faith.
- God will help us by giving us grace.
- We may or may not have such a miracle as this mother had.
We can speak plainly to God.
- Note how Elijah prays plainly to God. Elijah tells exactly how he feels, “Then he prayed aloud, “O LORD my God, why have you done such a terrible thing to this widow? She has been kind enough to take care of me, and now you kill her son!” (Verse 20).
- God is a wonderful counselor.
- One of the first steps in healing is to tell our story of pain.
- The next is for the counselor to believe it.
- We may have to tell our story over and over with tears and groans at the pain we have faced, but we can speak plainly.
- Isaiah 9:6 A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, "Wonderful Counselor," "Mighty God," "Eternal Father," "Prince of Peace."
We need to be persistent in our prayers.
- Elijah prayed 3 times.
- We may pray until we die.
- Maybe God will answer our prayer the way we want it, or maybe not.
- We must not quit.
- The Persistent Widow, Luke 18:1-8 Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray at all times and not lose heart: 2 “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to him, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God or respect men, 5 yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice. Then she will stop wearing me out with her perpetual requests.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to the words of the unjust judge. 7 Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He continue to defer their help? 8 I tell you, He will promptly carry out justice on their behalf. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”
She humbly acknowledges her lack of faith.
- “Now I know you are a man of God.”
- We should always acknowledge our faults and not cover them up.
- God will forgive us our sins.
- 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God will not leave us in troubles: Hebrews 13:5 ...For God has said, "I will never leave you; I will never abandon you."