The Widow and Elijah

The Widow and Elijah


1 Kings 17:8-12 (NKJV)8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you." 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, "Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink." 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." 12 So she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, 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."


Here we have an example to learn by.


This woman lived in Zarephath, a city which belonged to Sidon.


Sidon was an ancient and wealthy city of Phśnicia, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, less than twenty English miles to the north of Tyre. Its Hebrew name, Tsidon, signifies fishing or fishery. Its modern name is Saida. It is situated in the narrow plain between the Lebanon and the sea.—Smith's Bible Dictionary


She was not an Israelite.  Based on where she lived, she was likely a Phśnician otherwise known as a Canaanite.


There was a famine in the land because there was no rain.


This woman was about to starve.


She had only a little food left.


She had an only son.


Still she was working at gathering sticks to make a fire.


There was only enough food left for one meal.


Her sticks would help her prepare it.


She expected it to be her last meal.


There was not even enough for her to share with a third person.


Read further and see that Elijah told her to fix him bread first.


1 Kings 17:13-14 13 And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.' "


What would you do if you were this woman?


Would you be willing to trust this stranger who said he was from God?


Would you make him cake first?


Would you be willing to bring it to him to eat?


She was told to do this before she even fed herself or her son.


For many people this would be hard.


Example of family running out of food in South Africa.


For this woman, it would mean an earlier death if she did it and Elijah was wrong.


On the other hand, she had almost nothing.


Her only hope was in God.


Some people in this position would blame God for their troubles.


After all, He had caused the rain to stop in response to Elijah’s prayer.


If you were in this position, would you judge God without knowing all that He knows, or would you accept him as Lord no matter what?


God is our God.  We have no right to judge Him.  Job as you know was a man who suffered many things.  He wanted to know why?  What was the answer he got from God?


Job 40:1-5 (NKJV) 1 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said: 2 "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it." 3 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 4 "Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. 5 Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further."


We have no right to judge God.  Therefore we have no right to question His decisions.  Why?  Let’s read on.


Job 40:6-19 (NKJV) 6 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: 7 "Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: 8 "Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? 9 Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? 10 Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. 11 Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. 12 Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. 13 Hide them in the dust together, Bind their faces in hidden darkness. 14 Then I will also confess to you That your own right hand can save you. 15 "Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; He eats grass like an ox. 16 See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles. 17 He moves his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. 18 His bones are like beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron. 19 He is the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword.


We are taught to question everything.  We never stop to consider that God is so high above us that we have no right to question Him.  Can a man judge God who made Him?  It is sheer impudence.  It is the height of foolish pride.  We must fear, honor, reverence and obey God.  We have no right to question Him.


What do you think this woman did?


I Kings 17:15-16 15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.


This woman believed the messenger of God.


Because of her belief she lived.


She believed at a time when many in Israel no longer did.


Luke 4:24-26 (UKJV)24 And he said, Truly I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elijah sent, save unto Zarephath, a city of Sidon, unto a woman who was a widow.


Jesus said this in Nazareth.


Nazareth was where Jesus was raised.


The people there knew him since he was a boy.


They would not believe him.


Later, the Jews would not follow Jesus as well as the Gentiles.


Sometimes those who have the most reason to follow Jesus follow him the least.


Sometimes, for example, those who have grown up knowing the Gospel do not follow God even though their parents showed them the right way.


Sometimes strangers to the Gospel obey it the best after they hear it.


It doesn’t have to be this way.


Remember that Jesus brother, named James, probably wrote the book of James.


His mother was listed among the faithful even after Jesus’ death.


Luke 12:47-48 (NKJV) 47 And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.


Has God given you more than he has given to others?


He expects more of you.


Have you grown up with faithful parents?


If so then you have more than someone whose parents never knew God.


You should do better because of your advantage.


Do you have more knowledge?


You should use it.


Has God given you a talent with languages?


Use it for him.


God has given all of us this time to hear His word.


We should use it.


We all need more faith.


We all need to be more like the widow we just learned about.


We must put all our belief in God.


What about you?


Have you believed God?


If you really believe God, you will do what He says.


Have you been doing what God tells you to do in His word?


Are you faithful?


Would you have enough faith to give God your last meal like this widow?


Or have you been ignoring what God has given you?


Do you need to repent and turn back to God?


If you need to repent, this is your chance.


If you need to become a Christian this is also your chance.


Come forward and give your life more fully to God as we stand and sing.



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