BOM-BITES Episode #585 – 1 Kings 17 – powered by Happy Scribe
Hey guys, what’s up? Derek here from BOMSocks with more BOMBites, where we feast upon the words of Christ one bite at a time.
So yesterday I introduced you to Elijah, this hero, this man of God. And again his story is awesome, reminding you of what was said about to him in the Bible Dictionary.
It said his recorded words are few but forceful.
His deeds are explicit evidence of his strength of will, force of character and personal courage. He was an example of solid faith in the Lord. And so in chapter 17, this is where we see one of those instances where Elijah very much does that. So reminding you again, this is in the Northern Kingdom of Israel where you’ve got wicked King Ahab and his equally, if not even wickeder, that’s a word more wicked. Jezebel, this power couple for wickedness causing a lot of problems.
Children of Israel are following them, they’re having a lot of idolatry. So Elijah with his ceiling power seals the heavens and there is a famine because again, like I said, famine is an interesting object lesson, but that famine also affects everybody during that time period. And we’re introduced and again, why is the hero here? I get that, but there’s a woman here in this story. She is a tremendous hero and she’s an unnamed widow from Zerafa.
Now let me show you a couple of verses here. So one King 17, verse eight, the word of the Lord came unto him, elijah saying, arise, get thee to Zerafa, which belonged to Zidane and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. Now just to get you a little bit of context here, elijah had to travel way out of his way to get to this woman because Zerafa was actually in the opposite direction from where he was. Jezebel fun fact was also from this city.
So the widow was from Zerafa, the city of Zidane, which about is kind of where Lebanon is today. She would not have been one of the covenant children of Israel. So non member, if you want to use that phrase. She most likely did not even know that Elijah was a prophet. Which makes this story so much cooler.
As you go to verse number ten, it says, he arose and he went to Zerafa. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering sticks and he called to her and said, fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel that I may drink. Now there’s actually a really cool video. We really don’t have time for it on this episode, but on the come follow me, go watch it. Very few words are spoken and it is one of the best videos I think that is done to tell a great story from the Scriptures.
Verse number eleven, as she was going to fetch it, he called to her and said, bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand, so reminding you that this is a famine. Okay? So here’s a guy she doesn’t even know. He’s a prophet necessarily, but just comes along and says, hey, can you get me some water? And can you get me some bread?
And she said, as the Lord thy God liveth. I have not a cake, but in a handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil in a cruise. And behold, I am gathering two sticks that I, Mary, go in and dress up for me and my son that we may eat and die. So you know the context here. This is salmon.
She’s like, Look, I was just going to come here and do this for my son and I. We’re going to make it, and then we’re going to die, because that is all that we have. Verse 13 is a wonderful verse that’s got one of the, in my opinion, one of the greatest phrases in the Old Testament. Elijah said unto her, Fear not. Go and do.
Those five words are amazing. Go and do as I have said, but make me thereof a little cake first and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel that’s a prophet with a promise there the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruise of oil fail until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. And I love verse 15. It is a simple response to this.
And she went and did, according to the saying of Elijah, and she and he and her house did eat many days. Again, if you get a chance, go watch the video there. I love the way they portray that in this. I love that. Verse 13, fear not, go and do.
And what happens in verse 15? She went and David, you click the footnote there in verse 15 where it says went and did. It gives you a very cool and very well known reference of First Nephi, chapter three, verse seven. I love that. What does she do?
She goes and does. She went and did. There. Now come follow me. There’s a cool statement here.
It says, an invitation to sacrifice is an opportunity to exercise my faith. At first, it might seem hard to understand why the prophet Elijah asks the widow and zerafa to give him food and water before feeding herself and her starving son. But Elijah’s request could be seen as a blessing for this small family. They needed the Lord’s blessings, and sacrifice often brings forth blessings, including the blessing of stronger faith. As you read this story, put yourself in the place of this remarkable widow.
What impresses you about her? Consider the opportunities you have to exercise your faith, including opportunities to sacrifice. How can you be more like this widow? And it’s interesting. It gives a reference to a talk by Elder Lynchy Robbins called tithing a commandment even for the destitute.
Which is interesting because when I served as a bishop and there’s individuals who are struggling with paying tithing, I would often go to the story of the widow of Zerafa and to see the blessings that came from that. This is a story that has nothing to do with tithing but teaches a wonderful principle of sacrifice. Now, as it often happens to us, it’s not like all of a sudden it’s like everything is just hunky dory and great and it works out great. The barrel of meal wasted. Neither did the cruise of oil fail.
Now, in verse 17 and it came to pass that after these things, now, this is crucial. I’ll tell you why in just a moment here that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick and his sickness was so sore that there was no breath in him. So what happens is she takes him then to Elijah and just says, oh, thou man of God, will you heal him? And Elijah takes the boy and he heals him to the point where verse 24, the woman said to Elijah, now, by this I know that thou art a man of God and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth. So I wonder if Elijah had not come along and asked her to sacrifice, I wonder if she would have been so willing to be able to go to him to heal her son because she had seen him perform this miracle.
So when she needed that miracle of the healing of her son, she knew right who to go to and who to show faith in. And I look at this. This is a conversion of this woman here. So when you are asked to sacrifice, oftentimes it’s going to prepare you for other things as well. So this story is so instructive in so many ways.
This woman is a hero because what did she do? Elijah said, Fear not, go and do. And what did she do? She went and did. And I think there’s a great example for you and I there.
And I love this story. It’s one of my favorites in the Old Testament because it teaches so many principles. Love it. Thanks for watching, thanks for subscribing, and thanks so much for sharing these messages. We’re so grateful, grateful that you do that.
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