Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath (Week 27, Part 1/6) 1 Kings 17-19 | June 27 – July 3 – powered by Happy Scribe
Today we’re talking about the prophet Elijah.
And his work to help turn the Israelites back towards God. One of the things he does is is using his sealing powers, his power of the priesthood, to seal the heavens from rain and it causes a famine.
What Elijah hopes will happen is that the people in their distress will remember that God is the one who brings the rains and brings everything of goodness and joy in life. So even Elijah suffers from the consequence of this.
Like he has to go flee down to one of the ravines near the Jordan. And this is actually even in the best of times when there’s a lot of rain, there’s very little rain in that area where Elijah is.
So he’s being fed by ravens.
He’s maybe himself also struggling with a lack of water.
And then he feels the prompting.
Verse nine. God tells him to head north. So he’s probably down in the Jericho region to head north to the Galilee region, to the town of Xeropath. And God tells him there you’re going to find a widow and her child.
And there you will lodge with them. What God is telling him is, this.
Is where you’re going to be sustained.
Now, let’s just lay out a couple.
Of things that are super significant.
In the ancient world, men really call the shots.
They own the property.
They are the ones who are legally.
Able to create and break contracts they could inherit.
They could bequeath if you were a.
Woman, you couldn’t do those things.
Particularly in ancient Israel, you are either.
Dependent on your father or your husband for your livelihood.
If you’re a child or more specifically.
An orphan, you’re kind of stuck because you have no way of being sustained. Now it’s interesting God sends Elijah to a widow who has an orphan.
And these two individuals are some of.
The most economically destitute of anybody you.
Might find in ancient Israel.
If you look carefully in the scriptures.
God talks about how important it is.
To take care of the widow and.
The orphan under even the best of circumstances. There’s just the loss of the relationship of the father, the husband, there’s the loneliness.
But in the ancient world, it wasn’t.
Like there was a Social Security net.
Or that people could borrow from a.
Retirement account and just have all this.
Money and resources available. It was basically day to day survival.
And the way the society was set up, if the man was removed from the equation, it was now very difficult.
For the women and the children left behind.
And here is God asking Elijah to.
Put himself into the home of this woman who herself probably has almost nothing to keep herself alive. In fact, we hear her saying these things, she’s like, I have so little.
Food left for me.
I was basically going to make a little bit of food and my son and I were just going to wait to die. And this is why I love what God does.
God does not always just make things simple. He often creates a bit of drama or at least creates a scenario where.
He can show his power to save and to bless. And it’s because of the stark contrast.
Of the immediacy of the potential death.
Of the woman and the orphan now having to take on another mouth to.
Feed and God’s ultimate power to save.
You have this massively, amazing, beautiful contrast between what God can do and the.
Death circumstances that these individuals were in. So Elijah, as God’s prophet, makes this promise to this woman because of her faithfulness. He says, your bread will not fail, your oil will not fail, you will have enough to eat.
And he makes this promise like, if.
You’Re faithful and take care of my needs right now to be fed and.
Watered, god will bless you for the duration of this drought. And verse 15 says, she went and.
Did according to the saint of Elijah.
And she and her house did eat.
Many days and the barrel of mill wasted not. Neither did the cruise of oil fail according to the word of the Lord.
Which he spoke by Elijah.
One of the main points of this.
Whole story is that if we are.
100% exact in obedience to God or.
To God’s chosen servants, we will reap the blessings. Now, it’s interesting, God himself did not show up to this woman and say, hey, I understand your circumstances, I’m going to save you. He actually tests her and he challenges her.
This woman, as far as we know, had never met Elijah, but somehow she.
Has enough of the spirit prompting her.
This is God’s chosen prophet.
That being the case, whatever he says.
I can trust and God will protect me.
It’s a daughter of Abraham.
I have the same promises of Abraham.
And Sarah, and if I’m faithful, I.
Have full access to those things and.
That’S what she does. So I think one of the lessons.
We can get from this, there are.
Many, but one is we can trust.
God and his servants.
And we can trust that if we are faithful to God and his servants.
To be exactly obedient to what they’ve.
Asked us to do, we like this woman.
Our barrels of meal will waste not. Neither will the cruise of oil fail in our lives. Whatever we need, God will give us.
In sustaining amounts if we are sustaining.
In our obedience to Him.