1 Kings 17:17-24


The Lord knows the widow at Zarephath and is aware of her needs

There was a great drought in the land at the time of Elijah’s visit to the widow at Zarephath in 1 Kings. This story bears strong testimony that God knows and loves each one of his children, because it is obvious that God is VERY aware of this widow and her needs. Elijah had to travel way out of his way to get to this woman. Zarephath was in the opposite direction from where he was. Yet, she was important enough to God that God commanded Elijah to go to her. One can only imagine what her prayers must have been. Maybe she had been praying for a miracle and for deliverance from drought and from her son’s death. Perhaps she didn't think her prayers would be answered like they were.

The widow has faith to walk into the unknown

It is important to know that the widow did not know who Elijah was, and she did not know that there would be more meal and oil left over after she had fed him. She gave ALL she had and put her trust in the Lord. She went to the very edge of her faith, and God sustained her by God’s hand. Sometimes we reach what seems the very end of our limits, the bottom of our barrel, calling upon all our resources. And God provides the deliverance.

The widow receives revelation from the Lord and is faithful and obedient

After all that this woman goes through, her son gets sick and dies (v. 17). This seems to be more than she can bear and she reaches her breaking point. She says to Elijah "What have I to do with you, O man of God? Are you to come to me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?" We don’t know the specific nature of her sin (maybe she is simply recounting in general her past wrongs). Despite her faith, she feels like God has forsaken her and is punishing her. Even Elijah asks God "Have you also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?" After much pleading, Elijah is able to bring her son back to life.
Even though she had witnessed a miracle of God breathing new life into the child, and she had been fed by the hand of the Lord, she still has her moments of weakness and doubt. But as the living child is given back over to his mother she
remembers her faith and the mercy of the Lord and cries "Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in my mouth is truth." God does not leave her alone. Once again God hears her prayers and provides deliverance even when she thinks God has forsaken her and there is no hope.
So, the lessons to be learned from this story from 1 Kings are that:
--Every day we are dependent on God for our lives;
--Whether we recognize it or not God sends us manna from heaven each day we are alive;
--We live by faith; and
--God does not leave us alone. God hears our prayers, and God answers them… often in ways that we never imagined.