Elijah And The Widow At Zarephath


At the beginning of the chapter Elijah prophesies that there will be no dew or rain for the next few years, 1 Kings 17:1 / James 4:17. We also read that God miraculously fed Elijah using ravens. They brought bread in the morning and meat in the evening. God was using the ravens to provide His prophet food, 1 Kings 17:2-7.

After being miraculously fed by the ravens, Elijah’s water supply from the brook dried up because of the drought and God tells him to go to Zarephath.

The journey from Gilead, 1 Kings 17:1, to Zarephath in the region of Sidon, was quite a journey, 1 Kings 17:7-10, but this region was out of Ahab’s jurisdiction. Zarephath was a relatively safe place because it was near where Jezebel’s father lived.

When Jesus spoke about Zarephath, it was in relation to His lesson about a prophet not being accepted in his own town, Luke 4:26.

Earlier God miraculously fed Elijah by using ravens, 1 Kings 17:2-7, now we read about this widow, whose name isn’t mentioned, feeding Elijah out of her poverty. She was willing to take care of Elijah, even though she was in a desperate state of poverty and had no hope for the future.

Elijah first asks for water, which she was gladly going to get, 1 Kings 17:10, despite there being a drought, 1 Kings 17:7, but then Elijah asks for some bread, 1 Kings 17:11. She is honest enough to say that she only has enough bread for one more meal for her and her son, 1 Kings 17:12.

Elijah tells her to go and make that bread and bring it to him because God has told him, that as long as she takes care of him, the flour and the oil will never run out in her house, 1 Kings 17:13-14.

Now she had a decision to make. She had to make a decision, is she going to trust the God of Israel and obey Him and let Him take care of tomorrow?

She went home and she made that little bit of bread, and she brought it to Elijah, and they went back to her house and there was flour in that jar and oil in that jar, 1 Kings 17:15-16.

There was flour and oil in her house as long as the prophet lived there and until the rain came, so, she chose to obey God and trust Him for her long-term future, 2 Kings 4:1-7.

This reminds me of the times when Jesus fed the multitude with only a few fish and loaves, Matthew 14:13-21 / Matthew 15:32-39.

Sadly, sometime later, the widow’s son became ill and died and she appears to be blaming Elijah for this happening, 1 Kings 17:17-18. After questioning God, Elijah throws himself on top of the boy three times and cries out to the Lord, 1 Kings 17:19-21. God graciously heard his prayer and granted his request, and the boy was raised back to life, 1 Kings 17:22-23.

With this miracle, the widow was overwhelmed that her son was now alive and she then knew that Elijah was indeed a true prophet of God, 1 Kings 17:24.

Although this was a private event, when we get to the New Testament we see Jesus demonstrating that He too could raise people from the dead for God’s glory so that the people would know He was from God, John 11:38-43.

What About You?

The widow trusted God’s Word, that His mercies were new every morning, Lamentations 3:21-26, She trusted God for her daily bread, Matthew 6:11, and she certainly didn’t worry about tomorrow, Matthew 6:25-34.

When desperate times come are you willing to have faith in God to meet your needs today, and trust Him for a miracle tomorrow?

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19