1 Kings 16:29-17:24

Read 1 Kings 16:29-17:24.

Then the word of the LORD came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”

1 Kings 17:8–9

By all indications, God was sending Elijah into enemy territory, in the middle of a drought, to receive food from a woman who had next to nothing. This doesn’t seem to be going well. And that is even before Elijah actually meets the widow, who doesn’t seem to be in on this whole plan at all. She acknowledges the living God, but she also knows that what she has isn’t enough for her and her son, let alone Elijah. So what’s the deal here? God said He’d made arrangements for Elijah in Zarephath. Had Elijah just gone to the wrong woman? What was he supposed to do now?

Elijah’s intuition proves to be right on the money. He acknowledges the woman’s fears. They do, after all, make sense. But he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to share with her the promises of God to provide for her and her son. And that’s where things really get wild. This woman who had enough flour and oil to provide one last meal for herself and her son took that flour and oil and prepared a meal Elijah. And God met the audacity of her obedience with the provision of her needs.

Elijah comes up against one impossible situation after another, with death pressing closer and closer until it finally arrives for the widow’s son, but it’s there in the death of this woman’s son that God brings resurrection life and renewed faith in His word. The resurrection of a son produced assurance of faith. And this wouldn’t be the last time. We can face our most difficult challenges “knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us” (2 Cor. 4:14) into his presence.

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