Friday, April 26, 2024

April 26, 2024

Elijah suddenly comes on the scene and speaks to Ahab, the king of Israel, and warns him of a three-and-a-half-year drought. Ahab and his wife Jezebel were Baal and grove worshippers and led Israel further into idolatry. God sent Elijah into hiding beside a brook where he was fed by ravens meat and bread twice a day until the brook dried up. Then, the word of the Lord came to Elijah and told him to seek a woman from Sidon in Zarephath who would help sustain him. I found it interesting that this woman was not an Israelite but was of the same people as Jezebel. God knew she would help him. I also found it interesting that Israel wasn't the only country affected by the drought. When Elijah saw the woman God sent him to, she was preparing her and her son's last meal with what little oil and grain she had. Elijah asked her to stop what she was doing and get him some water, so she did. Then he wanted her to use what was left of the grain and oil to make him a cornbread cake, with the promise that she wouldn't run out of either of them. She did what he said; they had food for the entire drought. 

That was great and all, but then her son dies suddenly, causing her to wonder why this happened after all she did for Elijah and his God. Elijah, who had probably grown attached to the child, scooped him up and took him into his chambers and cried out to God for help, laying upon his body three times and asking God to put his soul back in his body for the sake of the woman who was helping sustain him. God answered his prayer, and Elijah returned the child to his mother. 

There are many lessons in this seventeenth chapter of 1 Kings:

  1. When God gives you a mission, do as he says. Going to Ahab was probably intimidating.
  2. If God tells you to remove yourself from a situation, you best trust Him to provide for you.
  3. God can use any means necessary to help you, including animals and other nations, like the Sidonian woman. 
  4. If God wants you to spend your last dollar on Him, trust that he will give you more than you could ever hope for or imagine. Look at the unending grain and oil that He provided. It reminds me of tithing.
  5. Don't stop praying. We may not have Elijah's power, but we have God's heart, and He hears us when we cry out to Him.

They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. Psalms 37:19

And 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. 1 Kings 17:24

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