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April 30, 2022

Elijah the Tishbite, who resided in Gilead, lived during the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was introduced to the readers of scripture in 1 Kings 17. He gave King Ahab this Word, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” This made him an enemy of King Ahab, who, along with Israel, was worshipping Baal, the god of Ahab’s wife. (Baal was supposedly the Phoenician fertility god of rain and bountiful harvest.)

God instructed Elijah to escape for his life, leave Samaria, and go east to the brook Cherith where he would be safe. While there, Elijah was able to drink from the brook, and he was brought bread and flesh in the morning and evening by ravens whom God commanded to do so. Eventually, the brook dried up, and God sent Elijah a hundred miles to Zarephath, which belonged to Zidon. This time God chose a Gentile widow to provide food for Elijah.

When Elijah arrived in Zarephath, he saw the woman and requested her to bring him some water, and as she went, he asked her also for a morsel of bread. She replied, “As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Nevertheless, Elijah responded, “Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” So, the widow acquiesced, and the meal and oil lasted throughout the drought, just as Elijah stated.

During his stay with the widow, her son became ill and died, which caused her to question her past sins. However, Elijah took the dead child to his room, fervently prayed to God, stretched himself upon the child three times, and God revived the child. When Elijah brought the live child back to his mother, she declared, “Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.”

Here are my thoughts on this chapter:

  • The scriptures did not reveal a genealogy or any personal information on Elijah. He appeared in the scripture at a time when Israel thought they could serve the God of their forefathers and worship Baal, the chief god of the Canaanite nations. God will always have someone who will stand up for righteousness and speak to powers concerning immorality and idolatry. With this in mind, as ambassadors of God we cannot synthesize the Word, sinful practices, and popular opinions of our day and think God is pleased. Like Elijah, we are to stand up for the truth.
  • Guard against doing the popular.
  • God kept His Word. He told Israel if they committed idolatry, He would keep dew and rain from their land (Lev.26:3-4, 18-19, Deut. 11:16-17; 28:23-24). Thus, idolatry produces unfavorable consequences.
  • Believing in the prophet’s words will prepare you for the days ahead.
  • God works in miraculous ways. To accomplish His purpose, God will use anyone and anything.
  • During times of drought and famine, God provides. You can rely on God for your daily bread.
  • God gives direction as needed; He does not overload us with information.
  • God can keep you safe in enemy territory.
  • God meets the need of the believer as well as the unbeliever. Additionally, God can meet multiple conditions at the same time.
  • Prayer changes situations.
  • Undeniable miracles will cause people to believe in God.
  • Elijah’s experiences in Samaria, at the brook Cherith, and in Zarephath were to build his faith and trust in God. Small challenges are a stepping stone to bigger challenges. Remember the divine interventions of the past, for they will help you navigate your future.


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