Elijah and the Widow
Written by Leslie Cook
July 3, 2018

Can you imagine having such a relationship with God that you can control nature and walk in God’s power?  This power was miraculously seen when Elijah came up against Ahab and Jezebel and their prophets, you noticed I didn’t say “God’s prophets”.  Elijah told Ahab in 1 Kings 17:1 “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.  Whew!!!  He didn’t say at God’s word, he said at his word.  But in reality Elijah’s word was God’s word because he never operated outside of the will of God so he can speak on God’s behalf.  We have that power too if we sanctify ourselves but back to my story.

Once Elijah spoke those words the famine began.  God summons Elijah and in verse 3 tells him to go eastward and hide by the Brook Cherith because God is preparing him for his next journey.  See how good our God is.  Not only did God provide for Elijah before his journey, but he hid Elijah because Elijah was always being sought after by Ahab and Jezebel (that is my spin on it) or God brought him in closer for spiritual reasons.  God knew Elijah would face hardships because of the famine so God instructed the ravens to feed him twice a day, bread and meat and he drank from the brook.  In this, his body was being nourished before his journey because we don’t know how far he walked or how many days before his next meal.  The bible doesn’t say the ravens continued to feed him once he left the brook.

Eventually the brook dried up and the Lord speaks again and tells Elijah to go to Zarephath and stay there because I have COMMANDED a widow there to provide for you.  So God not only provided Elijah with sustenance but also a place to live.  As soon as he approached Zarephath, the widow was right there at the gate.  Elijah immediately asks her for a drink and as she goes to get it, he also asks for something to eat.  She tells him she has no bread but just enough flour and oil to prepare a meal for herself and her son and then they will die.  Now the word says “God COMMANDED a widow to feed Elijah.  Obviously from the discourse it didn’t mean that God went to the widow and had a conversation.  If that was the case she would not have mentioned not having enough to eat when Elijah approached her; she would have known what to do. 

At this point Elijah speaks again and says “Woman do not fear; go and do as you have said but make me a small cake first and then feed yourself and your son for thus says the LORD God of Israel: The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.”  Now this widow just turns around, heads home and does as he says.  This should not be taken lightly; we are talking about a widow and her son who were close to death because of the famine in the land.  She had no husband to take care of her and according to tradition it was the oldest son’s responsibility to take care of her because he received a double portion of what his father had.

What made her decide to feed Elijah first?  I believe she couldn’t say “No” if she wanted to.  As a matter of fact, I don’t believe it even entered her mind to say “No” because as soon as Elijah spoke the blessing she turned on a dime, headed home, baked that cake for the Man of God, because God had COMMANDED IT, and because of her obedience her whole household was provided for until the famine ended.  God’s Word does not return to Him void and that word entered her heart as Elijah spoke with her at the gate, as she was collecting wood for her last meal and God didn’t even make Elijah wait.

God always takes care of His people and confirmed to Elijah even before taking his first step that he would be taken care of and by whom, and because Elijah’s faith was strong and God had already proven Himself to Elijah on several occasions, he just started walking, no questions asked.  He didn’t ask what the widow looked like, where did she live, none of that.  He knew when he got there God would provide because God never tells us everything.  God said “I have commanded your provisions with no additional information; just walk.”  He gives out information on a “need-to-know” basis and we obey as we go, building up our faith and being strengthened as we continue on this journey called life.