Are you in a storm? Are you coming out of one? Can you recall a trial where you saw the hand of God? Trials serve to strengthen our faith.
There was a widow in Zarephath who needed greater faith. When we meet her in 1 Kings 17:10, she has given up. The famine that Elijah had prayed for was in the land, and she was out of food. This distressed widow is preparing her son’s last meal before they die.
Read 1 Kings 17. What were the two requests Elijah made of the widow?
How did Elijah try to sooth the widow’s fears?
What was the first miracle the widow witnessed?
Do you ever feel like you come out of one storm and head right into another? This widow can sympathize with you. God miraculously provided food for her and her son as long as Elijah resided with them. Their lives were spared from starvation only to have her son become deathly ill. How do you think she felt?
What emotion does she display in verse 18?
Do you think Elijah shared in the frustration of the widow (v. 20)?
Here is Elijah, a prophet, but a man, just like us as James has pointed out (James 5:17). Never feel ashamed when your burdens begin to overwhelm your faith. It happened to Elijah. Like the widow, Elijah was wondering what God was doing and why was God allowing it.
Elijah prayed fervently three times for the boy to be revived before God answered. In 1 Kings 18:42-44, Elijah prayed for rain, but he prayed seven times before seeing a tiny cloud. That is almost double the prayer time when compared to the time spent in prayer for the widow’s son. This is a great example for us to understand how God stretches our faith.
According to 1 Kings 17:24, how did this second storm affect the widow’s faith?
God enlarged the faith of Elijah and the widow both. Elijah sounded confident when he declared to the widow that her flour and oil would never run out. God had already provided for Elijah using a babbling brook and the ravens. God had told Elijah a widow would provide food for him in Zarephath, but Scripture never tells us that Elijah was warned about the boy’s illness and death.
Storms catch us off-guard. That is the nature of a storm. Have you ever been out on a summer’s day and suddenly the sky grows black and thunder rumbles? Elijah was caught off-guard with this boy’s sickness.
Whenever God made a promise to Elijah, Elijah was confident. God made no promise concerning the widow’s son.
Do you think Elijah lacked some confidence as he prayed for the boy?
God has promised us many things throughout His Word. Which promises comfort you most? Which ones do you need to cling to more?
Man is a promise-breaker. God is a promise-keeper. We may not know to what extent God will provide for us, but we know He will provide (Phil. 4:19) We may not know when the peace will arrive, but we know it comes (Phil. 4:6-7). We may feel alone, but we know we are never alone (Heb. 13:5). Life may be horrible, but we know some way, God will work it all out for good (Rom. 8:28). Rest on His promises today.
Lord, help us discover Your promises as we read Your Word. Thank You for always keeping the promises You have made. Help us trust You to always come through. Amen.