Imagine that your pantry is empty...even the shelves of your refrigerator are bare. You have no idea where you will get your next meal. That is what happened to the widow of Zarephath. She lived during a time when people often turned to idols to supply their needs, the most prominent being Baal. In fact, during the reign of King Ahab, Baal worship even became prominent in Israel.
The prophet Elijah arrived with an ominous message from God. A terrible drought was coming that would prove Baal powerless (v. 1). After Elijah delivered his message, God instructed him to go to a remote hiding place, where Elijah could drink from a brook and be fed by ravens (v. 4).
When the brook dried up, God instructed Elijah to go back into Baal territory—to Zarephath, where God would provide for him in another unlikely way. The Lord had commanded this poor widow to feed Elijah. While we don’t know much about her, we do know she had no food to spare. She had been planning her last meal for her and her son before they would die (v. 12).
Then Elijah made a miraculous promise: The widow’s flour and oil would not run out until God brought rain (v. 14). So the widow trusted in God’s promise, acting in obedience. But her troubles were not over. Her son became ill and died. In grief, she lashed out at Elijah, fearing that her own sin had killed her son. Elijah took the boy’s body to his upper room and prayed until God restored his life. She knew two things: Elijah is a man of God, and the word of the Lord is truth (v. 24).
>> There are times when we are called to walk by faith and not by sight. We trust that God will protect us and act on our behalf, even when the way before us seems troubled. If you are in that situation, turn to God for help and deliverance today.
The pressures and fears of our daily lives often feel more immediate than Your presence, Father. We ask that You provide us respite and remind us that You are in control. We turn to You for the peace we crave.