The Widow of Zarephath helps us to better understand that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. This woman didn’t know that the LORD is a loving LORD. Because of the reviving of her son she knew that Elijah was a man of the LORD God, and that the word of the LORD in his mouth is truth.
1 Kings 17:9–24, Luke 4:25-26
The Widow of Zarephath is a picture of faith. We know a lot about the Widow of Zarephath even though we do not now her name. She was a widow living in Zarephath, a city in Zidon about where Lebanon is today. We need to know about the time period she lived in and the events that led to her faithfulness to the LORD. The king of the kingdom of Israel was Ahab and his wife was Jezebel. It was a wicked time where the worship of false gods was practice. Jezebel had commanded all the prophets in the land to be killed. The LORD God told His prophet Elijah that because of the wickedness of the people He would cause there not to be rain in the land for three and a half years. Elijah was told to dwell by the brook Cheribth. There the LORD provided safety from Jezebel. Elijah was feed by ravens for many days. When the brook of Cheribth dried up the LORD told Elijah to go to the city of Zarephath where there was a widow woman there that would sustain him.
Here is a widow with a son who was not one of the children of Israel 1 Kings 17:10. She is introduced to us by saying she was gathering sticks when Elijah called her to fetch him a little water and a morsel of bread. We learned she did not have but a handful of meal in her barrel, and a little oil in the curse she did not have a cake for Elijah. She explained to Elijah she was gathering two sticks that she could prepare the meal for her and her son that they may eat it, and die.
The LORD God had commanded this widow woman to sustain someone she did not know during a time of great drought and starvation. The LORD knew her, knew all about her situation, and the condition of her heart. The LORD had been preparing her to be an instrument in His hand. She was faithful and obedient to the commands of the LORD.
The Widow of Zarephath did not know who Elijah was, and she did not know that there would be more meal and oil left over after she had fed him. She is a great example of having faith, trust and obedience to the LORD. The Widow of Zarephath is that perfect example of going hand in hand with Jesus I so often speak about. She heard, understood and walked that walk of faith. This was trying times in her life and there was no guarantee there was going to be more meal or oil enough to sustain Elijah, her dying son and herself. She did what had to be done because she had faith in the LORD. She prepared food for Elijah with the last of her food, and trusted his words that her barrel would not be empty.
1 Kings 17:17 tells us it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so bad, that there was no breath left in him. The Widow of Zarephath, the mother of the dying boy was afraid it was her fault because her sins were remembered and they were so bad that the LORD God slayed her son. Elijah took the boy and laid him upon his own bed and cried unto the LORD. He stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, “O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.” The LORD heard the cries of Elijah and revived the child. Elijah took him and delivered him unto his mother. (1 Kings 17:17-23).
The Widow of Zarephath had doubt, just like we all do when we have reached our breaking point. It was at a moment of weakness that she doubted. Elijah also had a moment of doubt. It is not unusual that during times of great stress we forget all the blessings we have received from the LORD. The important thing is to go back to Him in remembrance of Him. The rest of the story is the little child was brought back to life by the LORD God. 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.” Because of the reviving of her son she knew that Elijah was a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in his mouth is truth.
The Widow of Zarephath didn’t blame Elijah or the LORD for the death of her son. She thought it was a punishment because of her sins. This woman didn’t know that the LORD is a loving LORD and would not be punished her by taking her son.
It is common for us all to blame ourselves and our sins for things that happen to us. It is sometimes said we wear our sins on our sleeves. Instead of asking for forgiveness and repenting, we dwell on the short comings of our sins blaming everything bad that has happens in our lives. When we do this we are also forgetting the loving kindness of LORD God.
Titus 3:1-7 is a reminder that we all have been foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diver’s lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. This was before the loving kindness of God our Savior toward man appeared. It is not because of our righteousness or any of our good works that we were saved by Him. It was according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which the LORD has shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
We are totally dependent of the Lord in every aspect of our lives. We have to allow the Lord into our lives and accept His loving kindness and live by faith that He is with us through our journey through live. We are never alone, He hears our every prayers, He answers our prayers in ways we would never imagine.
The Widow of Zarephath is an example of faith. Elijah was staying with the widow and her household while there was a drought in the land. Remember the LORD had commanded a widow woman to sustain Elijah. She was obedient and faithful to the LORD. When her son became sick and died the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he was revived. It was then that the widow knew that Elijah was a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.
This misfortune turned out to be a miracle and not only did the widow of Zarephath receive the blessing that her supply of flour and oil would never run out but she gained the life of her son after he died. Most important she learned that the word of the LORD is the truth. This is another lesson we as women of Christ always need to be reminded of. The Word of the LORD is in reality truth and reliable.
John 1:14 reassures us: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Once again in 1Thessalonians 2:13 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
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MLA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne “The Widow of Zarephath:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Apr 2015.<https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2541,>.
APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, April) “The Widow of Zarephath:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2541,.
Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “The Widow of Zarephath:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (April), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2541, (accessed).