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Little Know Bible Characters: The Son of the Widow of Zarepheth

(16)

Sermon shared by Wesley Bishop

July 2006
Summary: This is about a little known Bible character.
Denomination: Wesleyan
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Hello, my name really isnít all that important. Iím one of the little known characters in the Bible. I appear and disappear in a matter of a few verses. I had an incredible encounter with one of the giant men of Bible history. His name was Elijah. He was a prophet from Israel. Iím sure youíve heard of him before.
My father died when I was very young. He worked on the ships that made my people famous. He voyaged out into the Great Sea, which you now call the Mediterranean Sea. The ship sunk, and he and the crew were all lost. Our land was very wealthy because we were engaged in trading with various nations around the Great Sea. Mom tells me that our life was good before dad died. I really donít remember much about him. After dad died, we moved to a small village called Zarepheth.
We were poor. Without dad bringing in a good salary, we lived day-to-day. Often we depended on people or family to help us have enough money to buy food. I wasnít old enough to work yet. Mom tried to hide the fact that we were so poor, but I knew it. I tried not to let on so she wouldnít worry more. My mom was the best. We didnít have much, but she took real good care of me. Our house was very small. We were fortunate enough to have room upstairs.
We were what you would call pagans. We didnít believe in the Yahweh of the people of Israel. We had our own gods. Our town had its own god, and we were quite content with him. Some of the people in our land worshipped a god called Molech. Some people would sacrifice their children to him. I was secretly glad we didnít live in that city. Our god wasnít so fierce. We kept a small statue in our little house. We worshipped this god regularly.
One of the kings of our land had been a friend with the king of Israel at one time. I think his name was Solomon. He was supposed to have been a great king. His God, Yahweh, had given him great wisdom and wealth.
After Solomon died, the country of Israel sort of fell apart. They divided the country into two parts. There were several kings after Solomon. There was this one man named Ahab. I guess he was a real stinker. The God of Israel didnít like what old Ahab was doing. It got so bad that their God made it stop raining. It hadnít rained in months. You see, the terrible drought affected us, because we lived close by. Their God was a very powerful God. The old-timers in our town said it was the worst drought they could remember.
All this made the events of that time in our house all the more strange and amazing. Our food supply was drying up and fast. Water was getting scarce. Grain was scarce. We had to cut back our meager meals. We hadnít had an abundance of food before the drought, but now it was even worse. It made me sad. I wasnít able to run around with the other boys from the town. We used to run through the streets and play tag. We would do was boys do. Just play all day. Now, I wasnít able to do that. Mom said I needed to stay at home. The harder I played the hungrier I got. The hungrier I got the more I wanted to eat. Mom thought if I wasnít so active, I wouldnít eat as much.
Then one day, mom looked especially down. She left the house really depressed. I hadnít seen her like that before. She always tried to be strong for me. My natural boyish curiosity got the better of me. I peaked through the cabinets,
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