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The Widow at Zarephath

(152)

Sermon shared by Richard Francis

March 2006
Summary: This is a story of a mothers love, love that grovels in the dust for her child, love that gives away the last meal in faith, love that meets with God and finds his deliverance
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Mothers
Today is Mothers day, hope you remembered, as do the card companies they need your revenue – There is no special reference to a mothers day in the bible so why today? That’s a bit cynical but that’s the way the of world views today, profit, good chance to squeeze a few pounds out of them on that guilt trip But wait, when I study the bible and read on the subject of mothers and family, every day should be a mothers day (that’s me fixed for tea and biscuits after the sermon!). We will consider today more about mothers. Mothers we all need them, we all come from them, they are central to our very existence, bringers of life, nurturers, protectors, encouragers, sacrifice’s self for others, givers of care, sources of love, lovers, sisters and so much more, were do you start?

I search for a good example of a mother to share today with you and the story of Elijah the Tishbite and the Widow at Zarephath spoke to me as a wonderful word to feed us today, this is one of those powerful encounters that fill the bible seek and you shall find.

Family Unit
Consider, What is a family unit? Father, Mother and Children, I would say the strongest family unit is Father, Mother and God, from which the children can be nurtured in the best environment – but that’s fine but its not the only way to be family. look at the world around us, these “perfect” family units are the minority - the majority are broken families. Single parents, mostly mothers struggling to bring children up by themselves, no help, Father long gone or dead, do we cast these families away cause they don’t fit our perfect model, never, we need to embrace them bring them closer and help. Help to bring God, bring Jesus in that restores brokenness, gives strength to carry on and helps the love to nourish – to pray for them. This resonates with the key theme for today’s message, which is “God Provides”, as you listen to me and read the words in this story open your mind to God and his provision, to Elijah and the Widow, to the world through the gift and creation of all mothers and most of all through his love that is never ending and never emptied and for all

Man of God
Cometh the hour to serve Gods need in the land of Israel, cometh the man Elijah who’s very name means “Yahweh is my God” , talk about take up your cross and follow me, no hiding loyalties. Consider the state of the nation it was the time of Ahab and Jezebel, a terrible time a time of out right idol worship to baal and hideous things, think today’s bad! The whole nation was turned against God, did things detestable to God. Ahab made the GOD of Israel angrier than all the previous kings of Israel put together! It was a crucial time in the history of Israel. It looked as if the worship of the true God might be completely eliminated in the northern kingdom. The land swarmed with the priests of Baal glorying in their sudden rise to power; insolent, greedy, licentious, and debased. The fires of persecution were lit, and began to burn with fury. – Seen the news recently, tell me do we live in similar times? Of all the thousands of Israel, only seven thousand remained who had not bowed the knee or kissed the hand to Baal. Declining Church indeed, still feeling comfortable? But they were paralyzed with fear; and kept so still, that their very existence was unknown by Elijah in the hour of his great loneliness – Who would
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