Summary: This is a Mother’s Day message based on Elijah and the Widow
You ever been broke? I mean really broke? She was and she couldn’t believe her ears! She was at the end of her rope. Life was hard enough for a widow in that day and age, but the drought that they had been experiencing had been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Well she should have been lucky enough to have a camel with a broken back. She was out of food, out of money and was so broke that she couldn’t even afford to pay attention. She had enough food at home to make one last meal, and she figured hey if we’re going to starve might as well have a hot meal first. So out she went to collect some fire wood and it was at that point that into her life comes the prophet Elijah, who like a typical preacher was asking for something. Now the first request was fairly simple, he said “Would you please bring me a cup of water?” Well, that wasn’t all that tough, even she could afford to give someone a drink of water, but as she turned to walk away it got a little tougher because he said “oh by the way could you grab me a sandwich as well.” Her response to this man of God would not only have an immediate impact on her life but it would ultimately be a life changing impact.
Mother’s day and mothers. A Jewish proverb says, “God could not be everywhere so he made mothers.” The Spanish say, “an ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.” Think about it mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. Now let’s recognize right off that simply having children does not make you a mother, all you have to do is watch the news to have that verified. Napoleon said, “The future destiny of a child is the work of a mother”. I believe that mothers have a special place in the heart of God.
And so in the book of I Kings we are told a story of a mother, I used this text a couple of weeks ago as we looked at stewardship and thought wow that would be a great Mother’s Day Story. A single mom with a son, who was facing the type of economic pressure that single mom’s still face today. Except there was no safety net for her, no monthly cheques coming in, she lived on what she could scrape together to live on. And on this fateful day, this day when she figured that she was at the very end of her rope and there wasn’t even enough rope left to tie a knot God arranges for to take a trip into the divine zone.
And although we know very little about the woman who was written of in the scripture that Karen read this morning we do know that she was a mother and a very devoted mother. And because today is mother’s day I thought it fitting that I should preach on a mother, and not just any mother but a very special mother. And even though my mother is a very special mother I thought that using a mother from the Bible would be more a little more appropriate for church.
The prophet Elijah has foretold of a famine and drought that would over come Israel, and in the course of this famine and drought he finds himself in need of a little food. And so our story opens in 1 Kings 17:9 “go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.”
1) She Was An Appointed Mother. Here is a woman about whom we know nothing, we have no name to call her by, we don’t know her age of her lineage. Nothing and yet God used her as his instrument to provide for his prophet. This woman had an appointment with destiny! She was chosen for a specific task. Actually two specific tasks. The first was to raise a son, the second was to provide for one of God’s servants.
She had a divine appointment to be a mother, but she also had a divine appointment to be a servant of God. It was no accident that she was chosen to meet Elijah, it wasn’t a fluke, it didn’t just happen. Just as the angel Gabriel said to Mary, rejoice highly favoured one, the lord is with you blessed are you among women. Just as Mary was chosen, just as Esther was chosen, just as Ruth was chosen, just as Sarah was chosen, just as Deborah was chosen, just as Pricilla was chosen, just as Tabitha was chosen. In the very same way this nameless widow was chosen to serve God by serving God’s servant.