Summary: Jesus meets us at our "ENDS" with new beginings.
V. 17 SURPIZED BY TRAGEDY
For a good while everything was great, God was performing daily miracles with the jar of oil and the barrel, but just when everything seemed to be going the widow’s way, tragedy strikes. Her son dies, the boy who God was keeping alive with the miracle of food everyday just up and dies. This must have been the darkest day of the widow’s life, her whole future rested on her son. She must have been looking forward to the day when her son would be old enough to go out and make a living and provide for her. Who would take care of her in her later years now that her son was dead? On top of that the worst thing that can happen to a person is to lose a child.
This reminds me of the women around the cross, it must have been a tragic day for them when Jesus was crucified, but three days later God turned it all around with the resurrection.
V. 18 TRAGEDY MAKES US EXAMINE OURSELVES.
We can be enjoying God’s miracles everyday and still not have our heart right with Him.
10When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, 12be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Even though the widow was enjoying God’s miracles everyday her heart wasn’t totally turned over to God. The main thing that had to be dealt with was her faith in God and her sins that stood between her and God.
IN TRAGIDY WE EITHER GET BETTER OR BITTER
When we see tragedy from a temporary humanistic standpoint it’s easy to get bitter. Back in this day there was neither hospitals nor any procedure for healing. So the boy grew worse and worse until the boy died. The woman turns to the man of God and in essence and blames him with his connection with God. Even though she was probably a baal worshiper the guilt of her sins come to surface in her emotional upheaval. She is very frustrated and irrational when she accuses the prophet and says, “Have you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” Also we will see later in this series how Ahab blames Elijah for the drought. Elijah is just the messenger living in her house and she has unfairly accused him of having the power of life and death.
ELIJAH WAS HUMBLE AND CONTENT
He didn’t have a harsh rebuke for the woman who falsely accused him; he didn’t try to defend himself or his God. And think about what he had been eating for the past few years; I don’t know what the ravens brought him, but we know what the widow fixed every day…BREAD. We get board with the same thing easily don’t we? We love variety in life; like when the nation of Israel was wandering in the wilderness and God gave the manna EVERY DAY.
4The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! 5We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost--also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"
CONTENTMENT IS A GIFT
11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Wouldn’t you rather have a heart of contentment; be happy with all that God has given you, than to have an abundance of material possessions and not be happy with anything? This is what we see in Elijah contentment with what God supplied him and this prepared him to face this situation with the widow in who has just lost the most important thing in her life. She is angry and irrational and falsely accuses him and he very quietly says give me your son and takes the dead boy.
TRAGIDY IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE MEANS TO HELP US GROW V.19
God prepared the widow to give up her son by first giving up her food. The widow learned form giving up her food first to Elijah that God could provide when she trusts Him. Now she must trust Him with the thing she cares for more than anything in her whole world. Before David faced Goliath, God prepared him by defeating the lion and the bear that attacked his flock. When we see through the eyes of faith we know our God is bigger than our problems, even something as devastating and final as death. Through this God is preparing Elijah for Mount Carmel.