Summary: Practical look at miracles in the Bible
ELIJAH RAISES THE WIDOW’S SON
Introduction: One of the most colorful characters of the Old Testament is Elijah. God used him in a mighty way in a time when spirituality was at an all time low in the land of Israel. James tells us this about Elijah. James 5:17-18 “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” What is James telling us? He is telling us that Elijah was an ordinary man who knew how to get hold of the extraordinary God and answer prayers in his behalf.
In the opening of 1 Kings chapter 17 shows a dreadful condition existing in Israel. By the prayers of Elijah, a terrible drought is on. Remember the quote of R. G. Lee, I used last week. He preached that famous sermon “Pay Day, Some Day”. This drought is a punishment sent by God as result of the unlawful marriage of Ahab and Jezebel. Ahab was a Jewish king who married a gentile bride. Jezebel was no ordinary Gentile bride. She was wicked, idol worshipping woman. She had many of the priests of the living God put to death. She led the country in idol worship of Baal.
Elijah walked up to Ahab and gives the pronouncement of the drought. After he left, he went the brook Cherith. He was feed twice a day by the ravens. He did this until the brook dried up. God sent him to Zarephath. Here a widow with one son fed. Think of this. Here we have a man of God who was fed by the ravens and then to live with a Gentile must have been humiliating to him. But he is learning a lesson that is needed by many of us today. Power from God comes by humble submission. He simply obeyed God. In doing so, God used him mightily. While he is with the widow, the meal barrel never emptied and the oil never dried up. He also was used of God to raise the widow’s son died.
In this message, we will be looking at that miracle of raising the dead. The death bells have been ringing and had been for three thousand years from the first death of Abel until the death of this boy. No one had escaped death’s chilly waters. That is until you come to this passage. We see
I. THE TRIAL OF FAITH Vs. 17
“And 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 sore, that there was no breath left in him.”
What things was this passage speaking? It was referring the oil and the meal. Here was a woman who had thought life was over. She had come out to get a few sticks to make a fire and prepare the final meal for her son and herself. Then the man of God came into their lives and life was able to go on. Every time she opened the meal barrel, there was meal. Every time she used her oil, there was plenty of oil. She had seen the Lord provide her needs. Philippians 4:19
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Her hopes for the future must have been brighter. I believe she believe that one day the man of God would go on and the crisis of the drought would pass. Her son would grown up and work in some field. But her son fell sick and was so sick that he died. Can you imagine the pain she felt? The meal and oil strengthened her faith but now it goes through a severe trial with the death of her son. Hence comes part of our lessons that we have come to glean from our series of miracles. Sickness, suffering and death will and does come even to those who are doing who are doing right for God. This is part of the unexplained events in God’s economy.
II. THE TOUCH OF AN AWAKENED CONSCIENCE
“And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?”
The death of her had touched the hidden spring that opened wide the door of her conscience. Her conscience remembered her of some sin. It is not known what the sin was. It is not for us to try to guess either. But this seemingly tragedy event triggered this awakened conscience.