Summary: trusting God when you can't see the way.


1 KINGS 17:8-16

God instructs Elijah to go to Zarephath. While at Cherith, each day Elijah sat by his brook and watched it dry up. He may have wondered if God had forgotten him. God has not. Before God had even sent Elijah to Cherith, God already knew that the brook would dry up. And He already had a new place planned for Elijah to go long before the brook went dry. And He had already told the woman that Elijah would be coming and commanded her to accept him into her home.

* In your life, you may feel all alone. You may feel God is not listening. You may feel He doesn’t care. But, know this, if you are a child of His, He is with you. He knows your needs before you think to ask. He has plans to meet your needs that you don’t know about.

He has a plan for you when you think your world has fallen apart.

Your situation may have caught you completely unprepared, but it did not take God by surprise.

Why was it important to Elijah for God to send him to these 2 places?

The meanings of the names and geography of these places says it all.

Cherith- means “cut off”. It is a place north of Samaria. It is a desolate place in the rocky wilderness. No food source. He will have to learn to depend on God to meet all his needs.

Zarephath- means “smelting place, refiner”. A place where metals were put into the furnace and tested in order to purify them and to make weapons. To temper them to make them stronger and more effective. Here, Elijah will have to learn to trust God and draw on His strength to perform miracles.


1 Kings 17:8-9 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

1. God Knows where he is.

You may feel small, helpless, and all alone. You may wonder if God even knows who you are, but I can assure you than He not only knows where you are, but He loves you very much.

2. God Knows where he is going.

God has a plan for Elijah's life. Elijah's job is merely to follow Him. And God has a plan for your life to. If you will be faithful and follow Him, He will see you through.

3. God has plans to provide for him.

Whether it's brooks and ravens or biscuits from a widow, God was always faithful to provide for Elijah.

He will do the same for you if you trust Him.


1 Kings 17:9-12 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.”

How did Elijah show great faith?

1. God told him to go to Zeraphath.

God had sent Elijah to Cherith to hide him from Ahab and Jezebel who have armies scouring the land to find him and kill him. Zeraphat is in Sidon, which is Jezebel’s home nation.

2. The famine was just as severe in Sidon.

The famine is very widespread. It’s bad enough to be poor in your hometown, but as a stranger it could be even worse. Who will help?

3. The widow was not even a believer in Jehovah.

This woman likely worshiped Baal. Why would she even consider helping out a prophet of Jehovah. Why do I say this? Notice:

(1) Sidon universally worshiped Baal.

(2) Vs 12- she says “the Lord YOUR God” not “OUR God”

(3) Vs 18- she claims that Elijah has come to remind her of her sins.

4. The widow is a very poor person in a land of poverty and famine.

Her household is the least of the least. All of Sidon was poor, but she was of the poorest. How was she going to provide for him?

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