Summary: This a sermon in the Elijah series.
V111 The Upper Room
Today is August 1. Can you believe it? Time passes so fast. In one week many of our community will be heading back to school. In attempt to savor the last moments of summer my family and I went to a water park. One called whirling waters. Jt was there when Faith wanted to take a break that J went into a area called a wave pool. This pool was created to resemble an ocean; the only difference is that the waves are created and are turned on and off. The trick , learned from watching others is to wait until the water is calm- no waves- Get into your inner tube and move to the very back of the pool so that when the waves come they will propel you forward. We’ll did just that. But as I got closer to shore. The waves began to come faster and faster. - Hitting me from all directions- propelling me forward and backward and its will. When I tried to get up out of the tube, it seemed nearly impossible.
Why do I share that? Well for many of us life’s ups and downs-life’s stresses-life’s unexpectedness-life’s tragedies- when they hit us. It seems like they hit us from all sides; so fast and so hard that we have no chance to get up. Making us feel immobile and trapped.
This morning I want to reintroduce a man whom we spent most of the spring talking about. A man who taught us by his example; how to stand in the midst of life’s trials and disasters.
If you have your bibles, turn with me once again to 1 Kings chapter 17 beginning in verse 17.
Verse 17 begins with the phrase, Some time later...
This phrase gives us a bit of license to remember...
Do you remember how Elijah came to live at the home of this widow?
In verse one of chapter 17 Elijah is introduced as a Tishbite- a country boy. God commands Elijah to go the King with a message from the Lord... Risking his life... He proclaims to Ahab... As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel lives- the God whom I worship and serve there will be neither dew or rain during the next few years unless I give the word...
With confidence brewing, God next commands Elijah to travel the Cherith
Brook and wait.
While waiting there Elijah learned to trust the Lord to meet his daily
needs- the birds, the ravens brought him his food twice a day.
But slowly gradually the drought took its effect upon the brook and the brook went dry... In the midst of trying to follow God’s will, God now seemed distant.
God finally did speak again to Elijah commanding him to go into enemy lands to the village of Zarephath and there he would find a widow that would take care of him...
There at the gates of the city, he meets a widow who was gathering wood
to make her last meal. There Elijah asks her to trust him and his God. By
preparing him a meal and serving him first. The widow obeys and God meets her need. Listen to verses 15-16
So she did as Elijah said and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat from her supply of flour and oil for many days. For no matter how much they useds there was always enough left in the containers just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
So we come back to our passage, some time later, after all this Life was about to through both the widow and Elijah a major curve. The widow’s son became sick. We’re not sure what was wrong, but we do know that he got progressively worse until the boy died.
When it happened I can imagine that Elijah was in his room, the upper room, and he heard a blood curdling scream. He runs out to see what is wrong and the widow lashes at him,
"0 man of Gods what have YOU done to me? Have YOU come here to punish my sins by killing my son?
The waves are begin to hit our man Elijah, First the sickness, then the sudden death of the son, the lashing out and anger by the widow toward Elijah and also Elijah’s own grief.
But instead of lashing back or becoming hysterical or running away. Elijah’s responds by simply and calming telling the widow, Give me your son. As we look at Elijah’s response to this crisis, we can glean several truths that can help us when our own storms, our own waves hit us. This morning I want to give you three truths that we can glean from Elijah, but before you can grasp or comprehend any of them. You must understand a bigger truth.