Summary: What would you do if God asked you to give the very last of your possessions to a complete stranger? This episode in the life of Elijah, shows us what real faith is all about.
THE WISDOM OF A WIDOW
The sun beats down unmercifully upon the tiny town of Zarephath, a remote village well to
the north of the land of Palestine. It is there that a fraw widow woman searches for sticks.
Why is she searching for sticks? She is searching for sticks because she has no more fuel, and
must find something to help her prepare one last meal for her and her son. You see, it hasn’t
rained inover 3 years. the land is hard and dry and parched and barren. There is a terrible
famine. And as usual, the poorest are hit the hardest.
She is resigned to the fact that there is nothing else she can do to sustain her own life. But
for the sake of her son, with the hopes that he might somehow survive, she gathers up sticks,
trying to ignore the stomach pains and fatigue, yet feeling her life force slowly ebbing away.
As she bends down to pick up a dead, dry chunk of wook, she sees in the corner of her eye,
from a distance, the hazy figure of a man apporaching the town gates. She glances up and as he
draws nearer, she can tell by his attire that this stranger is a Jew. And she marvels in the fact
that he looks relatively healthy, well-fed, almost portly in appearance (she doesn’t know that
this man of God has been fed each day by Ravens sent by God!”)
And this stranger, this middle-aged Jewish man, walks up to the sin-sick widow, and makes a
request. “Mayu I have some water to drink?” She is preparing to die, with barely enough
energy to complete her chores, and this stranger has the audacity to ask for a drink of HER
precious water! What would you do? What would you say? We would likely say, “Get you own
water stranger, I’ve got to worry about myself!”, or “I’m the last person in the world you should
be asking for provisions”, or at theast (out of politeness) we might say, “I’m sorry sir, I cannot
help you. Perhaps some wealthy citizen of this town could be of assistance.”
INSTEAD, she offers no resistance at all. she quickly gets up and hurries over to her water
jug, to fetch him some water. THEN, he pushes the issue. “While you’re at it Ma’am, could you
also give me a little bread to eat?” WHO IS THIS MAN?
She turns to the prophet and sadly confesses her flight. she explains to him that she only
has enough flour and oil to make one last meal for her and her son. She expleains that they are
starving and near the point of death. After an explanation like that, we might expect an apology
out of Elijah. but instead, he is even more pervasive.
“Well then”, he exclaims, “please use the last of your flour and the last or your oil and make
me a cake of bread and let me eat it!” Then he adds, “God has promised that if you will serve
me what you have, He will take care of you!” WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
They say that there is nothing among men as strong as a mother’s love for her children, YET
I want us to picture what may have happened next.
1. She walks into her mud hut. Her son is sleeping on a mat on the floor.
2. She begins to cook up the ingredients. (DESCRIBE the boy awaking to the pleasant aroma)