Summary: Pentecost 3(C) - The word of the Lord is the truth: God’s truth changes death into life and God’s truth changes our lives.

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June 21, 2009 --


1 Kings 17:17-24

INTRO: It is important for us to know and believe in absolute truth. Jesus says, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”. “There is no other way unto heaven except through me”. This is the truth. This truth is absolute. What is the point? The point is that today our society likes to say there is no absolute truth. It reminds us of the time when philosophers tried to promote their idea, “god is dead”. Today the modern world says, “Truth is dead”. Truth has been replaced with a moral relativism. People determine what is the basis of truth for them, individually. Our text today tells us something very different. Many try to deny and reject absolute truth. They cannot overcome the power of God’s holy word. "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (MATTHEW 5:18). The world will perish but not the absolute truth of the word of the Lord.


I. We see death changed into life.

II. We see truth changing our lives.


A. Verse 17. This woman is the widow of Zarephath. The Lord sent Elijah to her to spare his life.

1. The Lord provided for Elijah. This widow was outside of God’s kingdom – not a Jew.

2. The woman blames God by blaming Elijah for her son’s death, verse 18. Elijah – man of God.

3. This widow was blaming Elijah for coming and bringing God’s attention upon their house.

B. Verse 19. God intended something greater than the son’s death. The woman listens to the man of God.

1. Elijah goes up on the flat roof of the house. Verse 20. Even Elijah questions God, “why?”

2. Elijah is curious about God’s will. Elijah continues, verse 21. Elijah prays.

3. This prayer is very simple and direct. Elijah prays what is in his heart and comes to his lips.

C. The son’s death is a great tragedy. He was to provide for his mother. Elijah prays in this tragedy.

D. There will be tragedy in our lives. At times we might forget the greatest power God gives us. It is the power of prayer. In normal day-to-day living we might even be tempted to forget to speak with our heav-enly Father. We need not wait until tragedy enters our lives to wake us up to the powerful importance of prayer. "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (JAMES 5:16). [In the next verses (17,18) James speaks of the success of Elijah’s prayers.] In faith the believer prays. The divine forgiveness that is of God and comes only from God is the greatest healing believers possess. This verse also encourages prayers for others. Believers would pray selflessly for others instead of selfishly.

E. The son of this widow died. Tragedy. Death comes upon all men. There is no escape. Some still try to deny there is any absolute truth. Our nation promotes healthy living. Everyone wants to have a long life. Death is the end to an earthly life. This is an absolute truth. The body wears out. Sickness overcomes. God gives us the reason. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (ROMANS 5:12). Death comes because all sin. It is very simple: there is sin in this world and there is death. This is an absolute truth mankind tries to deny. There is death because of sin, because of man’s wickedness.

F. Our first lesson today (*below) tells us how sin came into the world. (Please take time to read the rest of the verses of Genesis 3.) “The soul that sins is the one who will die”. For the believer our earthly death is not death but eternal life. At death eternal life begins. "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life"(JOHN 5:24). We look forward to eternal life. It is also our present gift. The word of the Lord is the truth! Salvation is ours as a gift of God. Forgiveness is ours by God’s grace, mercy and love.


We see death changed into life.


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