(The first part of this article is here: The Widow of Zarephath - A Woman of the Bible.)
Sometime later the widow’s son became ill, grew worse and worse and finally stopped breathing. In her anguish, the widow wondered if the prophet’s presence in her house had attracted God’s attention to her sin and had drawn His anger. Elijah took her son and carried him to the upper room where he was staying. He was also wondering why God had allowed this tragedy as he stretched himself out over the boy three times and cried to God to return the boy to life. God answered Elijah’s prayer and the boy lived. This miracle not only saved the boy’s life, but also his mother’s, since a widow’s only hope was to have a son to provide for her in her old age. As Elijah returned the boy to his mother, this Phoenician woman confirmed that she believed the word of God was true.
The widow of Zarephath recognized Elijah as a man of God. She either believed in Israel’s God or was simply acknowledging Elijah’s God. In her religion there were many gods so she acknowledged his as well. The God of Israel was already working in her because she did as Elijah asked. Most people are not apt to share their last bit of food, especially when it means taking it away from their child. But she trusted Elijah’s word and did as he asked. It proved true. Later, when faced with the death of her son, she showed that she knew Elijah’s God was powerful but fell back on her pagan belief that she was being punished for her sin. She did not know of God’s mercy. He gave her back her son and she knew that what Elijah told her about God was true. This was a confession of faith that many of God’s own people were failing to make.
A widow in Zarephath learned about God through first hand experience with one of His prophets. You and I know Who God is. We have the privilege of hearing His word preached in any of thousands of churches. We have the Bible to tell us of His miracles and His promises, but how often do we fall back on our unbiblical beliefs when faced with crisis? Shouldn’t we be on our knees at the first sign of trouble, asking for His mercy and trusting in His word? And, like Elijah, shouldn’t we be communicating, through prayer, everyday, listening for His guidance?
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Almighty God. The Creator of heaven and earth.
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