Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Willing Widow of Zarephath

"And the word of the LORD came unto him (Prophet Elijah), saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth." ~ 1 Kings Chapter 17:8-14
Oh, dear reader! Can't you imagine the day this poor women has had! The exhaustion, lack of hope, mental weariness and now this stranger has appeared and asked something of her which she feels she can not give!

Her very last meal.

She was in one of the lowest points in her life... We don't know how recent it had been since she lost her husband but sorrow surely remained. We do not know how long she had been scrimping but we do know she and her beloved son were on the verge of starvation. To suffer hunger yourself must be horrible to endure, but to watch a loved one bear it must be worse than one can imagine.  It was an inconvenient time in her life and yet that is when God singled her out!

He described her to the prophet Elijah!

He had been watching her…

He had a plan for her…

However, from the humble position on earth, it seems like the promises of heaven are sometimes too high for us to comprehend! Too often, our fleshly eyes can not see that far!

But God knew she had more to give… because He was going to provide what she was lacking. Her willing obedience provided the opportunity.
"And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah." ~ 1 Kings Chapter 17:15-16
This true story of the widow at Zarephath shows us that when we are at our worst, we are to keep on serving!

When we aren't feeling well, we are to keep on serving…
When we are financially ruined, we are to keep on serving…
When we are overwhelmed and tired, we are to keep on serving…

in whatever capacity we can.

But how?
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

~ Phillipians 4:13

Sadly, her saga continues when her dear son perishes!
"And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth." ~ 1 Kings Chapter 17:17-24
God gives forth his healing powers to Elijah! It appears that she has received a reward for her generosity… The resurrection of her beloved son!

And we too, have been given something for our devoted faith, a promise of a resurrection which is far greater than that which Elijah had given... eternal life through the One who giveth life! 

When circumstances are burdensome,
remember the willing, widow of Zarephath...

"And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap,
if we faint not."

~ Galatians 6:9

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1 comment:

  1. Jes, Thank you! very encouraging! How we forget the promise of God, but He is faithful! I like to share this on facebook, if it is ok. Blesssings!


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