3 things to learn from Elijah’s interaction with the widow of Zarephath

In relation to 1 Kings 17:8-24, Lesson 2 (December 10, 2017) of the of the Gospel Advocate’s “Foundations” adult study asked,

“What can we learn from this passage about submitting to God’s will even when it doesn’t make sense to us?”

I’d like to share three answers that came to my mind:

  • If we’re not careful, preconceived notions can hinder our faith.

There’s no denying who the widow was – a worshiper of Baal living in the heart of Baal territory. This fact could have caused Elijah to object to God’s directions, but, by faith, he did as he was told.

  • In matters of faith, God sees the end of the matter.

At the beginning of the situation, an individual could have easily wondered how a financially destitute widowed woman could possibly take care of her family as well as Elijah. At the end of the matter it was obvious that finances had nothing to do with taking care of Elijah through the widow.

  • The things we do by faith can have a great effect on others.

Had Elijah not gone to Zarephath of Sidon as the Lord instructed, both the widow and her son would have died of starvation!

Furthermore, because of Elijah’s willingness to listen to God, a young boy in the middle of a pagan stronghold would grow up listening to his mother’s story about a Hebrew man (whose name meant, “YHWH is God”) that saved his life, not through Baal but through the power of the true and living God!

Hope you find these thoughts useful.

P.S. – While we often talk about Elijah’s faith in this situation, thinking about the widow’s faith (and the reward it received) comes with benefits too.

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