What is a righteous man to do in the midst of people that struggles with their own spiritual standing with the Lord? Many years ago, Jacob wrestled with a being that was greater than himself and because he contend with God and “prevailed,” he was given the name Israel. Elijah was the Lord’s prophet in the midst of a people that had long since removed themselves from loyalty to the Lord. Previously, when the nation of Israel divided a great many who were devout came to the land of Judah (2 Chronicles 11:13-16) in order to serve the Lord. Thus, Elijah was a prophet to a people, by and large, not interested in the purity of the Lord’s way. The Lord saw to it that it was time for a drought.
Times were very hard during this period of drought and when Elijah had exhausted his supply of food and water, the Lord told him to go Zarephath, a city between Tyre and Sidon. While arriving, he comes to a woman bereft of any ability to provide for her and her son; she prepares to die a slow death! Elijah, however, encourages her, but in this encouragement he actually tested her faith. “Before you make anything for you and your son, prepare something for me first,” he said to her. This she did and because her tested faith was more precious than fine gold, she provided for her and her son through the duration of drought.
What is a righteous man to do amongst people not interested in the Lord (so it appears)? Elijah did a lot!