October 13, 2019, 1 Kings 17:7-16 – Post 3

Before we leave our travels with Elijah, let’s take a few minutes to retrace his steps.

First we find him in King Ahab’s court speaking to Ahab, The Lord’s word that a drought will come.

Then it seems with the same sense of assurance that The Lord’s word has come to him, he is called to leave the court and go east where he will find water at a certain Wadi (can we call it a creek bed?) and even have food provided to him by ravens.

Scripture reports, “So he went and did according to the word of The Lord …”

He finds water there, and food, and later a dry creek bed.

It seems he has been on track in understanding what The Lord calls him to say and do, even to the point of the predicted drought having come.

“Then … “ – so many times there is a “then.” Sometimes we may be ready for it, sometimes we may not be ready.

The creek bed is dry. For how long before “ … the word of The Lord came to him … “ we are not told. Did that time pass in a flash or did that season linger long enough to make Elijah ask “what comes next.” We are not offered any insight into that.

But, the word comes, and what a word it is.

“Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there … “

It’s nice when The Lord leads you to a great creek bed with good water, but what about The Lord telling you to get up, leave your home, leave your countrymen, and go to a foreign territory. Not just a foreign territory but a city in Sidon of Phoenicia.

In the command to go Elijah is also told The Lord has “commanded a widow there to feed you.”

So, The Lord first provides for Elijah’s well being with water at the creek bed and food delivered by ravens. That might make an impression, but now he is to depend on a Phoencian widow for his food? Elijah is pushed out of his county and asked to depend on someone in a foreign country who might be pressed to even provide for herself.

How much trust does The Lord expect of Elijah? How much trust in The Lord? How much trust in foreigners?

He does travel to Zarephath and arrive at the city gate. There he is not met by a woman telling him she has already heard from his God and he is invited into her home to eat with her and her son.

No, he sees a woman gathering sticks and tells her to bring him water to drink, and she sets off to bring him water. But as she is going and before she is out of earshot, he tells her to bring him some bread.

Then we hear from the widow who in no uncertain terms tells Elijah her life is not at a high point. She says she has no food prepared and in reality has only enough meal and oil for a last meal for her and her son and nothing to count on after that except starvation.

We then hear Elijah speak with the voice of faith and hope saying go ahead and do what you started to do but first make some bread for me then some for you and your son and don’t worry – “Do not be afraid” – your will not run out of food for your family.

“She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days.”

Elijah speaks hope and faith to the widow.

The widow chooses to live in that hope and faith.

Was this journey given to Elijah to nourish his faith/trust/hope in The Lord?

Was it given to Elijah to nourish the faith/trust/hope of the widow and her household?

What journeys have you been given to nourish your faith/trust/hope?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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