Elijah and the Widow at Zeraphath


I Kings 17:17-24, “What have you against me, O man of God?  Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son?”

Elijah the prophet of Israel and the widowed mother of her small son were living by God’s grace.  God was showing that his power and grace was not limited to Israel.  The whole world was his.  The meager amount of flour and oil never ran out.  “Give us this day our daily bread,” was literally true.
Yet, when the son suddenly dies the woman remembers only her “past.”  Had she talked about her past with Elijah? Is Elijah punishing her for her past.  In a way she asks, “What have I done to you, O Preacher? I thought I had put my sins out of my mind, and now they all come rushing back to me in my time of grief.  Why else would my son die?”

In prayer, Elijah also asks, ”Why?”   He had been an instrument of God’s grace.  “God what’s going on here?” Elijah carries the boy up to his room, prays that God would restore his life, performs a sort of life saving tactic, and the boy is revived.

The mother exclaims, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”

Trusting God is no easy thing.  When things are going well, we take it for granted and think we must be doing something right.  When things go awry we wonder if God is punishing us.  God can’t seem to win.  But of course he has won though Jesus Christ who is “grace upon grace.”  Therefore, we too win everyday living in “grace upon grace.”



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