I have a confession to make, I was not planning on writing on Elijah and the widow. She didn’t make the list to even get cut from. But this is not my blog but God’s and when He said to write about her, I had to do as He said. There was some reason He placed her in the Bible so there had to be a reason she would belong in the series. As I was studying her I started to understand why. It is all in the attitude.
I can’t say how many times I was convictited of my attitude when it came to hard times. Yes, there were times I came out a shining star, while other times my star was not even a glimmer. That is why this widow is so facinating.
Interesting that we only know her as the widow of Zarephath. We know that she was a young widow because her son was call a boy, not a young man and he appears to be her only son, the one that would take care of her when he is grown. All we know about her husband is that he was dead. By the fact that there was an upper room we can deduct that the family may have had money at one point. The fact there was enough food to daily feed Elijah, the widow and her family, suggest she may have had a girl or extended family with her.
Now we understand her state of life let’s start looking at her reactions to what life has given her. Our introduction to her is God telling Elijah to go to Zarephat and He has prepared a widow to feed him. Next thing we know is she is by the gate gathering sticks for firewood. This is usually a young girl’s job. The Elijah interrupted her as he asked her for a drink. She went on her way to get it for him without complaint. When he called after her for a small piece of bread her attitude changed. She snaps at the latest request as it pushed her over the edge. Who is this guy? Why does he think he can show up and ask for food when there is a drought and little food?
The biggest tell of her attitude was her response started with, “As the Lord your God lives,” 1 Kings 17:12 ESV. From this we can tell she was mad at God. Probalby felt abandoned by God because of her husband’s death. Life had gotten hard, real hard with the drought on top of her being a widow. Then comes along Elijah asking for food, how dare he. She was going home to prepare the last meal she and her son would eat.
Have you ever had a time when someone comes along and you lost control because they ask you to do something? I know there have been times I have. It ruins the whole day. Kids crying, phone rings and the person on the other end wants to know if you can take them somewhere. Because of what is going on at home you reply in a way you would later regret.
Elijah reassures her the God he servers isn’t just his God but the God of all Israel. With him living with her, she didn’t run out of food. She could see a glimer of light at the end of the tunnel. However, that glimmer turned out to be an oncoming train. Next thing she knows is her son gets sick and dies. Her world was wiped out by that train. The only thing she could figure out was she had some type of sin that she needed to confess in order to save her son and she had failed at that.
This reminds me of when Jesus waited before He went to Bethany when Lazarus was sick and died. Both Mary and Martha met Jesus on His way to their house. They both told Him that if only He had been there Lazarus would not have died. Jesus responded to both of them he was asleep for what happened was for the glory of God. Elijah even sounded like Mary and Martha blaming God for the death of the widow’s son. Yet he trust God to revive her son.
When Elijah brought her son to her alive, her attitude changed. She now believed Elijah was a man of God and the truth was in his mouth.
The healing for our attitude it hard times is from hearing/reading the God’s Truth. It is what will heal the hurting soul.
I love it when my friend, Andy Lee, and I write on the same subject. She wrote, God’s Favor In Hard Days. If you want to more for your hard days.
(Photo by George Hiles on Unsplash )