Royalty and Ruin


The Voice of Stern Rebuke

This chapter is based on 1 Kings 17:8-24; 18:1-18.

For many months God miraculously provided Elijah with food in his mountain hiding place by the brook Cherith. When the brook dried up because of the continued drought, God told His servant: “Arise, go to Zarephath [known in New Testament times as Sarepta]. ... See, I have commanded a widow woman there to provide for you.” RR 45.1

This woman was not an Israelite. She had never had the privileges that the chosen people of God had enjoyed, but she was a believer in the true God and had walked in all the light shining on her pathway. And now, when there was no safety for Elijah in Israel, God sent him to this woman to find refuge in her home. RR 45.2

“So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink. ... Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’” RR 45.3

In this poverty-stricken home the famine was causing severe hardship, and the widow feared that she would lose the struggle to sustain life. But in her great need she bore witness to her faith. In response to Elijah’s request she said, “‘As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’ And Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel, “The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.”’” RR 45.4

No greater test of faith could have been required. Regardless of the suffering that might result to herself and her child, and trusting in the God of Israel to supply her need, the widow met this supreme test of hospitality by doing “according to the word of Elijah.” RR 45.5