1 Kings 17 vs17-24.
The testimony of the widow of Zarephath has very important lessons for us. The widow is a wonderful example of a true and faithful servant of God. In His wisdom the Lord chose to lift the veil over her life as an object lesson. He directed Elijah to meet this woman whom He had been proving and testing. The widow’s life shows that there are many faithful servants of God in history that we know nothing about. In 1 Kings 17 vs8-16, we went through the earlier part of Elijah’s encounter with the widow. Now we concentrate on vs 17 to 24.
The widow’s son dies
Having successfully overcome the ‘trial by contradiction’ discussed in Part 1, in which the widow obeyed the Lord by giving her last meal to Elijah, she and her son now enjoyed the Lord’s miraculous supply of flour and oil for the duration of the drought. Now, all of a sudden, there was a turn of events. Her son died! This was totally unexpected. This was yet again, another trial by contradiction! Surely the Lord had not saved them from starvation only for the son to die? This was her protestation. What was the widow’s response? It is always interesting to note that a person’s immediate response under trial always reveals their true heart condition.
1 Kings 17 vs18: So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance and to put my son to death!” Believe it or not, she was quoting the first half of Romans 6vs23 ‘For the wages of sin is death’. This gentile woman, outside the commonwealth of Israel, understood the principle that sin results in death! This is extraordinary. Even many Christians today do not have such spiritual awareness.
Under most circumstances Elijah the prophet would have had an answer for any contingencies. But he was himself bewildered. What indeed could be the reason for this untimely and inappropriate death? (v20) – ‘He called to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought calamity to the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?”’
Brother Steve Yap