The whole point to this event and the answer to the widow’s question follows in what transpires next.
The son is brought back to life. 1 Kings 17 vs 21-23
The Lord’s answer to the widow was the same answer Jesus gave to Martha in John 11 vs 25: ‘Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies’. The death of her son was not a judgement on her sin, but was an occasion for God to demonstrate that He is the Resurrection and the Life! In the case of Lazarus in John11, the Lord Jesus deliberately delayed His arrival to Bethany until Lazarus was truly dead and decaying in the tomb!
In the case of the widow, the Lord our God took delight in her and gave her a personal demonstration that He was The Resurrection and The Life!
Do you think she was appreciative of this? See what she says to Elijah in response (v 24). Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” Her response, just like all her other responses, had showed a deep spiritual perception. We can see that she was primarily concerned for only what is true. She was not the type to be impressed by the temporal, but was looking for that which had eternal value. The clue to this is in her response, ‘Now I know’! She only said this upon witnessing the resurrection of her son. She equated the resurrection with Truth. This is Jesus’s confession. ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’.
The widow did not make this confession when the flour and the oil did not run out. She was silent. The scriptures make no comment on her reaction. If we are to put a scripture reference to describe this widow’s nonchalant response to this ‘significant’ miracle, it is in John 6 vs 26,27: “Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
So the widow was able to distinguish between the temporal and eternal. The flour and oil was a significant miracle, BUT, it was temporal. The message of the widow is highly relevant to us. We have here a significant testimony, a wonderful witness for God. BUT, this witness and testimony did not come from someone great or significant, rich, educated; from some great evangelists, or by someone with great exploits. The witness was an insignificant gentile widow living in an obscure town with nothing! In the eyes of the world she was a nobody. But she was one that the Lord chose, and He even chose not to disclose her name! Her witness and testimony was in what the Lord had wrought into her life. Obedience always leads to the experience of the Resurrection Life. She was truly a child of God.
Brother Steve Yap