1 Kings 17

1 Kings 17

Elijah Predicts a Drought

17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” And the word of the LORD came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

The Widow of Zarephath

Then the word of the LORD came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now 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 first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.

Elijah Raises the Widow’s Son

After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. And he cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” And the LORD listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” And 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.”


1 Kings 17 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Since Baal was considered the god of the sky, or “the storm god,” it would be a drought that God would use to grab the people’s attention. God was setting the scene to demolish this false god. This Baal-worship attitude was completely insulting to the Lord and I think it’s amazing that God’s patience was as lengthy as it was.

Let me give you another example. Picture yourself as a father or mother of young children. Maybe you already are a parent or grandparent? You provide your children with everything they need. It is by your work that they are able to sleep in a bed. It is by your hand that they are able to eat a meal. It is by your labor that they are enabled transportation. The list could go on and on.

Now picture what your response would be if they suddenly decided that it wasn’t you who was providing them any of these things, but rather, the small statue that rests on their bedroom dresser. Each day they would ignore your blessings and your love to worship their idol. You would find them in their bedroom constantly bowing down to this idol, asking it to provide dinner for the night. Then when they went to the fridge and found leftovers, they would praise the idol for it’s power to deliver! It’s ridiculous right? Yes. Ridiculous. Insulting. Insane.

God’s patience had worn thin. He was about the burst the bubble of these Baal worshippers and show them that the rain (and everything else in this world) comes from Him and Him alone.

Amazingly, we see God call Elijah and provide for him every step of the way. Even though the drought comes, Elijah is provided for. We see the contrast in this chapter between the people’s choice of idols and Elijah’s reliance on God.

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