Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. (1 Kings 17:1-6)
The prophet Elijah lived during one of the most difficult times for God’s people, yet he showed faith that we can learn from. There was a great famine, a scarcity of food and water throughout the land, which was compounded by a spiritual drought in that era. People had turned to idols, neglecting their faith and spiritual commitments. However, amidst this dire setting, Elijah remained steadfast, even when he must have felt isolated in his unwavering faith in God. He obeyed God’s instructions, even when they seemed bizarre like going into a ravine to receive food from ravens. But that ravine became the place he relied on God’s grace.
We are reminded that we are living in an era of spiritual drought. The world is preoccupied with power, wealth, and temptations, just like the idolatrous era that Elijah lived. True faith is trusting in God’s grace. Even in the dark place we may be in the world, we must turn towards God and continue to rely on Him.
Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” (1 Kings 17:7-12)
Faith isn’t without its challenges. Just as Elijah’s brook dried up, there are times in our lives when God’s previous blessings seem to wane. But does that mean God has abandoned us? Certainly not. In Elijah’s journey, God guides him to a widow who, despite her limited resources, is used as an instrument of God’s grace.
Often, when we feel we’re at our lowest, when the world seems to offer no solace, God’s plans still unfold. The widow’s situation reminds us that God often chooses the most unlikely people for His purposes. It’s not about worldly stature or wealth; it’s about genuine hearts willing to serve. Fear often holds us back, making us clutch onto the familiar, even if it’s detrimental. In the end, the story emphasizes the essence of letting go and trusting in God.
Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. (1 Kings 17:13-16)
The faith of Elijah and the widow teaches us that to let go of worldly concerns and placing trust in God’s providence. This act of emptying ourselves makes room for God’s abundant blessings, and it reminds us that in the cross and resurrection, there is hope and renewal. To experience the fullness of faith, we must let go of our humanistic tendencies, relying entirely on God’s boundless grace and love.
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Elijah and the Zarephath Widow.