Elijah and the Widow (2016)

Elijah and the Widow (1 Kings 17:8-24) I. At this point in their history, Israel was overrun with Baalism/paganism which had been introduced by Jezebel and Ahab. 1KI 16:30-33; 18:19. A. Elijah dared to announce that an age-old curse was about to become effective. DEU 11:16-17; 1KI 17:1. B. Israel would be without dew or rain for three and a half years. LUK 4:25. C. God then told Elijah to leave and hide himself. 1KI 17:2-3 c/w ACT 22:18; MAT 2:13. D. God sustained him while in hiding by unusual means. 1KI 17:4-7 c/w LEV 11:15. 1. Though unclean animals, Jesus said, “Consider the ravens...” (LUK 12:24). 2. Though we are not to love mammon, there are times when we need to make friends with it. MAT 6:24 c/w LUK 16:9. II. Elijah was then commanded to seek room and board with a widow. vs. 8-9. III. Elijah moved at the word of God. v. 10. A. Such motion is the mark of true faith. ROM 10:17 c/w HEB 11:8. 1. Faith should govern emotion. PRO 23:19. 2. Faith should govern promotion. PRO 4:8. B. Of all the places for Elijah to have found refuge, God chose a destitute widow in Jezebel's homeland. 1KI 16:31. C. A man of faith will hearken to the word of God in defiance of human reasoning. PRO 3:5-6. D. When God instructed Elijah to remove to a city of the Gentiles, he went, like Peter, “...doubting nothing...” (ACT 10:20-21). 1. Elijah and Peter were both sent to minister to Gentiles. 2. Elijah brought hope of temporal salvation (vs. 13-14) and Peter brought hope of eternal life. Godly ministry gives hope for the present and eternity. 3. It is noteworthy that both of these ministers to the Gentiles should meet on the Mount of Transfiguration. MAT 17:1-3. E. God is pleased to find unusual places of security and provision for the faithful when necessary. JER 29:7; REV 12:6. F. The word of God had been scorned in Israel, so God sent it unto a Gentile who gladly received it. ACT 13:46-48; 28:28. 1. She wasn't seeking God. God sought her. ISA 65:1. 2. Israel's loss was the Gentile widow's gain. ROM 11:11-12. 3. This widow of Zidon reckoned this prophet's word from God as valid and acted accordingly. v. 15 c/w 1TH 2:13. 4. Zidon later stood as a rebuke to the hardnecked Jews. MAT 11:21. 5. Christ found in Sidon a Gentile woman of great faith. MAT 15:21-28. 6. Christ made specific reference to this event which demonstrated God's willingness to abandon unbelieving Israel to show favor to Gentiles. LUK 4:24-26. 7. Israel's loss is a warning to us against unbelief. ROM 11:15-23. G. Elijah was sent to Zidon to be sustained, but a good servant of God knows that service is a two-way street. MAT 20:28. 1. Even though the widow was destitute herself, she willingly gave the firstfruits unto the Lord. vs. 13-15; 2CO 8:2. Elijah and the Widow 2-28-16 Page 1 of 2 2. Her pitiful supply was enough when God blessed it. MAT 14:15-20; 2CO 9:9-11. 3. In the midst of famine, God forgets not those that fear him. PSA 37:18-19, 25. 4. Elijah's contention with Israel was about religion. He here exercised pure religion. JAM 1:27. 5. Elijah promised continual supply “...until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth” (1KI 17:14). a. Our patient waiting for the Second Coming is likened to a husbandman waiting for rain. JAM 5:7-8. b. With the joy of Christ and the Holy Ghost, we too may have a continual feast until the Rain comes. ROM 5:11; 14:17 c/w PRO 15:15. IV. While Elijah ministered to the widow (and vice-versa), her son died. She promptly blamed this on Elijah. vs.17-18. A. Men of God tend to be made the whipping boy for church members who undergo affliction or tribulation. EXO 14:11-13; 1SAM 30:6. B. Pastors must be aware of this tendency and not be provoked to sin themselves. PSA 106:32-33 c/w 2TI 2:3. C. The child's death was an opportunity for God's glory. vs. 19-24 c/w JOH 9:3; 11:4, 45. 1. The mercy she was shown was a deliverance but there is a better one. HEB 11:35. 2. Sometimes we NEED to be in heaviness. 1PE 1:6. 3. The way we process this life with its griefs determines our peace and manifests our inward nature and true hope. PRO 24:10 c/w ROM 5:3-5. Elijah and the Widow 2-28-16 Page 2 of 2
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