The Husband Provider for the Widow

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Welcome to Tuesday’s Blog Topic  for the Potter’s Plan.  We will be looking at one of my favorite stories in the Bible which is Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath out of 1 Kings 17:7-24.  Below is the scripture text today.

Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath

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.” 1So 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?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

12 “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.”

13 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. 14 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.’”

15 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. 16 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.

17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”

22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

I know this text may seem long, but in order to get the full context of the story I wanted to share the entire passage with my readers. Elijah is one of my favorite people in the Bible.  Why?  We see that Elijah listens to God and follows his plan and not his own.  This can be hard but we see when people listen to the Lord, he blesses them and those around them as well.   There was a widespread drought and he was hungry and thirsty, because he listened to God, he was rewarded and blessed and the overflow for this went to the widow and her son because she trusted and obeyed the man of God.

Becoming a widow is a great emotional hardship on the ones left behind when we lose our life partners, soul mates and best friends.  It can be for some a financial hardship especially if they were the main or only bread winner of the family.  I am uncertain of the full situation of the widow of  Zarephath but we do know the region had suffered a severe drought and she had little food for her and her son to live on when she was approached to share with the prophet Elijah.

The mindset of the widow of Zarephath seems to be quite downtrodden.  Why do I say this?  Elijah was directed to go to her land and to ask her for some water and he was compelled to ask of her for some bread.  She was fine with giving him some water, but when he requested some bread she quickly responds that she had none.  She went on to say that all she had was enough flour and oil to make her and her son their last meal before they died of starvation.  Elijah encourages her to make him a small loaf of bread first and then make herself the meal she planned.   He prophesies and promises that if she does so then the Lord would continually supply for her needs as long as she supplied him with some food daily until the drought came to an end.  This is a mighty miracle indeed not just for the prophet but especially for this widow and her son who were without a breadwinner to provide!!  It is amazing to me because God sends Elijah to his widow and her son, specifically to minister and provide for her needs and to show that He cares.   She must had felt amazement in the midst of these turbulent times she and her son were facing.  This must had been a huge relief and blessing to her.

The next thing we see, though, is that life takes a turn for the worse and her son falls ill and eventually stops breathing.  Her response,

  18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

From this we know she feels all kinds of emotions toward God and the circumstance she now finds herself without a husband and now the apparent loss of her son.  I believe we are seeing some hurt, anger and bitterness coming out here with this statement.  So Elijah responds by asking for her son.  He takes him, cries out to the Lord on the widow’s behalf and prays fervently like we have not seen in the word of God before for someone who falls ill stricken to the point of death.  You can tell he knows this poor woman has already experienced tragedy in the loss of her husband but to lose her son would be more devastating because she would be left alone. The Lord hears Elijah’s petition, and returns life to the son, and Elijah returns the boy back to his mom.

The mother rejoices and say: “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

I have feeling that from the point Elijah arrives into the home and life of the widow of Zaraphath, she begins to experience a new life of Faith.  A walk with God she had not yet experienced.  In the midst of the loss of her husband, God is there, he makes himself known to her through providing for her physical need and now later her emotional need for love and family. Our Lord loves the brokenhearted and He desires to be their husband provider in the midst of their time of loss. He desires for us to know that He is here for us in the midst of our struggles in life. He encourages us to have incredible faith to know He will be there for us through the trials of life.  Simple but robust faith that moves mountains and awakens new life in us.

Two scriptures that you can cling to are within Hebrews 13:5b, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” The other is Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

When I was single and longed for a husband, God ministered to me through other women who had learned to make the Lord their husband provider until God brought their earthly husband’s to them.  By doing so, I saw Jesus as my provider and leader in every aspect of my life.  As a single woman, whether widowed, a single mom and simply single waiting on your husband it can be hard and lonely.   God sees the loneliness and/ or broken heartedness from afar and He desires to fill that gap in your life.  Isaiah 54:5 says,

“For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name– the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

God is never far away and I leave you with this last encouraging personal real life story.  A couple of weeks after my dad had passed, my mom was still just reeling from the shock and pain of the loss of my dad.  I went to my Wednesday night woman’s Bible study at church.  I requested prayer for my mother.  They prayed that God would surround her with His angels and comfort her with His never-ending peace.  The next morning she told me that the night before that as she slept she opened her eyes and saw angels surrounding her bringing forth song and comfort over her.

This is just a testimony that God is near to the brokenhearted, He cares, He Sees, He Knows everything you are going through and desires to be close to you and to comfort you. Prayer is key – crying out to God like Elijah did on behalf of the widow at Zarephath is a great example of what we need to do for our loved ones, friends and family who are brokenhearted and need comfort during difficult life seasons. My prayer for you is that you will feel his refreshing, peaceful and loving presence and know the love He has for you is more than we could ever imagine in this life and beyond.

If you have a prayer request you would like to share in the comment section or in my confidential prayer garden please do so.  I welcome the prayer requests because I have a heart for prayer and will keep it close to my thoughts and pray consistently and boldly for you before the throne of Grace. 

Thanks for taking to read!

Love in Christ,



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