8 Then the word of the Lord came to him:9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.”10 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?” 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.
God always rewards obedience. Elijah asked her to bring him some water in a jar and a piece of bread. Though she had nothing, and expected that she and her son would die of starvation, she believed Elijah’s words and made the small loaf of bread and gave him some. There was a famine going on. It would have been easy for her to say no, that she needed to save what little she had for her and her son. Note also that she was a widow, so had no means of gaining any income to feed herself or her son. This was a hard decision for her to make, in choosing to give up some of the paltry amount of food she had, in order to feed Elijah. Yet what Elijah promised came to pass. She had enough flour and oil to last each day.
If we read further in this chapter, this widow faced another challenge when her only son became sick and then stopped breathing. Elijah prayed earnestly on her behalf, and the child was restored to health. What a good God we serve! This is the kind of God we love, who cares for a widow and her only son. Jesus once did the same thing, restoring to life a widow’s son in the town of Nain. Our God who was and is, and always will be, is our God of love and compassion. Praise God for all God’s blessings in our time of need.
Gracious God, you are creator of the entire universe, but you also care for those who are hurting or in mourning. It was a special grace you gave to this woman. It’s not one we expect all may receive, for this world has been stained with death and tragedy. Yet your love breaks in to give us hope, and to show us your true desires for us. Jesus could not be held in the grave, for you are all about life, not death. Keep our gaze firmly fixed on you, to the praise and glory of your name. Amen.