2024_02_21 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- 1 Kings 17:8-24, Luke 4:25-26

This is one of the shortest readings in our plan this year. It also profiles a person whose name we don’t know. What we do know is that the woman we read about was a single mother, and widow, who lived in the Mediterranean seacoast town of Zarepath. At the time that Elijah arrived it was in a land called Phoenicia, north of Israel. Today this is the country of Lebanon. God sent Elijah there to meet and be cared for, by a widow he didn’t know. In this short account, we see that this widow demonstrated great faith by sharing the last of her food with Elijah, and following her act of faith, God miraculously provided food for her and her son along with Elijah during a region-wide famine. God performed a second miracle by restoring her son who had died, to life.

What strikes me as amazing is the choice of this widow. She was not wealthy, famous, or well-connected. Given the context, we know she was poor and when Elijah meets her, she says, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” 1 Kings 17:12 (NLT). But in the midst of this dire circumstance, this unnamed widow shares the last of her food with her guest. As Kim Feld wrote earlier this week, this woman’s faith is remarkable and it is only after she shares her meager food that she discovers God’s miraculous provision. Believing that this was her very last meal she freely shared it because she knew it was the right thing to do.

The thing that amazes me is that God knew this lady and her son. He knew she was bearing the weight of providing for a child alone after her husband had died. He knew her grief, fear, and heartache that was only magnified by the famine. I imagine along the way she prayed and He heard every word. As she is planning the last meal for her and her son, she meets Elijah. Her hospitality toward him reveals her heart and opens the door for her and her son to see God provide for them in a way they would never forget.

Reading this reminded me of Jesus teaching about God’s awareness of us, “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29–31 (NLT) God is completely aware of every detail of our life. Whether we see what He is doing or not He is aware of us and working. Faith is choosing to trust that and act accordingly.

This unnamed widow discovered the magnitude of God’s awareness, power, and love. Her story is recorded so that you and I can learn the truths she did and live in light of them. “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4 (NLT)

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor