Elijah and Elisha

Introducing Elijah

This devotional is written by Anita Jones. Marylebone dweller. Light Sleeper.

1 Kings 17

Elijah Announces a Great Drought 17 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."

Elijah Fed by Ravens 2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there."

5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath 7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 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. 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."


Welcome to 1 Kings 17. The book of Kings is the history of the kings of Israel. King David has unified the tribes of Israel into a kingdom, and God promised a messianic king would emerge and establish God's kingdom over the nations, fulfilling the promises made to Abraham. The long line of kings recorded in this book do not live up to this promise, in fact, they run the nation of Israel right into the ground. Israel splits into two rival kingdoms and most of the kings fall into idolatry. In order to prevent the corruption of Israel, God sends prophets to call them to remain faithful to Him.

Chapter 17 introduces the prophet Elijah. Prophets are key figures in Israel's history. They were not fortune tellers rather they spoke on behalf of God. They called out idolatry and injustice, they reminded Israel of their calling to be a light to the nations, challenging them to repent. What is so cool in our reading today - Chapter 17 - is seeing how brave and obedient the prophet Elijah is to God's word to him. He confronts scary King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, who are worshipping Baal rather than God. Elijah is willing to live in the desert being fed by ravens. He is humble enough to live on the generosity of the widow at Zarephath. The incredible miracle God performs in her house shows SO CLEARLY what our God is like. Unlike the Baal worshippers who literally sacrificed their sons for their god.... the God of Israel literally brings life back to the son of the widow, who had died. This is our God. He is good. He does not require blood sacrifices, rather he wants our spirit to listen to his word.

Let's listen to Him today.

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