Elijah and the Widow

“The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.” -1 Kings 17:16

Read 1 Kings 17:8-16

My father died when I was a young child, leaving my mother a widow. We never had very much, but mother shared everything she had, often giving my bedroom to missionaries who visited our church. Her hospitality was her service to her church community and to the Lord. Like the widow in 1 Kings 17, she trusted the Lord to provide for us as we provided for others.

The story of Elijah and the widow brings together two people, each in dire circumstances, to meet the living God. Elijah is on the run from Ahab when God commands him to go to live with the widow. The widow, herself on the verge of starvation, had no resources to offer Elijah. Elijah trusted God to provide—and the widow trusted Elijah.

The widow must have wondered how God would sustain her family when she offered Elijah the prophet a portion of her last meal. She displayed courage, vulnerability and faith in the Lord God of Israel to provide. The widow trusted God despite her circumstances.

The word of the Lord spoken by Elijah accomplished more than sustenance for Elijah and the widow. It fulfilled God’s covenantal love experienced in relationship. God is present with his people.

How might you, like Elijah, learn from someone in your community whom you may think has no resources? Or how might you, like the widow who was deadly afraid and without resources, take a step toward fellow believers experienced in following God? Both characters show how God brings people together to meet each other’s needs.

Savior God, trust and vulnerability in this world, especially to you and others, are a show of bravery and faith. Help us not be afraid to be open to new relationships in your kingdom community.

Laura Laningham, M.A. Marriage & Family Therapy Student,
Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary