“I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.”
– Luke 4:25,26
God is faithful and long suffering. He never lets anyone’s wrong choices go unchallenged, and He always provides ample opportunity to change course. This was certainly the case for Ahab, to whom He sent the prophet Elijah to confront his wickedness and remind him that there was a better way. However, since the king refused to listen to Elijah’s counsel, the Lord brought a horrible drought on the land of Israel that lasted for three and a half years. During that time, there wasn’t even a drop of rain! As you can imagine, the consequences of this were disastrous for everyone living in the region, including Elijah. Concerned for his servant, God directed him to move to the land of Sidon, which ironically is where Queen Jezebel came from. Once he arrived there, the Lord used a starving widow to supply his needs. Unbeknownst to her, the God who multiplies and delights in making something out of nothing set her up for a season of provision that came through her willingness to give away the last small thing that she had.
My friend, God loves people! Even King Ahab was confronted with truth by the prophet and given a chance to repent and change course. And Elijah, well, the Lord loved him enough to get him out of the desolate land of Israel and keep him safe and well-fed until the famine was over. Then there’s the widow, who although part of a pagan culture, found it in her heart to give away the last little bit she had and was blessed beyond imagination as a result. You see, your Heavenly Father delights in giving you innumerable opportunities to step into His Kingdom blessings, and since you’ve found your identity in Jesus Christ, you are an heir to His never-ending gifts and goodness. His heart of love is always abounding towards you so you can go forth and freely share it with others!
Jesus, thank you for taking care of me and for offering me never-ending opportunities to have a better life.
What do you learn about the nature of God by His interactions with King Ahab, Elijah and the widow?