"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.” (1 Kings 17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It does not get any more hopeless than this? A widow in Zarephath who has already lost her husband. There is a famine in the land and food is running out. She only has her son left as the food supply is running out.
She is getting ready for their last meal, before death rolls in. But in the mist of the hopelessness, hurting and the pain of despair, God sends the prophet, Elijah. He comes baring the Word of the Lord. Then the word of the LORD came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” (1 Kings 17) This sounds like more work for the widow, with another one to feed when resources are already running out.
Where do we go when things seem hopeless? Where do we turn? Where do you look for all good? Answer: Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ. Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. (Ps. 50 )
Living in the Word of the Lord. Elijah brings the Word to the ears. “Don’t be afraid. 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.’ (1 Kings 17)
The Lord cares for the widow, her son and you. God provides for her. Why? Because He promises to do so. As well so that we would hear His Word and believe God's promises. God gives you "Daily Bread". What God said, the Lord did. The oil and flour were in that jar until the rain fell from the heavens.
Sometime later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. (1 Kings 17) Battling through desperation, darkness rolls back into the house with a vengeance. The loss of a child. Where to turn in the face of death? Jesus the one who defeats death. Elijah 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!” The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. (1 Kings 17)
Where to die? Where to live? In Jesus--the Lord carries you through death into life. How? Because Jesus dies our death--putting death to death. Jesus climbs into the grave--for a 3 day rest, and Easter morning Jesus burst out of the tomb. Christ has risen, He has risen indeed! Alleluia!
The widow’s response. “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.” (1 Kings 17) She trusts and believes the Word of God. So too do you believe this Word of God--all about Jesus for you. Believing the promises of God, life flows.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11)
You as the Lord's Church are known as "the faithful", trusting and believing in Jesus, you have life eternal. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
728 How Firm a Foundation
How firm a foundation, O saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He has said
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?