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THE SIN OF UNBELIEF - the Widow of Zarephath

Dear Friends,

I was reading about the Widow of Zarephath.  She lived in the region of Sidon, where there was a famine, as it had not rained for 3 ½ years.  She was a Gentile, and would not have been raised in the Jewish faith.

The Lord sent Elijah, the Prophet, to her.  Elijah asked her for some water and bread.

“As surely as your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug.”  She was preparing her last meal for herself and her son, and then there would be no more food, and they would die.
Here, she recognizes the Lord as Elijah’s God, and not her own.

Elijah instructed her to make a “small cake of bread” for him, and something for herself and her son.  He prophetically declared that “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 gives rain on the land.”

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.”  (1 Kings 17:14,15 NIV)

Somehow, the widow believed Elijah, and did as he instructed.  And God gave them a miracle – His Supernatural Provision.

Why did she have faith?  I am not sure.  Maybe she was desperate for a miracle, and Elijah brought hope.  Maybe she was a kind and compassionate woman, and had nothing to lose by sharing her last meal.  Maybe she had cried out for her god to help her, with no results, and now she put her trust in Elijah’s God.

Some time later, the widow’s son got ill and died. 

“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?”” (1 Kings 17:18 NIV)

I asked myself, “What sin?  What sin did this widow commit?”

The Holy Spirit answered me, and said, “the sin of unbelief”.  She had doubted God.

Elijah cried out to God on behalf of the child.  And the Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy lived.  This was yet another tremendous miracle in the widow’s life!

The widow 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.”  (1 Kings 17:24 NIV)
Where the widow had doubted God, she no longer did.  Once again, the living God had proved Himself to her.

And I thought about myself, and other Christians.  How many times does God prove Himself to us, and we still doubt Him?

We go along complacently, until a crisis or tragedy happens… and then we question God – “Where were You?  Why did You allow this to happen?”

All I know is that God is sovereign.  And whatever bad event that occurs in our lives, it is an opportunity for God to show up.

We must not doubt our God, but continue to believe in His Goodness and Faithfulness to us.  Whatever our circumstances, we are assured of God’s Love, and that He is working out every situation for our good.


Scripture Reference :
See 2 Kings 17:7-24, and Luke 4:25, 26 for the widow of Zarephath.

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