Scripture reading – 2 Chronicles 17; 1 Kings 17

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This is the second of two daily Bible studies from today’s Scripture reading. This one is taken from 1 Kings 17.


In an earlier devotion, we were introduced to Ahab, the seventh king of northern Israel, and his queen Jezebel (1 Kings 16:29-33). They were a notoriously wicked couple who reigned over Israel for 22 years. Ahab followed and exceeded the wickedness of his father Omri and the kings before him (1 Kings 16:30).

Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, did not worship the God of Israel, for she “served Baal, and worshipped him” (1 Kings 16:31). Her influence on Ahab ushered in a time of great wickedness, and he built an altar and temple to Baal in Samaria, the new capital city of Israel (1 Kings 16:33).

Elijah the Tishbite, The Prophet of God from

Elijah the Tishbite, The Prophet of God

1 Kings 17 briefly introduced the prophet Elijah, whose life and ministry we will follow for several days in the Scriptures. He was one of the greatest prophets and one of the most remarkable men to have ever lived. The Scriptures portray him not only as a man of faith but one with passion who might boldly confront evil and then take flight for fear of losing his life.

A Season of Drought (17:1-7)

Elijah was introduced when he entered the palace of the wicked Ahab and delivered a message of judgment: “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (1 Kings 17:1; Deuteronomy 11:17; 28:23).

To provide for His prophet during the three years of drought, God commanded Elijah to retreat to the desert, and there He would give him water at “the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan” (1 Kings 17:3). The LORD then sent ravens to bring his prophet bread and meat to eat (1 Kings 17:4). So, the LORD provided all Elijah needed for a season, until “the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land” (1 Kings 17:7).


The Widow Zarephath (17:8-16)


When there was no water, the LORD provided the next place for his prophet to retreat during the drought troubling Israel. God commanded Elijah to go to Zarephath of Zidon, and there he would meet and dwell in the household of a widow and her son (1 Kings 17:9). When he arrived in Zarephath, the prophet met the poor widow as she gathered sticks to bake the last of her flour and oil.

Elijah requested water, and the widow moved to “fetch it;” however, his request for bread was met by protest. She answered the prophet, “As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die” (1 Kings 17:12).

Confident in the LORD’s leading and provision, Elijah assured her the LORD would provide. He said she would never lack for flour or oil “until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth” (1 Kings 17:14). Exercising her faith in the LORD, and His prophet, the widow took Elijah into her home. Each day, she found the flour and oil replenished, as the prophet promised (1 Kings 17:15-16).

The Death and Resurrection of the Widow’s Son from

The Death and Resurrection of the Widow’s Son (17:17-24)


At some time during Elijah’s stay in the widow’s household, her son became ill and died (1 Kings 17:17). In her sorrow, the widow cried out against Elijah as a “man of God” and wondered if her sins were the cause of her son’s death (1 Kings 17:18).

Elijah was so overcome with sorrow that he took the widow’s son to his bedchamber. There, he placed the child on his bed and cried to the LORD, saying, “Let this child’s soul come into him again” (1 Kings 17:21). The LORD heard and answered the prophet’s prayer, and “the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived” (1 Kings 17:22).

Elijah’s trials in 1 Kings 17 allowed the prophet to strengthen his faith and confidence in the God of Israel, who heard and answered his prayers. Yes, Elijah felt the consequences of the drought in Israel, but he also experienced God’s care and miraculous provision, even when there was just enough flour and oil for a day. The prophet learned the power of prayer and was prepared for the terrific contests he soon faced with Ahab and Jezebel.


Closing thoughts

Someone reading this devotional may be amid trials and disappointments. Perhaps you are wrestling with doubts and wondering if the LORD will hear and answer your prayers. Maybe you feel like the widow of Zarephath and question if your sorrows are because of your sin (1 Kings 17:18).

I want to assure you that the LORD is waiting to be your refuge, and in the center of His will, you can trust that “there shall no evil” befall you (Psalm 91:9-10). That does not mean that “bad things” will not come your way; after all, we live in a sin-cursed world. However, God’s Word promises that “all things (even the things that hurt) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”(Romans 8:28). God’s “good” is continually working to the end that a believer will be conformed to the image and likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29).

Now, be strong, take courage, and hope in the LORD! He hears and answers prayer.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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