When did you first hear about God? Who was it that told you about Him? What did it take for you to discover Him as Your God and to establish a personal relationship with Him?
In today’s episode of All God’s Women we look at the Widow of Zarephath a pagan woman living in Jezebel’s homeland who discovered that God wasn’t just the Israelites’ God, He was hers, too.
Although the widow is a nameless woman in the Bible, her story is a most familiar one. It wasn’t until I began researching her, though, that I realized that she wasn’t actually a Hebrew, but was instead a native of Zidon, the homeland of Jezebel. Somehow, in this Baal worshipping land, this woman became a believer in the one true God.
How perfect that when Elijah fled Israel in order to escape the wrath of Jezebel that he found refuge with a destitute widow in Jezebel’s pagan homeland.
I’ve often wondered how people can get saved if there’s no one in their life to introduce them to God. But God puts a hunger in our hearts and questions in our heads. And if we heed that longing and go seeking to find Him, He will reveal Himself.
Just as Rahab had heard stories of the Israelite God, so had this widow. Both were in pagan lands surrounded by evil idolators. But they heard talk. Little comments here and there piqued their interest. And when God brought godly men to rescue these women from imminent death, they were receptive to what He had in store for them.
What about you? Are you in the seeking stage? Have you heard talk, it sounds interesting, but you don’t really understand it all and you have no idea where to begin? If so, start praying for God to send people your way who will share truth with you, who will answer your questions and draw you near to God.
Or maybe you’ve heard about Him for a long time. You’ve gone to church. You’ve read the Bible. You’ve gone through the motions. But something’s missing. You see Him more as other people’s God. You’re missing that personal connection. You’ve not truly made Him your God.
Maybe you’re a believer and you’re going through a really difficult time right now. You’re in a dark place and you don’t see any way out. You’ve prayed. But God doesn’t seem to be listening. Nothing makes sense right now as you watch your world crashing all around you.
Have faith. The widow thought for sure her days were numbered. She knew there was no way for them to survive another day. But God provided. Then, God took her son. It made no sense. Was God punishing her by killing her son? Why would He do that? What kind of God was He?
She felt forsaken. But she wasn’t. God heard her cries. He heard Elijah’s prayers. When the situation looked beyond hopeless, God sent a miracle.
The widow would have preferred that her son never got sick. She would have loved for him to have had perfect health. It would have been nice had he been healed before he died so that she didn’t have to go through all that anguish. But God’s timing is not our timing. It was in the miraculous way that He worked that the widow truly understood just how amazing God is.
Whatever you’re going through today, get down on your knees and talk to God. Tell Him what you’re thinking. Yell at Him if you want. Pour your heart out to Him. Keep praying, however long it takes, until you feel the gentle peace of God pouring over you. Whatever happens, He will be there with you, never leaving you or forsaking you.
1 Kings 17
Bible Study Review
- Why did Elijah go to Zarephath?
- What was the widow doing when Elijah found her?
- How did Elijah help the widow?
Thoughts to Ponder
- How did the widow know about Elijah’s God?
- Why did God send Elijah to a pagan land?
- Why did God allow the widow’s son to die?
- Have you ever given up hope and had God send someone to offer you renewed hope?
- How generous are you when you have little to nothing?
- Think about a time when God did a miracle in your life.
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