Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

Widow of Zarephath and Her Son

Though Elijah came to Sidon, and God provided for the widow of Zarephath and her son, their problems were not yet over.

The widow’s young son suddenly got sick and died. The poor mother blamed herself. She asked Elijah if he came to them just so that she might be made aware of her sin and watch her son die in response to her sinfulness.  

He responded by carrying the young lad to his room and praying over him. Three times he pleaded to the Lord, begging for God to bring the young boy back to life. 

He cried out, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” (1 Kings 17:20 ESV)

God heard his cries and healed the boy. Elijah carried the boy downstairs and presented him to his mother.

When the widow saw that her son was raised from the dead, she proclaimed, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” (v. 24)

The widow of Zarephath had heard of God and knew Him as the Israelite’s God. When God used Elijah to provide for her earthly needs, she recognized that Elijah’s God took care of her.

But when God delivered her son from the dead, she understood that He wasn’t just a God for the Israelites. He was her God, too. 

Had the widow of Zarephath’s son never died, she would have never fully appreciated Elijah’s God. But through her son’s death and resurrection, Elijah’s God became her God.

Read about the widow of Zarephath in Scripture: 1 Kings 17:8-16

widow of Zarephath and her son Bible story

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