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May 29, 2013

In I Kings 17:17-18 the widow’s son died. This is the same widow that God directed Elijah to her village to provide for him after the brook dried up. The brook had dried up because of the drought God had declared to Israel’s King Ahab through the mouth of obedient Elijah.  So Elijah, the widow, and her son had seen God’s miraculous provision.  Yet nowhere in these two verses does it say that anyone asked God to intervene in the life of the son when he became sick.  Interesting…..  After he died the widow lashes out at Elijah.  Only at this time is there any mention of calling on God for help (see verses 18-21).  Now that doesn’t mean they didn’t pray.  Let’s look at a couple scenarios that may have taken place.

Since they were in the heart of Baal country, possibly one of the widow’s friends had a priest of one of the idols come and pray to their god(s) regarding the boy’s health.  If so, I can see Elijah sitting back and observing.

Elijah is a man who hears from God.  Maybe God hasn’t shown Elijah to pray for the widow’s son.  Why?  Well, my mind immediately goes to the story of Lazarus in the New Testament (John 11:1-44).  Lazarus and his sisters are friends of Jesus.  When Lazarus became sick the sisters sent a message to Jesus that their brother was ill.  Jesus stayed where he was and continued the work His Father had Him doing.  He was in no hurry to go.  Jesus made it clear that it was done this way so God would get all the glory.  Jesus raised Lazarus from the tomb several days after he had died.  Word spread all over the place what had happened.

Possibly God didn’t move on Elijah to pray for the widow’s son because He had a plan that would point people to Him even though they were in the center of idol-worshiping territory.

There is one more angle I want to look at.  This one is where I personally felt conviction.  Possibly the widow presumed that since God had intervened by miraculously providing food for all of them, that He would just step up to the plate?   Any of us are free to presume that God would do that.  However, He is a true Gentleman.  He will only go where He is invited.  He won’t barge in the lineup and pinch hit just because He sees that He is needed.  He waits for the manager of the team to tell Him He will now pinch hit.

In I Kings 17:21-24 the widow’s son is brought back to life!  Then, and only then, does the woman acknowledge that Elijah is a man of God that God really speaks through.  Yep, the Lord got the glory on that one!  And don’t think for a minute that this once-bereaved mom kept quiet about what happened, either!  I would imagine that was literally the talk of the town for quite a while.

I stopped and thought of all the areas in my life, all the daily stuff of life, where I presume God will just take care of things.   He could.  But He won’t.  I stopped and asked Him to take care of all sorts of situations.  And I plan on keeping my eyes open for other areas in my life where He needs to be given an open door.

From → Elijah

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