The Widow at Zarephath

The saying goes ‘One good turn deserves another.’ A good saying but not executed much in our societies. This widow in this story was in such great need that she was preparing the last meal for herself and her son before preparing to die of starvation. How unwelcome Elijah’s request would have been! There would not be enough food for three people but nevertheless, she obeys. You can’t gainsay a prophet’s command.

Her obedience was rewarded a hundredfold. The jar of flour would not be used up and the jug of oil would not run dry until the drought was over. She would be catering for Elijah for the next few years. Then we are told that some time later the young son would fall ill and die. Again her kindness would be rewarded yet again. Elijah performed a miracle and brought the lad back to life.

This meant that neither the widow or her son died of starvation during the period of drought. She would also be depending on her son to provide for her as he grew up and this he was able to do because of Elijah’s intervention. Our God is a future-planner.

The Widow at Zarephath

There was a great famine in the land and Elijah was in need of food. God directed him to go to Zarephath in the region of Sidon. The widow was down to her last handful of flour and a little olive oil. Nevertheless she was willing to share with this man of God. Her generosity was repaid as the flour and oil didn’t run out during the whole time of the famine and later Elijah restored her son back to life.

Our reward for generosity is not always so evident; sometimes the reward will not be until heaven. But do we give unstintingly and begrudgingly? Do we give the best cake or most expensive glass of wine? Jesus told us that giving in His name even a glass of water was special. When I nearly fainted the other day, I was given a glass of water by a concerned hairdresser. As far as I know she wasn’t a Christian, but my glasses of water are given in the name of Jesus.