Friday, December 06, 2013

Widow's Son

The widow of Zarephath was in the land of the Sidonians, a wicked people. She had no husband and there was a famine in the land because the rains from heaven had dried up. There was nothing left to her but to eat a few crumbs and perish. But the man of God, Elijah, showed up and asked for the last bit of her food. Only if she was willing to die in this way would he bring her back to life. In faith, she gave the prophet the last of her food, bringing him a little cake of sacrifice.

The woman is like Israel, forsaken in a barren land because she had been exiled. The bread from heaven, the Word of God, had ceased from the land, and the people were without hope and without God in the world. In such a situation, God did not immediately come to give her life. She must first die. But she had to die in faith believing that God would raise her from the dead, believing like Abraham and Isaac, the fathers of our faith. As a result, the Lord brought her food for life, life that overflowed, bread and oil, like rivers of living water that never cease.

Later, the woman's son was sick and died. He was the heir of promise and the one to carry on the family name. He was like an adopted son to Elijah, who was Godlike in his ministry to the woman and her son. But the son died and the woman was indignant that the man of God came to her and brought such a piercing blow to her heart. The prophet fell upon the boy three times until he was raised from the dead, the promised heir returning to fulfill the promise of the man of God to provide unending food for them now and in the now to follow, life everlasting.

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