The Widow at Zarephath
First Kings 17 introduces the prophet Elijah and gives the account of his dealings with a widow from Zarephath. The chapter notes that the Lord was withholding rain from Israel. The drought was in judgment of the nation’s rampant idolatry, led by the royal couple Ahab and Jezebel. In verse 8, the Lord commanded Elijah to go to Zarephath, a town outside of Israel, where a widow would provide food for him. He obeyed, finding a woman gathering sticks. He said to her, 'Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink,’ and, ‘Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand’ (1 Kings 17:11-12). The widow, however, was in great need herself. She responded, ‘As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die' (1 Kings 17:13). She expected the meal she was about to fix to be the last for her family. She had no other prospect than to die of starvation. Elijah’s answer was surely a test of her faith. He told her that she was to make some food for him, anyway using the last of her ingredients for Him, making note of the Lord’s promise (1 Kings 17:14). The widow’s faith was evident in her obedience. And God was faithful to His promise. The widow’s food supply was supernaturally extended, as promised.