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1st Kings 17:8-16

The Prophet Relocation Program

8 Then the word of the LORD came to him [Elijah], saying, 9 "Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you." 10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink." 11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." 12 But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die." 13 Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the LORD the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the LORD sends rain on the earth." 15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.

Old Mother Hubbard

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Musings

Solomon reigns for 40 years, as did David, but once he passes, the northern tribes secede splitting the nation back into Israel (Northern kingdom) and Judah (Southern kingdom). At this point in the story of the prophet Elijah (whose name means My God is the LORD) begins. Elijah is strongly opposed to King Ahab (Israel's king) and Jezebel, Ahab's Baal worshipping wife, because of his lack of regard for the God of Israel. Just prior to this passage, Elijah announces a drought which comes to pass as a sort of "in your face" to Baal, the god of the storm and rain. Elijah is directed to go to this widow in Zarephath where God provides them with food. This is smack in the center of Phoenician Baal worship, so it is no accident. Elijah will be in the middle of things and God is in control.


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