I Kings 17
From The Widow's Journal
I have an unusual house guest. He is the prophet Elijah.
Not to long ago, I went to the city gate to gather sticks to make a fire. I had enough flour and oil to make one last cake of bread for my son and I to share. After that, I knew we would starve to death.
While gathering the sticks, the prophet called to me. I didn't know he was a prophet at the time. He asked me to give him some bread. I told him I didn't have any to give. He asked me to make the cake I planned then give him the first portion. God would supply the rest of her need after that.
Something in my heart urged me to trust him. I invited him to my house, made the food and gave him the first portion. As I cleaned up the mess, I picked up the flour and oil jars and nearly dropped them. They both were full!
Everything happened just as the prophet said!
I gave him a room on the upper level and invited him to stay as long as he needed. Maybe his presence alone kept the jars full. I wasn't sure.
Many days went by. The prophet Elijah had his own work to do but always ate his morning and evening meal with my son and I.
One day my son spiked a fever. His sickness worsened quickly. I did everything I normally did, gave him liquids, kept him warm. Nothing worked. Each day he grew closer to death until one afternoon while the prophet Elijah was away, my son died.
How could this happen? I trusted God and did all that He said. I cared for the prophet, giving him a bed and food. How my heart ached. I wailed until there were no more tears to shed.
That evening the prophet came home. I didn't have food prepared. He immediately held his hands out to me as if understanding I had a problem and asked, "What happened?"
I told him about my son. And then--I couldn't stop myself. I yelled at the prophet. All the emotions in my soul boiled up and spilled out. "What do you have against me? Did you have to come to my house to remind me of all the things I've done wrong and kill my son?"
He looked around the room. "Where is he?"
I pointed to the place where my son lay.
The prophet ran to the room and scooped up my boy. He carried my son to the room upstairs and closed the door. I stood in the hall and listened. The prophet cried out to his God, "Oh, Lord, my God, why has tragedy come upon this poor widow I am staying with. Why did he have to die?"
I heard movement then the prophet cried out again, "O Lord, My God, let this boy's life return to him!"
More sounds came from the room. The prophet whispered, "Thank you."
Thank you? For what?
The door opened. There stood the prophet, holding my son. My boy, breathed softly in the prophet's arms. I stepped to the side and followed the prophet down the stairs to the main floor. The prophet tenderly laid my son on his bed. He said, "Look, your son is alive!"
I hardly knew what to say. I ran to my boy and hugged him. "Thank you. Thank you." I wiped tears from my face. "Before this time, I wasn't sure why the flour and oil jars never emptied. But today, you have shown me what a true man of God you are and that the words you speak are truth."
He left me alone to be with my son. Before the sun set I made cakes of bread for the three of us. We ate together after offering a special thanks to God for saving my son.
photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
1. Who was the house guest?
2. What did Elijah want from the woman when he first met her?
3. What happened when the woman gave Elijah what he asked?
4. Some time later the woman's _______ grew sick and died.
5. What did Elijah do when he heard the news?
6. Why did the woman change her mind about the prophet's words?