Elijah Raises the Widow’s Son and Sends a Message to Ahab (1 Kings 17:17 – 18:19)

The son of the widow of Zarapheth got sick and quit breathing.  The widow panicked, and called on Elijah.  Elijah took him upstairs to his room and laid him on his own bed.  He stretched out on him 3 times and cried out to the Lord, and the boy revived.  He took the child to his mother, and she declared “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.” 

Elijah was sent by God to Ahab to declare the end of the drought.  Obadiah, the king’s housemaster, had been hiding prophets from the murderous Jezebel.  The drought had become so desperate that Ahab sent Obadiah to scout half the land while he scouted the rest to see if there was any water to keep the animals from dying.  Elijah and Obadiah crossed paths, and Obadiah bowed before Elijah in honor.  Elijah told Obadiah to tell Ahab that he wanted to see him.  Obadiah was afraid, because Ahab had been hunting Elijah for weeks and months, and now he simply presented himself.  Obadiah feared that Elijah would disappear and Obadiah would feel the wrath of Ahab.  Elijah promised that he would present himself to Ahab that very day.  Ahab came out to meet Elijah, accusing him of troubling Israel.  Elijah instead told Ahab that he and his house had troubled Israel by forsaking the law of God and serving idols.  He called Ahab to Mount Carmel with all the prophets of Baal for a supernatural showdown.

Elijah prayed for the widow’s son and he came back to life.  This woman had provided for and hid Elijah, and now God used Elijah to give her back what she cherished, her only son.  Notice, though, how she described her confidence in Elijah above.  She said she knew his words were true by his actions.  The old saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.”  When Elijah performed a miracle, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all doubt was removed as to his prophetic ministry.  He bravely confronted Ahab, and challenged the false prophets to a showdown.  These actions are not the actions of a cowardly or weak man of God.  Instead, Elijah was a courageous, bold man of faith that heard from God, and did what God told him.  Is that not what God longs for from us today?  Be a man or woman of faith, and do what God says to do.  That is the recipe for revival, not activism or protest.  Do what God says yourself and God will honor the actions you take!

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