The Widow of Zarephath
1 Kings 17:9
Arise, get you to Zarephath, which belongs to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain you.


II. OBEDIENCE. Elijah obeys God at the risk of his own life. The widow obeys when requested by the prophet to bring him first a little water, and then a little cake. As disobedience led to the ruin of our first parents, so is it ever still the cause of endless difficulties and dangers in our spiritual course.

III. THAT GOD'S DEMANDS OFTEN INCREASE GRADUALLY IN THEIR STRINGENCY. The prophet asks the widow first for a little water, and afterwards, as if water was not sufficiently difficult to be obtained in such a time of drought, he further requests a little cake, when only a small store of meal and oil was left to the poor widow. So God demands often the lighter sacrifices from us first, and then, as our faith and our patience increase, He afterwards asks from us sacrifices of a higher character; until at length, when, by a course of afflictions He has weaned us from earthly attachments, He exclaims, "My son, give Me thy heart."

IV. THAT THE DARKEST HOUR OFTEN PRECEDES THE DAWN. It was when the widow woman was about to resign herself to despair, and to despondently await death, that the prophet appeared with the promise of prolonged support for life. The darkest cloud frequently has a silver lining. "Never despair," is a good motto, and is a still better one if coupled with another maxim, "Put your trust in God."

V. THAT GOD IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS. This moral our Lord Himself draws from the story of this widow of Zarephath, or Sarepta. The lesson that to the Gentiles also the mercies of God were to be shown, was one that the prejudiced and self-righteous Jews were loath to admit. In the same way the modern Pharisee is disinclined to allow that salvation is possible for those who are outside his own little coterie of professors.

(R. Young, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

WEB: "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain you."

The Widow of Zarephath
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