The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 1 Kings 17:22
It happened in Ahab and Jezebel’s backyard. In Zarephath of Sidon, the center of Baal worship in a Gentile region outside of Israel, Elijah brought the message to a widow and her son.
The widow knew grief and heartache. She lost her husband, and with no seemingly end to the drought in the land, she and her son were starving to death. When Elijah saw them at the town gate, she was gathering sticks to prepare their last meal so that they could, “eat it–and die” (v. 12).
Elijah spoke God’s promises. He told her not to fear. If she would first use her meager supplies to make him a small loaf of bread, the God of Israel would provide. “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land” (v. 14).
She listened to Elijah, and experienced the miracle. Yet it didn’t move her to testify that the Lord was God! Although her stomach was filled, she didn’t have eyes to see and ears to hear. God was still Elijah’s God, not hers (v. 12).
Some time later, more sadness entered her life. Her son became ill and died. Instead of believing God, she blamed Elijah and herself. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” (v. 18)
Elijah got up close and personal and prayed. He took her son in his arms, laid him on his bed, stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord for his life!
God did the work! God answered Elijah’s prayers. He gave physical life to the boy, and spiritual eyesight to his mother. Now she could see and understand God’s love, provision, and power. She testified, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth” (v. 24, emphasis added).
God uses our words, actions, proximity, and prayers to do what only He can do – draw hearts to Himself (John 6:44)! We bring the message, but He does the extraordinary work! Trust Him to give life to those you speak to and serve today.
Send Me: Who is in your backyard that needs the life-giving message of Jesus? Will you speak His promises, get personal, and pray, trusting God to do the work?