Across the readings, we have a theme of sacrifice and sacrificial giving. When it comes to the widows, we focus on their giving from the little that they have. When it comes to Jesus, we focus on how he sacrificed everything for us and then testifies on our behalf.
As you read through these Bible readings, what stands out as important to you? What leaves you wanting to know more or questioning the significance of a particular detail? I invite you to start the conversation around these things in the comments below!
1 Kings 17:8 - 16
8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, 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.
- The widow is down to the last meal for her and her son. Without an intervention, they will die in days. In her initial answer to Elijah, we can hear that she is without hope. On one hand, why would she share from what little she has? On the other hand, given Elijah’s promise, what does she have to lose?
- It is worth noting that this story takes place outside of Israel. The Lord has brought a drought to the nation because the king and queen, Ahab and Jezebel, have led the nation away from the Lord. They have worshipped other gods, especially Ba’al, and have abused their power. The Lord could have performed this miracle within Israel, but the Lord chose to send Elijah away from Israel. Here, we get a hint that people who are not Jews may also fall into the category of “the Lord’s people.”