“And the word of the LORD came unto [Elijah], saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” (1 Kings 17:8-9)
The leading of God is not always clear to our understanding or satisfying to our pride, but it is always directed to God’s glory and our good. Elijah had been supernaturally fed by ravens until the brook of Cherith dried up due to the very drought that Elijah had prophesied. Then, instead of supernaturally providing water, God told Elijah to move to a village in Zidon to stay with a poor widow who would feed him.
But Zidon was the home of the idolatrous queen, Jezebel, who would soon become Elijah’s implacable enemy. Furthermore, he would have to so humble himself as to request that the widow share what she thought would be her last meal with a stranger whom she had never met and who had claimed to be the prophet of a God she did not know. What a strange way for God to deal with His servant!
Nevertheless, Elijah obeyed God without question, and so did the widow of Zarephath, and thus the Lord was able to perform two of His mightiest miracles of creation. At the same time, He was able to meet the deep spiritual needs, as well as the physical needs, of this unlikely duo—the greatest spiritual leader of his age and an insignificant widow. An amazing daily miracle of continuing the creation of oil and meal took place as long as the drought continued. And then an even more amazing miracle was accomplished, when, for the first time in all history so far as the record goes, one who was dead (the widow’s son) was restored to life (1 Kings 17:20-24), and the woman came to believe that Jehovah was the true God. God’s ways may not be our ways, but they are always best. May He give us the grace always to obey His word, whether or not we fully understand. HMM