Then the word of the LORD came to him: "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." (1 Kings 17:9)
Faith life can be exciting and intriguing at times. Earlier God had directed Elijah to the Kerith Ravine and told that he would be fed by ravens; the water from the brook there would quench his thirst. The quencher (brook) finally got quenched and God gave him new directions of which we read in the title verses.
Interestingly God didn't specify which widow in Zarepath he was to meet. The address was not complete yet Elijah went nevertheless in unquestioning obedience. And the Bible says,
When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" (1 Kings 17:10)
Jesus once said,
I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. (Luke 4:25, 26)
It was not just coincidence that Elijah had come to the right address, God had guided his steps. Yes, God does that for his children. The Bible says,
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. (Psalm 25:12)
Elijah first asked the widow for a drink and then for a piece of bread. A drink of water she could afford to give, but the bread was the last one she could make from what flour and oil she had left so that she and her son could have a last meal together before they died.
Then came the prophesy and promise from God that changed her life.
Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land." (1 Kings 17:13,14)
She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. (1 Kings 17:15, 16)
When there is famine in the land, God will feed his children. He is faithful. Hope in him. The God of Elijah is your God too. The God who did a great miracle in the home of the widow of Zarepath is your God too. Trust in him. Praise the Lord.