THE HIDDEN LIFE: A study of Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath


There comes a time in our lives, if we are going to have a more intimate relationship with our Savior, that He must teach us about the hidden life. It’s a time to teach us to trust not in His gifts and what He can do for us, but to teach us who He is and to trust in Him. It’s a time to rid us of ourselves, our self life, so that we can come to know Him better and learn to fully depend on Him. It’s a time of shaking and cutting away all the unnecessary, so that what is left can’t be shaken, and so we can be the most fruitful. There came a time in Elijah’s life for this. Let’s study.

1 Kings 17: 1- 9: “And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.’ Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.’ So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.’”

It’s alway good, when studying the Word, to read every passage on the same topic. Often, the New Testament sheds light on an Old Testament passage and vice versa. Or, when studying the gospels, it’s always beneficial to read every account in each of the gospels of an incident to gain insights we might miss otherwise. Both Jesus and James mention Elijah and the drought in the New Testament.

Luke 4: 24-25: “But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.”

James 5: 17-18 “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

This was a time of great apostasy in Israel. It was the days of Ahab, when the government officially supported the worship of Baal. Elijah was feeling much alone...

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