This is the first part of a three part series on one of my favorite Bible stories. The story of Elijah and the widow of Sidon. The way I see it there are three main people involved in this story and we can learn from all three. There is Elijah, the mother, and the son. This series will just barely scratch the surface but I think it’s good stuff for all of us to think about. You can read the Bible story here.
Part 1: Elijah
The first thing I notice in this story is that the Famine is a result of something Elijah did. I realize that ultimately God brought the famine, but humanly speaking it is a result of something Elijah did. Immediately after the famine hits, he goes and hangs out (dare I say, hide? —probably not, God did tell him to go) by a ravine where he is fed everyday and he has water.
Then God tells him to get up and get moving to where there are people. I think this is significant because for the first time Elijah is going to see the results of his obedience to God. People are dying!
I’m not sure what this did to his emotions but it had to play with them to some extent. Too often we take the “heroes” of the Bible and give them “Comic Book” status. Can you imagine what it must have been like for him to walk through cities and see people everywhere he looked starving to death, and knowing in his heart that he was the one who called this famine into existence? I think it caused him to feel guilty. Perhaps this is why he says,
“O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” (Emphasis Mine)
Notice the word, “also.” I certainly wouldn’t want to build too much on this, but I think we can see from the whole of Elijah’s story that the man was emotional. One minute he’s rocking and rolling for God the next he’s hiding out because he’s afraid crying to God how he’s the only one left. Elijah was a human being who was fairly emotional this had to effect him.
Still, he obeyed what God had for him, which is more than many can say. So often we’re tempted to use lame excuses to explain why we don’t obey God. I am an emotional person, I’ve never been able to understand the stoic person who never seems to feel anything but sometimes, I have allowed those emotions to rule me. Obeying God can be hard; I would be willing to say that often it is extremely hard.
Elijah did what God told him to do and he left the consequences and responsibility up to God. What is God calling you to do right now, and maybe you’re afraid to do it? One of my favorite quotes is
“Your circumstances are not truth, God’s word is truth.”
God tells us that we are to pursue Him and He’ll take care of the rest. Of course, I am sure there are people reading this and they are doing what God calls them to do, in that case, as Paul says again and again, I implore you to continue standing and doing what God has called you to do.
In the near future, we’ll look at the mother in this story.