A poor widow helps the prophet Elijah - Catholic Courier

A poor widow helps the prophet Elijah

God was not pleased with King Ahab of Israel. Ahab was even more evil than his ancestors. One of the bad things he did was to marry the Phoenician princess Jezebel of Sidon, who worshipped the idol Baal. Soon the king worshiped Baal, too, which means that he broke one of God’s commandments: “You shall not have other gods beside me.”

So the Lord sent his prophet Elijah to give Ahab a warning. God said that no dew or rain would fall on the land for a long time. The dew and rain would only come again when God instructed Elijah to say so.

Then God sent Elijah into hiding in the Wadi Cherith. While he was there, God sent ravens to bring food to Elijah. The prophet drank water from the wadi — a stream bed that has water in it only during the rainy season. Since there was a drought, the wadi soon went dry.

“Arise,” God then told Elijah, “go to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”

Elijah went to Zarephath. At the city’s entrance, he saw a widow gathering sticks to make a fire. The prophet called out to her, asking her to bring him a cup of water. As she left to get it, he also asked for a crust of bread.

The widow turned around. She explained that she had enough flour and oil to make one last meal for herself and her son. After that, she wouldn’t have money to buy more food.

“When we have eaten it,” she said of the bread she was going to make, “we shall die.”

Elijah told her to not be afraid and to make him a little cake before making something for herself and her son.

“For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth,” he said.

The widow did what Elijah asked. And just as God had said through Elijah, the widow’s jar of flour and jug of oil did not go empty, and she and her son had plenty to eat for a long time.


1 Kings 17



1. Whom did Elijah warn about the upcoming drought?

2. What two ways did Elijah receive food when he was in hiding?

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