The introduction of Baal worship into Israel by Jezebel, the Sidonian wife of King Ahab, hastened the nation’s downward moral slide. The teachings of God that uplifted marriage, family, and sexuality were overshadowed by such practices as incest, prostitution, and other sexual perversions. Into this arena of conflict over worship stepped Elijah, whose very name, “Jehovah is my God”, rebuked Baal.
What experience of Elijah associated him with overturning heathen beliefs and bringing new life to families? 1 Kings 16:29-17:24; compare Luke 4:25-26.
Elijah was a marked man after announcing the curse of drought upon the land. God sheltered him in an unlikely place—at a poor widow’s dwelling in Zarephath of Sidon, near Jezebel’s hometown. Elijah greeted the widow with a grim test, to use her last bits of kindling, oil, and flour to feed him and to trust God for her future. Her faith became legendary. Jesus Himself would later commend her (Luke 4:26). As her oil and meal stretched out over many days, the woman came to understand more about Jehovah. Then, tragically, her only son fell sick and died. In expressing her grief to Elijah, she reflected the familiar religion around her, the perverted beliefs that now engulfed Israel, in which one’s sin could require child sacrifice (1 Kings 17:18; compare Jer. 19:5, Micah 6:7).
What effect did the reunion with her son have upon the Phoenician widow’s spiritual experience? 1 Kings 17:24. What can we learn from her comments?
The mother’s response reveals the effect of the Elijah message. Faith in God and His Word arises in the heart as, by His power, life is restored and the family is reunited. Many today may give assent as doctrines are preached, but are lukewarm in their spiritual experience. However, when the truths of God’s Word are experienced personally and revival and restoration occur in home relationships, conviction comes ever so much more powerfully upon the heart.
|What are some family reunions that you are still waiting for? What promises of God are you clinging to that give you hope of that reunion?|