Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 17

The widow’s son dies

1 Kings 17:17-18

This woman was not from Israel, but she had faith: active belief and trust in God (Hebrews 11:33-35; compare Matthew 8:10). So, when her son died, she brought his dead body to Elijah. She had seen that Elijah was a very holy man; she knew the power that he had in prayer (James 5:16-18).

Of course, very many people, and especially children, were dying at that time. There was not enough food in the region because of the long period of dry weather. So, by natural means, this boy’s death was not an unusual event.

However, the woman could see that her son’s death should not have happened. Elijah had taught her to expect God to reward her when she acted in faith (Hebrews 11:6). He had also declared God’s word of promise to her, that he (God) would provide for her and for her son (17:13-14). Therefore, her son’s death was not an ordinary, natural incident – something wrong had happened in the spirit world. This was clearly not God’s plan. So, the woman appealed to Elijah as God’s servant.

After a death, or any terrible incident, the proper attitude for us is to be humble in front of God. So, this woman refused to blame God. Instead, she blamed her own evil deeds. She had probably never been a very evil person, but everyone has done evil things (Romans 3:23). So, she knew that she deserved nothing from God. However, God forgives the person who turns to him in faith (Romans 4:1-5). So for this reason too, she appealed to Elijah. God had not sent him into her life to bring death to her family, but to bring life.

Next part: The power of Elijah's prayers (1 Kings 17:19-21)


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