Into the Word

We would be hard pressed to find two more different women than the widow who gave the prophet Elijah her last meal and the wicked Queen Jezebel. Here, we are shown the contrast between them.

Elijah had just experienced God’s miraculous provision through a poor widow and then witnessed the resurrection of the widow’s son. The widow responded by acknowledging the one true God. But before Elijah’s battle against Baal would be finished, he was confronted by another woman, the wicked Queen Jezebel. The famine lasted for three long years and God sent Elijah back to King Ahab to challenge the prophets of Baal head-on (see 1 Kings 18).

The Baal prophets spent an entire day begging their god to send fire upon their sacrifice—to no avail. Then Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord, doused his sacrifice with water, and prayed. Immediately God’s fire consumed everything—the offering, wood, stones, dust, even the water around the base. Baal was defeated and the people declared, “The LORD is God.” Elijah ordered the execution of all Baal prophets. And God sent rain. But any sense of victory was short-lived. Queen Jezebel threatened Elijah’s life. Rather than standing confident in God’s power, Elijah ran 120 miles to Beersheba. He was so defeated that he prayed to die. Once again, God provided food and protection. For 40 days, the angel of the Lord cared for Elijah.

Then God invited Elijah to experience His gentle presence, yet even that special visit from God couldn’t shake Elijah from his depression. Ultimately, God told Elijah to appoint his successor, Elisha (vv. 15–16). God would continue His work through a new prophet, and Jezebel, would suffer a gory demise (21:23).

Sometimes, even after we see God provide for us in miraculous ways, we settle back into our old pattern of worry and doubt. Consider Elijah’s example, and how you can live by faith, and not fear.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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