Hello My Name Is (Week 4) – Widow of Zarephath
A new week here at Mummy Meditations, and we started looking at a new “unnamed” woman. The widow of Zarephath is not a very well known story, so do take the time to read the whole story in 1 Kings 17 if you get the chance. Our meditation verse this week was:
“As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread-only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it-and die.” 1 Kings 17:12
Faith or Not?
The first sentence of this verse is quite a confusing one. She says the words “surely” when talking about God, but also “your” as in to say it isn’t HER God. This woman knows (or maybe knew) that God exists but given her situation can’t quite bring herself to say that God is for her or a part of her life. She is happy to say that He is the God of Elijah, the man speaking to her. One mum in our Facebook Group put it like this “She obviously believes in God’s existence but doesn’t yet know his character or power”.
A Desperate Situation
I think that the woman’s stance towards God is perhaps understandable, and one that a lot of people will find themselves in, given what has happened to her in her life. From reading this verse we can gather that it is only the woman and her son left in her family. We can assume that her husband has passed away somehow, and if there were any other children that they too have died. This would be very sorrowful for any woman, but in that time it would have meant she couldn’t have supported herself in anyway or have any means of getting food. It sounds like her son is young too and unable to step up to support the family.
If it was harvest then she would have been able to gather the spare bits of crops from the edges of the fields, but if it was winter and this was the last of her stores of food (which it sounds like) then there would be no hope of her getting anymore food. Everyone else would have their stores that they wouldn’t want to share. So although they wouldn’t have died straight away, with a long winter ahead there was no chance of them surviving. It was a desperate situation, one that I can’t even imagine, and her reaction to God is what we come across day in, day out in our broken world. When things go wrong we blame God.
A Request She Couldn’t Fulfil
After thinking about the situation this woman finds herself in, I can’t even begin to explain how annoyed, angry, upset I would feel to be asked for food by someone. At this point I’m sure she would have been stretching out her food to last them as long as possible, so she must have look gaunt and thin. I would be angry and probably snap at this man for being so selfish! He should be bringing me food!!! Instead, she quite calmly explains the predicament she finds herself in. Perhaps she actually would have loved to be hospitable, maybe she was before her husband passed away, and so this is heartbreaking to her to not be able to fulfil his request.
Why Is She Included?
This woman is like so many others, not willing to connect with God because of what life has dealt them. She kind of knows that God exists but doesn’t want to worship Him. This story is included for all those others like her, who have the same thoughts, doubts and feelings towards God. I guess her name is not important as actually this could be so many women. Do you see a bit of you in her???
We will see what happens next in this story as we meditate on the following verse:
“She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:15-16
Why not join me tomorrow night for our Facebook Live Discussion at 9pm to kick off the week? I’d love to hear your initial thoughts on this verse. If you can’t make it, then do watch it back over in our Facebook Group.
Finally – you might notice the new graphic below! I would love to have more writers on board to share their thoughts in our summary posts. So after each post you will see who has written it. If you are interested in joining the team and doing some writing on the blog then do email firstname.lastname@example.org