I Kings

Chapter 17

"Elijah's Prophecy to Ahab, the Draught [1-9]."
"Circumstance, the Widow [10-16]."
"Bereavement, Widow Son's Death, Brought Back to Life [17-24]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

For the past few chapters we have seen how the house of Israel had fallen into a very long digression into many forms of idolatry. Israel had fallen completely away from God, and now with Ahab on the thrown and his wicked wife Jezebel as the queen; here comes Elijah the prophet of God. The name "Elijah" translated into the Hebrew means "God is YHVH [Ya]", the sacred name of the Lord. Not some stick or some tree, but the eternal creator of all things.

Elijah is the prophet of all prophets, because of what happened on the mount of transfiguration. There Jesus was transfigured and in the presence of Moses and Elijah, as witnessed by Peter, James and John. This documenting where Jesus body would go and what would happen after Christ's crucifixion.

Matthew 17:1 "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,"

Matthew 17:2 "And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light."

Matthew 17: 3 "And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him."

Moses appeared for the Law, and Elijah (Elias in the Greek) for the Prophets. So we see that Elijah is very special to God. Elijah is brought up as the sign of the closing of this earth age, as recorded in Malachi 4:5, 6; the very close of the Old Testament.

Malachi 4:5 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:"

Malachi 4:6 "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

We will see in the book of I Kings that Elijah was taken by God, and he did not die in the flesh body; for when John the Baptist came, he came in the spirit of Elijah. He wasn't Elijah, but "just before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord," Elijah will return to earth to "turn the hearts of all the children to their fathers." There are two fathers, Satan is the first to come, and the Lord Jesus Christ will come second. Satan comes at the sixth trump, while Christ returns at the seventh and last trump. The truth will either turn the heart and mind to Satan, or to Jesus Christ. "Elijah"; "God is YHVH", the eternal Father.

We will see that Elijah is brought here at a time when all Israel has sunk to the lowest depth of sin and depravity, and the wicked Kenite Zidonian queen Jezebel is ruling with Abab on the throne over the ten tribes of the house of Israel.

I Kings 17:1 "And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." "

Jezebel was truly a wicked queen, for not only did she bring in all the forms of Baal worship, of grove and Ashtorath, but she forced all the people to take those filthy practices to themselves. Remember how the prior chapter ended in verse 33; "And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him." Ahab went along with this wicked queen, and made her orders his. Ahab took all forms of worshipping God completely out of the house of Israel.

So Elijah showed up on the capital steps, to call attention to their sins, and to bring a curse upon all Israel. The curse was first cast by Joshua, for Joshua stated that who ever rebuilt Jericho, God would place a curse on that man and upon his sons from the first to the last. Ahab was the one to allow the city of Jericho to be rebuilt. Elijah has now placed a curse on the land, for no rain shall fall, but "according to my word".

This is the reason that Jezebel so hated the Prophet Elijah. Again, it was God that sent Elijah and gave him the words, and power to do and say what he would.

I Kings 17:2 "And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,"

I Kings 17:3 "Get the hence, and turn the eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan."

Elijah had just placed the curse on the land of Israel, while standing before the king and queen, and now God is sending him out into the country side to protect His prophet. We can see that God is a keeper of His Word. This is the foremost lesson that we can learn from this chapter, and the example set by Elijah. When God gives a person something to do and orders that it be done, He will guide that person and give him or her the protection while that command or gift is being carried out. Elijah is on a divine mission for the Father.

Elijah was a priest that stood before God, and he was true to the law and commandments of God. God know that Elijah was faithful and could be trusted in all matters. It is hard today for most people to imagine the faith that Elijah had. Faith to the point that he went to the king and queen that could have ordered his death instantly, yet he knew that God would protect him. He stood there and said, "Except for my mouth", which is by God's order, "there will be no rain". When you hurt the crops, you hurt the flow of wealth of the nation.

I Kings 17:4 "And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there."

So God sent Elijah away from Ahab and Jezebel, and eastward to the brook Cherith, which is on the other side, or east of the river Jordan to hide out for a while. This word for "ravens" in the Hebrew text is "oreb", # 6158 in the Strong's Hebrew dictionary; "from 6150, a raven (from its dusky hue):" So lets go to #6150 to the prime root of the word. "Arab, aw-rab; a prime root [rather identical] with 6148 through the idea of close association; engage, mingle, meddle, mortgage..." This is saying that it is neither of the day nor the night. Many scholar believe that it is saying that the Arabs would feed you there.

However, God does use animals to fulfill his missions, as we saw in I Kings 13, God used a lion to kill the prophet for his disobedience, yet caused the lion to sit there in the road and not harm the ass, but still not harm the dead corpse. This is to act completely opposite from what the nature of the lion is. When Noah was on the ark, God used the dove to bring back the twig, the sign that there was dry land. So whether it was the Arabs that fed Elijah, or the raven, we know that God took care of Elijah, and Elijah was under the divine protection of God. It isn't difficult for me to believe that God would have even the ravens feed Elijah.

I Kings 17:5 "So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan."

This is the secret of life in a nut shell; "He went and did according to the Word of the Lord".

I Kings 17:6 "And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook."

We are going to have three different feeding in Elijah's time, and it is important to pay attention to each of these. The first feeding is by the ravens, the next feeding will be by a widow woman that we will read of later in this chapter. And then the final feeding will be by an angel of God. We should have no problem with having an angel feeding Elijah, for in the forty years in the wilderness, God fed the entire nation of Israel on angel food, the manna from heaven. God is able to provide for His Own. Don't make a fairy-tale out of this, for these were actual events that took place and were recorded in God's Word. All these things were recorded to document Elijah's faith in the One True Living God, and His divine intervention onto Elijah's life.

God's people had sunk to be very lowest that any soul could sink, and while they were in their complete depravity, God called this man Elijah to give warning to His people.

I Kings 17:7 "And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land."

Remember that at Elijah's word, the land dried up for there was no rain. If the rain stopped, then the brooks dried up also. Just because the brook dried up, God will still take care of him. This brings on another lesson, for even though you feel led to do something for the Lord, and you set out on that mission and all the doors close to you, don't panic. If God is with you, other doors will open. If God is with you, who can be against you? God will lead you, be patient and use common sense and allow the Spirit of God to lead you.

I Kings 17:8 "And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,"

When the brook dried up, God didn't let him down but gave him additional orders to follow.

I Kings 17:9 "Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee."

"Zidon" is the land of Jezebel's people, it is the land of the Kenites. God is sending Elijah back into Zidon itself, and there he will protect Elijah. This "widow woman" symbolizes "God's election", and his work under the spirit of Elijah. Elijah started by hiding out away from the world of his day, and those things dried up. Now God is going to being Elijah right into the heart of the Kenites, into the land of Jezebel and there feed and protect His prophet. The purpose of the Elijah ministry is to be in the world, and to bring truth to the world. There will be no fence sitters in the Elijah ministry for truth will draw the elect of God to the Father God, and those that despise the truth to their father Satan.

Amos tells us what the bread of the end times is in Amos 8:11; "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of Bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:" Paul tells us that these truths of the Old Testament are "ensamples" or "types" of how it shall be in the end times. When the Prophet arrived, the elect or widow woman had very little truth or bread, but in time, as it is needed, God provided "the bread" for both prophet and the widow woman, as they lived their lives day by day. Was there a great wealth in the store house, no, hardly enough to sustain for that day.

At first Elijah had water, the bread and the flesh. The water is the truth that flows from God's Word, the flesh and the bread is what sustain a healthy spiritual life. It is what we put on [in our minds] to prepare ourselves for the spiritual battle ahead. Elijah has been through that period, and moved to where there is only bread, and oil, and very little of it in the widow's home.

The point to us living today, is that we are not to worry even in our generation as we see the godless worldly system developing around us; as the one world system tightens its reign on us. The rain of the spiritual truths from God's Word will dry up completely, and the "bread" which is "the understanding of God's Word" simply will not exist. However, even in that Kenite realm, down in "Zidon" itself [the land of the Kenites}, with all the Ahabs and Jezebels trying to force Baal and heathen rituals upon God's people, the "widow woman", that is the "elect of God" will have the Word of God to feed them in ways that only God can provide.

When the truth of God's Word, chapter by chapter and verse by verse is explained in the simplicity of the Spirit of God, to those people that are in a famine for the hearing of the truth, the people will come to be fed. Today the sheep of God are not being fed from the true pasture, because the shepherds have turned their sheep over to one that doesn't care for them. In this, not only will God sustain Elijah, but Elijah will sustain the widow and her son.

I Kings 17:10 "So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, "Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink." "

I Kings 17:11 "And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, "Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand." "

We know what "the bread" and "the water" symbolizes. Bread is the staff of life, and within the three and a half years that it did not rain, we see the symbol of time of the three and a half days spoken of in Revelation 11:7-12. That time when Satan will kill the two witnesses and declare himself to be God. The whole world will believe him, as the dead bodies of the witness lie in the streets of Jerusalem, that spiritually dead city also called Sodom and Egypt. That three and a half years also represents that time Daniel spoke of that would be the time of Satan's deception here on earth. Of course we know from Revelation 9:5, 10 that this time was shortened to five months.

So this is the answer to Elijah by the widow woman.

I Kings 17:12 "And she said, "As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die." "

To the woman this was the end, she and her son were in a famine and there simply was no way of obtaining any more meal or oil after this was gone, so the woman thought. She was swearing this by almighty God that what she was saying was true. So what about the two sticks, what would it be symbolic of? We are reminded of another two sticks from Ezekiel 37, where the two sticks that Ezekiel was told by God to put together represented the house of Israel and the house of Israel. There will be a time after the coming of Christ, when they will be joined together again into one stick, meaning one house.

So the woman is symbolic of God's election, in the spirit of Elijah, will gather and put the two sticks together and join them into one unit. Remember that the widow woman had a son, and that son is also a type.

I Kings 17:13 "And Elijah said unto her, "Fear not; go and do as thou has said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son." "

This "oil" that that the widow woman will use to make this little cake from is "olive oil", the oil of our people. Take this to the spiritual meaning to see what will sustain you in our latter days. All these things go to make up the Word of God to fulfill the overall plan of God. The bread, the oil, the water, the lack of rain, the two sticks that will be brought back together again, and the son that will be brought back to life to deliver them; can you see the prophecy that is being carried out in the lesson from Elijah?

I Kings 17:14 "For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, `The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.' " 

"The barrel of mean shall not waste" meaning that "the barrel shall not be empty". This rain is symbolic of the "latter day rain", the rain of truth that shall come upon the earth overwhelmingly, God's Word coming to life and living in the minds and hearts of God's people: Giving them the eyes to see and the minds to understand when they hear it being taught to them. God's people are going to know that our Father has not forsaken us, even with the world is covered with this draught of the end times.

We know that God's Word is very active today. We see the prophecies coming to pass right before our eyes, as the one world system is coming together to prepare the world to accept the false messiah, which God's Word has so vividly detailed. The prophecies from the middle east, in the heavens, and around the word are coming to pass right on schedule, and the elect of God are watching with their eyes and minds open. God's people are not lacking bread, nor the oil or truth as the Word is coming to life in our minds.

Remember "the oil" and the lamps of the ten virgins? Think about it; is your reservoir or mind filled with the oil of truth from God's Word. Are you like the five virgins that sat back and waited for the marriage supper to take place, for the coming of the Christ, and then were rejected by the bridegroom, which is Christ, at His coming. They did not have enough truth from the Word of God to know the difference between the two comings, and they were taken by the first messiah that was the fake. Or are you one the five wise virgins that filled the reservoirs of your lamp, or mind full with the "oil", the true Word of God, that allowed you to stand firm to the sounding of the seventh trump, the coming of Jesus Christ.

It was this Elijah that brought forth this rain of truth in the end times, through the Words that God placed in his mouth. God brought the rain and God put the oil, or words of truth in the cruse of that widow woman. The Prophet had the faith, and the Spirit of God allowed it to happen.

I Kings 17:15 "And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and her house, did eat many days."

This widow woman did exactly as Elijah the prophet instructed her to do, and that barrel and cruse of oil never went empty through the entire famine. Meaning that there is plenty of food in God's Word to sustain you even through the famine years.

I Kings 17:16 "And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake to Elijah."

The Word of God shall never run dry, my friend. As long as you have a desire to learn more from God's Word, the meal and the oil of truth is there. It is you that has to reach out and take all that you want, for God's Word is so plentiful that it never runs dry. It is there for you when you read it with understanding, in the simplicity in which Christ taught it.

I Kings 17:17 "And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him."

So put this into a spiritual text, for the breath of spiritual life had left the son, which represents Israel [was gone from Israel]. The son was not only dying but was spiritually dead. Due to the lack of teaching today, biblical illiteracy is running wild through out our land, just as it was in the days of Ahab and Jezebel. This was quite obvious in a survey that was taken recently amongst those that claimed to be Christians, for only forty percent of those polled knew who delivered the sermon on the mount. It is a disgrace and an abomination to their teachers. The sermon on the mount is the first lesson that Christ gave to his followers, and it should be one of the first teachings of a new born Christian.

I Kings 17:18 "And she said unto Elijah, "What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?" "

This widow woman is hurt and disappointed when she sees her son lying there with the breath of life taken from him. Before Elijah came this widow woman was ready to die, she had given up, and was making ready her final meal. Now after she had witnessed day after day, for three years the meal being multiplied in her barrel, and the oil multiplied in her cruse, she still has doubt of this prophet Elijah, and now she even accuses Elijah for slaying her son. Elijah had spent many years there teaching her the truths of God's Word, and all the time she accepted those words, but not with understanding.

When you learn the truth, then the sins that you commit become more obvious to you as your spiritual eyes are opened. Of course this will put you on a guilt trip as you fail in trying to live that perfect life. This shows you just what normal people we are dealing with here. One of the first things that a mother does when something happens to her child is to blame herself, just as this widow woman did. It is not a matter of what she did, for things happen.

I Kings 17:19 "And he said unto her, "Give me thy son." And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed."

Elijah lived up in the loft while he was staying at her place.

I Kings 17:20 "And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast Thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?" "

So now Elijah starts to do some questioning of what happened. At this point of time Elijah just did not understand why all this has to happen, and neither would you at such a time. However, remember that God is able to bring back life where there is no life; physical or spiritual.

I Kings 17:21 "And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, "O Lord my God, I pray Thee, let this child's soul come into him again." "

Elijah is pleading with the Lord to let the truth of the life come back into this child again. Let God's Word bring forth this dead soul. Notice that "soul" is used here, "nephesh" in the Hebrew. It is the soul that is dead when a person is spiritually dead, and when the soul departs from the body, than that body is truly dead. This happens when people stray after men's traditions rather than the Word of God.

I Kings 17:22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived."

God listened to Elijah, and the soul entered back into the child, and the child lived. When a person is going the ways of the world, and when the truths of God's Word enters into their minds, it will change them, and spiritual life comes into them. Then your spirit lives, your spirit comes to life and you become a changed person. Then God's blessings start to flow more and more through you, as you continue to study and grow in His Word. God is not an imaginary force off in space, but our Father that created each of us, He loves us and cares for us. God wants you spiritually alive and in tune with him.

I Kings 17:23 "And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: And Elijah said, "See, thy son liveth." "

It is exciting when you bring someone from the spiritually dead, into the light and eternal life of God's Word. It is the one true miracle. It is so simple, and yet the true way of God, and that is how powerful that the living Word of God is in ones life. God used this widow woman and her son, and all those things in her life. Then with the appearance of Elijah the prophet of God, the simple truth brought to her could change her. Remember, she was ready to die, and then new life and hope came into her life. In verse twelve, she was making places and final arrangements. Yet by this verse, hope was brought back into her life. Elijah showed her the way to live her life; one day at a time, giving God the praise for each days that we live.

We can live through any famine, and especially the famine of the end times. That famine is for the lack of knowledge in God's Word. It is for the lack of hearing God's Word in our generation. It was intended that this latter day rain would fall when this drought was broken in the latter day.

I Kings 17:24 "And the woman said to Elijah, "Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth." "

This gave credentials that the Word that Elijah spoke was truly from God. When a true teacher of God's Word teaches the Word and that Word comes to light with understanding, that is his or her credentials. If it is nothing but confusion, then there is no understanding and light there. You simply cannot fake it for very long, for you either have the gift or you do not. If you do have the gift from God, and willing to give only God the credit for it, it will change lives to the glory of God. The blessing for that gift is the thrill in seen God's Word changing lives.

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