15 Sept. 1 Kings 17:1-16

15 Sept.  Elijah prophesies a drought in Israel

“Now Elijah the Tishbite was a prophet from the settlers in Gilead. ‘I serve the LORD, the God of Israel,’ Elijah said to Ahab. ‘As surely as the LORD lives, no rain or dew will fall during the next few years unless I command it.’”

“Then the LORD spoke his word to Elijah: ‘Leave this place and go east and hide near the Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan River. You may drink from the stream, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.’ So Elijah did what the LORD said; he went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and lived there.”

“The birds brought Elijah bread and meat every morning and evening, and he drank water from the stream. After a while the stream dried up because there was no rain. Then the LORD spoke his word to Elijah, ‘Go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I have commanded a widow there to take care of you.’”

“So Elijah went to Zarephath. When he reached the town gate, he saw a widow gathering wood for a fire. Elijah asked her, ‘Would you bring me a little water in a cup so I may have a drink.’ As she was going to get his water, Elijah said, ‘Please bring me a piece of bread, too.’”

“The woman answered, ‘As surely as the LORD your God lives, I have no bread. I have only a handful of flour in a jar and only a little olive oil in a jug. I came here to gather some wood so I could go home and cook our last meal. My son and I will eat it and then die from hunger.’”

“’Don’t worry,’ Elijah said to her. ‘Go home and cook your food as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread from the flour you have, and bring it to me. Then cook something for yourself and your son. The LORD, the God of Israel, says, “That jar of flour will never be empty, and the jug will always have oil in it, until the day the LORD sends rain to the land.”’”

“So the woman went home and did what Elijah told her to do. And the woman and her son and Elijah had enough food every day. The jar of flour and the jug of oil were never empty, just as the LORD, through Elijah, had promised.”

         (1 Kings 17:1-16)

 

 

In c.870BC, the prophet Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead (see 5 on the map), boldly approached King Ahab of Israel and told him that the LORD, the one true God of Israel, had decreed that there would be a serious drought for the next two or three years.

We’re not told exactly what Elijah said, but, presumably he told Ahab that the drought was a punishment from God because Ahab had turned away from the LORD and had promoted the worship of Baal and Asherah and other idols.

The king was furious, so Elijah escaped from the royal court in Samaria and hid near the Cherith Brook (the Kerith Ravine or Wadi al Yabis), in his home territory east of the Jordan (see 6 on the map). Amazingly, God ordered the ravens to bring Elijah food every morning and evening, and he drank water from the stream (see 1 Kings 17:6).

When the brook dried up, Elijah was sent by the LORD to Zarephath (Sarepta) (modern-day Sarafand in Lebanon), and stayed for the three years of the drought with a widow and her son (see 7 on the map). The widow used her last bit of flour and oil to bake some bread for Elijah.

But Elijah told the woman not to worry as, “The LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'That jar of flour will never be empty, and the jug will always have oil in it, until the day the LORD sends rain to the land.'” (1 Kings 17:14) Miraculously, the flour and the oil didn't run out during the whole of the drought.

The map shows the location of Tishbe and Zarephath in relation to Ahab’s royal palace in Samaria.

You can read more about Elijah and the widow of Zarephath @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/jezebel-kills-the-prophets-amp-elijah-escapes/


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