Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath (1 Kings 17)

Scripture Text:

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1 Kings 17

1. Describe a time in your life when you had to “skimp” on food? What was your most creative meal?

2. Why is a drought on the way (verse 1; 1 Kings 16:33)? Why is the message open-ended? Dare Ahab try to kill Elijah?

3. To what authority do the ravens link Elijah (verse 6; Exodus 16:12)? What does his “marking time” in Kerith symbolize?

4. How did Elijah know it was time to move on (verses 4, 7, 8)?

5. Why did God send Elijah out of the country to a Gentile in Zarephath?

  • to keep him safe from Ahab
  • to be provided for by a widow
  • to provide for a widow
  • to show Israel’s rejection of God

6. If you were the widow, what would you have thought about Elijah’s words in verses 13 and 14?

  • Preachers want your last dime.
  • What a deal!
  • Sounds like a con job.
  • What have I got to lose?

7. Was the woman a believer in the true God, or just in no position to argue? Why does Elijah tell her to provide for him first? Why does the woman comply?

8. Why did God perform a miracle with the flour and oil?

  • because of the woman’s faith
  • to keep His word
  • to keep the mother and son alive
  • to take care of Elijah

9.The widow and her son were down to their last meal when God intervened in their lives. When have you and your child(ren) felt like you reached the end of your rope?

10. What do you think the widow was feeling when her son quit breathing?

  • anger at Elijah
  • anger at God
  • guilt
  • hopelessness

11. Why does Elijah work so hard on the son (verses 19 – 21)?

  • He rejects the belief that God inflicts people when they sin
  • He accepts this belief, but feels the widow is not guilty
  • He want to be proven a man of God, whose word can be trusted
  • He want to see for himself if God answers prayer

12. What impact does her son’s recovery have on the widow? What other responses can you imagine? Will she lose faith again, at the next crisis?

13. How difficult is it for you to stand against the mainstream? Is your Christian commitment a “Kerith Ravine experience” for you? How so?

14. What “jars and jugs” are running dry for you? Will the Lord do something miraculous for you? Why or why not?

15. When has a decision to trust God meant burning the bridges behind you?

16. Do you have any “impossible” requests to bring before God?

17. Do you believe God punishes you when you sin? Prospers you when you’re good? How faith has God been lately?

18. Have you felt let down in any way by God? If so, what would the Lord need to do to show you He cares?

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