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brought upon himself the anger of the king, and was obliged to hide himself to avoid his fury, yet the Lord did not forsake him, because he had done his duty without fear.
We should never let the fear of man prevent our doing what we know to be the will of our Heavenly Father. We are told, in the New Testament, not to fear those who, after they have killed the body, can do no more, but to fear that great God who has power to cast both soul and body into hell. Had Elijah been afraid to go before the king, and tell him the will of God, he would most likely have displeased his Maker, and might have perished in the scarcity which was brought on by the absence of rain and dew: but we find that God condescended to work a miracle, that the life of his faithful servant might be saved; for after Elijah had been some time hidden by the little brook, it dried up, “because there had been no rain in the land; and the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” The prophet did so; and when he reached Zarephath, he saw the woman by the gate of the city, gathering sticks. Here we see that it was one of the lowly in the land that the Lord had chosen to shelter his servant: and Elijah called to the woman, and said, “Fetch me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.” Then the poor widow woman told him that she had not a single cake of bread in her house,-nothing but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse:- she was, therefore, just going to gather two sticks, that she might dress this last mouthful for herself and her son, that they might eat it, and die; for when this should be finished they knew not where to look for more. But, although she was expecting to die of hunger, the Lord was near with help, and the poor woman's heart must have felt glad when Elijah said unto her, “Fear not; go and do as thou hast said; but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and thy son: 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.”
and did according to the saying of Elijah; and she and her house did eat many days, and the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
While the prophet staid in the house of this poor woman, her son fell sick, Sand his sickness was so sore that there was no breath left in him.” This grieved the poor widow, and she mourned for her son, for she thought his illness was a punishment for some sin that she had done in the sight of God; "and she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son: and he took him out of her bosom, and carried him out into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed." There the prophet cried unto his God, and prayed that He would let the child's soul come into him again: "and the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.” Elijah then brought him to his mother, and said, “See, thy son liveth.” This must, indeed, have made the heart of the widow to sing for joy; and if she had before doubted what manner of man her guest was, this convinced her that he was sent from the Lord, for she said, “Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.”
Thus, through the goodness of God, this poor woman was not at all the poorer for giving part of her little to the servant of the Lord; and He who caused her meal to shrink not, nor her cruse to fail, heard the prayers of Elijah on behalf of her dear child, and restored him to health. Her obedience to, and faith in God, which caused her to be generous and hospitable when famine was almost at her door, were rewarded by many mercies from the hand of God, which came upon her when distress and misery were all around; and although she was poor, and perhaps little thought of in the place where she dwelt, yet her humble home was the means of giving shelter to one of the good men of the earth, which has given her a better name than she could have won, had she been merely the richest lady in the land.
It came to pass after many days, when there had been no rain in the land for three years, that the Lord commanded Elijah to go before the king, for He would send rain upon the earth. By this time the famine was very severe, because nothing would grow, for want of rain and dew to nourish the earth, and all the little streams were dried up, so that the drought (30) was very great. When the prophet was on his way, he met one of the king's servants, whose name was Obadiah: this man was one of the few who still feared the Lord, and worshipped him. He told Elijah, that the king had sent into every nation and kingdom to seek him: upon which the man of God wished him to go and tell Ahab that he was there. Obadiah was, at first, afraid lest his master should be angry, but he went at length.
When Ahab saw Elijah, he said unto him, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled