First Reading: 1 Kings 17:10-16
The Miracle of the Jars
10 Elijah arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks: and he called to her, and said, “Please get me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”
11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
12 She said, “As YHWH your God lives, I don’t have a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the jar. Behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go and do as you have said; but make me of it a little cake first, and bring it out to me, and afterward make some for you and for your son. 14 For thus says YHWH, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not empty, neither shall the jar of oil fail, until the day that YHWH sends rain on the earth.’”
15 She went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, ate many days. 17:16 The jar of meal didn’t empty, neither did the jar of oil fail, according to the word of YHWH, which he spoke by Elijah.
World English Bible
The story of Elijah and the widow has a parallel in the life of Elisha, his successor. Both stories have poor widows and their starving families in common. In both cases, the word of God through the prophet sustained the widows though their need.
In this narrative, the widow and her child suffered from the drought that afflicted Israel. The prophet Elijah requested a meal with a promise: God would provide until the drought ended. In faith, the widow prepared Elijah's meal first. And her jars of food remained sufficient until the rains came.
This simple story had a greater purpose. Even in dire need, those who suffer will receive comfort from God. And, when there does not seem to be a means share, God will find a way. In our need, let us remember the lesson of Elijah and the miracle of the jars.
Have you ever had a real need? How did God comfort you in your need?