The Story of Elijah and the Widow


The account of Elijah and the widow is a powerful tale of faith, miracles, and divine providence. Found in 1 Kings 17, this story tells us of the prophet Elijah, who is sent by God to a widow in Zarephath during a time of severe drought and famine. In this time of scarcity, the widow and her son are at the brink of death, but their encounter with Elijah leads to life-changing events that demonstrate the grace and mercy of God.

In this blog post, we will explore the story of Elijah and the widow, drawing from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible. We will delve into the background and context of the story, the miracles that took place, the lessons we can learn from the widow’s faith, and the way God used Elijah to bless her and her son. Ultimately, this story teaches us about the power of trust in God and His ability to provide for our needs, even in the most dire circumstances.

uiib0bavwfs 1 The Story of Elijah and the Widow

1. Background and Context

Viral Believer is reader-supported. We may earn a small fee from products we recommend at no charge to you. Read Our Affiliate Disclosuree

The Time of Drought

The story of Elijah and the widow takes place during a time of severe drought in the land of Israel. God had commanded Elijah to declare a drought to King Ahab as a punishment for the wickedness of the people, who had turned away from the Lord and worshiped the false god Baal (1 Kings 17:1). As a result, there was no rain or dew for three years, leading to widespread famine and suffering.

Elijah’s Journey to Zarephath

After the drought began, God instructed Elijah to go to the Brook Cherith, where He would provide for him through ravens bringing him food (1 Kings 17:2-4). However, when the brook dried up due to the drought, God commanded Elijah to go to Zarephath, a city in Sidon, and seek out a widow there who would provide for him (1 Kings 17:8-9). It is here that Elijah encounters the widow and her son, setting the stage for the miraculous events to follow.

2. The Widow’s Desperate Situation

A Widow in Need

When Elijah arrives in Zarephath, he finds the widow gathering sticks near the city gate. He asks her for a cup of water and a morsel of bread, but she responds by explaining her dire situation: she has only a handful of flour and a small amount of oil left, which she plans to use to prepare a final meal for her and her son before they die of starvation (1 Kings 17:10-12).

A Test of Faith

Elijah’s request for food and water is a test of the widow’s faith. Instead of giving in to despair, the widow obeys the prophet’s request, putting her trust in the God of Israel. Elijah tells her not to be afraid and promises that God will provide for her and her son, saying, “For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.'” (1 Kings 17:14, NKJV).

The Miracle of Provision

In faith, the widow prepares food for Elijah first, as he had requested. Miraculously, the small amount of flour and oil she had is not depleted, and she is able to provide for her family and Elijah for many days (1 Kings 17:15-16). This miracle demonstrates God’s power and His faithfulness in providing for those who trust in Him.

3. The Widow’s Son Falls Ill

A Sudden Tragedy

In the midst of this miraculous provision, tragedy strikes the widow’s household. Her son falls seriously ill and eventually dies (1 Kings 17:17). The widow is devastated and questions why this has happened, asking Elijah if her sins have brought this misfortune upon her (1 Kings 17:18).

Elijah’s Intercession

Moved by the widow’s grief, Elijah takes the lifeless body of her son and carries him to the upper room where he is staying. He lays the boy on his own bed and cries out to the Lord, asking why He has allowed this tragedy to befall the widow who had shown him such kindness and faith (1 Kings 17:19-20).

The Miracle of Resurrection

Elijah stretches himself upon the child’s body three times and prays to God, asking for the boy’s life to be restored (1 Kings 17:21). Miraculously, God hears Elijah’s prayer and brings the boy back to life (1 Kings 17:22). The prophet then carries the child back down to his mother, who is overjoyed at the sight of her living son (1 Kings 17:23).

4. The Widow’s Faith is Strengthened

The Testimony of a Miracle

As a result of this second miracle, the widow’s faith in God is strengthened. She exclaims, “Now by this, I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.” (1 Kings 17:24, NKJV). The widow’s experience of God’s miraculous power in both the provision of food and the resurrection of her son confirms her belief in the God of Israel.

Trusting in God’s Provision

The story of the widow and Elijah serves as a powerful reminder that when we put our trust in God, He will provide for our needs, even in the most desperate situations. The widow had nothing to give, yet she was willing to share the little she had with the prophet, believing in God’s promise to sustain her and her son. This act of faith allowed her to experience God’s miraculous provision firsthand.

The Role of the Prophet

Elijah, as God’s prophet, played a significant role in this story. He not only delivered the message of God’s provision to the widow, but also interceded on her behalf when her son fell ill. His prayer and actions demonstrate the power of the prophet to serve as a conduit of God’s grace and mercy.

5. Lessons for Today

Trusting God in Difficult Times

The story of Elijah and the widow teaches us the importance of trusting God, even in the most challenging circumstances. When faced with trials, we can either turn away from God in despair or lean into our faith, trusting that He will provide for our needs and guide us through the storm.

The Power of Generosity

The widow’s willingness to share her last meal with Elijah is a poignant reminder of the power of generosity. In giving what little she had, the widow experienced God’s abundant provision and blessings. This story challenges us to be generous with our resources, trusting that God will multiply our efforts and provide for our needs.

Recognizing God’s Presence

In the midst of her suffering, the widow was able to recognize the presence of God in her life through the miracles she experienced. We, too, must be attentive to God’s presence in our lives, whether through the kindness of others, moments of grace, or answered prayers.


The story of Elijah and the widow is a powerful testimony to God’s faithfulness and provision in times of need. Through their encounter, both the widow and her son experienced the life-changing power of God’s grace and mercy, as well as the transformative power of faith and trust in the Lord. As we reflect on this story, we can draw strength and encouragement from the widow’s unwavering faith, even in the face of overwhelming odds.

This account also serves as a reminder that God often works through ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. The widow’s willingness to share her last meal with Elijah demonstrated her faith in God’s promise, and her obedience paved the way for the miracles that followed. As believers, we are called to trust in God’s provision, no matter how difficult our circumstances may seem, and to be open to the ways in which He may work through us to bless others.

Ultimately, the story of Elijah and the widow is a testament to the power of faith, the importance of generosity, and the unwavering love of God for His people. May we be inspired by their example and strive to live lives of faith, trusting in God’s provision and seeking to recognize His presence in our everyday experiences.

About The Author

Scroll to Top