Skip to main content
1 Kings 17:8-24

A Godly Perspective Soothes The Soul

  • Shawn Dean
  • Sunday Night Messages
  • May 19, 2024

The story of 1 Kings 17 takes place in the northern kingdom of Israel during their darkest and most evil days. They had rejected God and the result was predictable. Their hard hearts brought hard times. God had declared a drought through the prophet Elijah. During the drought, God instructed Elijah to go to Zarephath. There, he was told a widow would provide for him. But tragedy strikes when the woman’s son becomes sick and dies. This is where we gain insight for our faith.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

A Godly Perspective Soothes The Soul
1 Kings 17:8-24
May 19, 2024

     I want to begin by thanking many of you…

     When these unexpected things happen in our lives, we’re reminded of the old saying; growing old is not for the faint of heart.

     I realized along the way that I never gave the enemy fear or concern or asked, Why Lord? I didn’t get consumed by; why me, how did this happen or what about our plans?  And perhaps to make it more personal for all of us, there was no tendency to be angry at God.

2 Corinthians 4:16, Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

     We continue to trust Him, the doctors He orchestrated at just the right time and our absolute belief that He is not done with me yet. We’ll take it as it comes our way.  We find it far more joyful to focus on His blessings in the midst of weakness, the additional time we’ve had with family, our kids and grandkids these past months and the blessing of seeing His glorious creation, the ocean, every single day.  Why be a victim in the midst of all these blessings?

     When the Jones family lost Nicole, the elders were with him and we were stunned to hear the news.  I was with Pastor Rich one of those times, the evening of the Celebration of Life, when a journalist asked him, “Being a man of faith, how do you reconcile what has happened?” The assumption behind the question in that somehow, because he was a pastor, he should be immune from suffering and that his family should not encounter such things. He said and I agree, “I find no scriptures that make this promise. The assumption is incorrect.”

John 16:33, These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

     God never said, “You will not have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” David understood that and wrote in Psalm 23, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

John 10:27-28, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

     So, perhaps risk to my life, but am I angry with God? I can honestly tell you that the thought has never occurred to me. Why should I be angry with Him? Many symptoms or the timing of these setbacks could have been much worse.  We found ourselves thanking Him even more.

     God has a number in His book for each one of us, the number of days in our lives.  The day I went into the hospital with heart failure was 23,020.  That did not turn out to be my number in His book.

     In Psalm 139 David wrote, “The days that were ordained for me were written in Your book when as yet there was not one of them.”

     I respect that; I respect God. How about you? Do you respect Him knowing that He ultimately controls your days?

     Why does God allow these trials in our lives? Many also ask, what about evil? Many have the thought that a God that is good should not allow evil to exist. There is such a place and it’s called heaven and this isn’t it.

     And even though Florida felt like a different country than Oregon, it wasn’t heaven either. This is earth and when God created it, He created man unique amongst the creatures. He made them in His image and gave them a will that they might freely choose to follow Him or reject Him.

     This is why Joshua challenged the people of Israel when he said, “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the people in whose land you are now living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

     If you can choose to follow Him, you can also choose to reject Him. Love must be freely given or it is not love. But if you choose to reject Him, then you don’t have God in your heart and what are you left with? You’re left with the nature of man and all the evil that goes along with it.

     The story of 1 Kings 17 takes place in the northern kingdom of Israel during their darkest and most evil days. They had rejected God and the result was predictable. Their hard hearts brought hard times. God had declared a drought through the prophet Elijah. During the drought, God instructed Elijah to go to Zarephath. There, he was told a widow would provide for him. But tragedy strikes when the woman’s son becomes sick and dies. This is where we gain insight for our faith.

I. Don’t Jump to Wrong Conclusions

  • We can understand that she was brokenhearted. She was a widow, she had already lost her husband and now her only son was dead as well. We should certainly understand that she was stricken by grief.
  • But when she confronted Elijah it’s clear that she had reached certain conclusions. It would appear that she had figured it all out, that she understood why this was happening.
  • But she had reached a wrong conclusion. And it’s very easy for us to reach wrong conclusions about what is happening in our lives as well.

A. Wrong conclusion – God is punishing you

  • There is no question that this was the widow’s conclusion because she said it outright, “You have come to bring my iniquity to remembrance and to put my son to death!”
  • This is as old as the oldest book in the Bible. In the book of Job, he suffered through many terrible tragedies and his so-called friends insisted that he had some sin in his life he was hiding.
  • Jesus came upon a man who was born blind and the disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, the man or his parents that he should be born blind?” They had already decided that someone had sinned; they only wanted to know who it was. Jesus gave an insightful answer.

            John 9:3, Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

  • There are several reasons why it is so common for people to jump to this wrong conclusion.
    • Everyone of us has enough sin to “prove” this conclusion is “right.”
    • People confuse consequences with the punishment of God.

            Proverbs 6:27, Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?

  • Jesus gave His disciples great insights when He taught them about this very thing.

            Luke 13:1-5  The 18 who died under the tower of                         Siloam.

  • Then we should also add the insight that we have from David when he wrote Psalm 103.

            Psalm 103:8-14  God is compassionate and slow to                       anger.

B. Wrong conclusion – bad things shouldn’t happen

  • The complete wrong conclusion is, “Bad things shouldn’t happen to good people.”
  • This is a common conclusion many people come to when something bad happens.
  • Actually, it’s the same kind of logic used in the first wrong conclusion; if every tragedy is the result of our sin, then every good thing is the result of our doing something good to deserve it.

Illus – You hit a golf ball and it goes flying into the trees, then hits a branch and lands squarely in the middle of the fairway, someone will no doubt say, “Wow, you must be livin’ right!”

Illus – In the Sound of Music, Maria sang these lyrics, “Perhaps I had a wicked childhood, perhaps I had a miserable youth; but somewhere in my wicked, miserable past, there must have been a moment of truth. For here you are, standing there, loving me; whether or not you should. So somewhere in my youth or childhood I must’ve done something good. Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could. So somewhere in my youth or childhood I must’ve done something good.”

  • Many people believe that if they have been doing something good, something worthy and honorable, then they should be protected from bad things happening.

            The widow in our story had been showing kindness to Elijah; she gave him an apartment above her house and made meals for him from the supply of flour and oil that God had provided. If she had been doing good then where is God’s love and God’s power? For many people this seems inconsistent.

  • Another way to ask it would be; why do bad things happen to good people and why do good things happen to bad people?
  • Jesus said in Matthew that the rain falls on the just and the unjust, but we have grace in the midst of it. That’s the difference.

            Matthew 5:43-48  Be sons of your Father.

  • God is gracious to those who don’t deserve it and God extends mercy to those who don’t deserve it.

II. Our Lesson is Resurrection Life

  • Elijah didn’t understand what was happening either. “God, are you causing her son to die?” He then prayed.
  • The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer and the life of the child returned to him. This is where we need God’s perspective because is soothes our soul.

A. God is strengthening faith

  • What God was doing had nothing to do with the widow at all. It had nothing to do with her sin, or whether she had been kind to Elijah.
  • God’s purpose was to strengthen Elijah as a man of faith for the challenges that were to come into his life.
  • This would become an event that demonstrated God’s power over death.

Illus – Jesus raised a widow’s son and then they knew He was a man of God!

            Luke 7:11-17   The widow’s son at Nain.

  • God was strengthening faith, but also demonstrating that He is the resurrection and the life.
  • When the Sadducees tried to embarrass Jesus with a question about the resurrection, Jesus answered strongly.

            Matthew 22:29, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

            Remember we are sojourning through this life, we are in this world but not of this world.

B. Our hope is not for this life only

  • Our perspective is so limited. We commonly see things only in light of what is happening at the moment, but there is a bigger picture. It takes a long time before a child understands the concept of tomorrow or what might happen in the future.
  • When God demonstrates that He has power over death He is giving us an eternal perspective that is much more than for this life only.

            1 Corinthians 15:19, If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

  • God sees outside of time. There is more to life than this physical world in which we l

C. God is the way to eternal life

  • God wants to change our perspective. He has power both over death and over life. His perspective soothes our soul.
  • God has made provision for eternity. He knows that when difficulty comes many will rise up and accuse Him. “Why did my son die? This isn’t right! This isn’t fair. This is inconsistent; you say you love and yet my son is dead.”
  • But if we could see from God’s perspective we could also hear God’s words of comfort, “Your child is not dead. I’m holding him in heaven and you will see him again.”
  • What did God say through the Apostle Paul?

      1 Thessalonians 4:13, But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

      Ephesians 1:18, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

1 Kings 17:8-24    NASB 

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he 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 jar, that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. 14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’” 15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.

Elijah Raises the Widow’s Son

17 Now it came about after these things that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick; and his sickness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance and to put my son to death!” 19 He said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her bosom and carried him up to the upper room where he was living, and laid him on his own bed. 20 He called to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought calamity to the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and called to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray You, let this child’s life return to him.” 22 The Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived. 23 Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, “See, your son is alive.” 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”


DonateLike this sermon?

If you enjoyed the sermon and would like to financially support our teaching ministry, we thank you in advance for partnering with us in sending forth the word.


We have a service in progress. Would you like to join our live stream? Join The Live Stream No Thanks