Obedient to God, Humbled Elijah Depended on a Widow for Food

This is the 2ndexamining elijah lesson in Examining Elijah & Elisha Series.

  • Does it embarrass you to ask for help?
  • Is it important to you to be self-sufficient?
  • Is it humbling for you to depend on God?

God removed all self-sufficiency from Elijah.

Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” (1 Kings 17:2-4 NIV)

Notice first that God told Elijah to go hide. David spoke often of God hiding him (Psalm 17:8, Psalm 27:5). Elijah submitted to God and hid.

Before God spoke to Elijah, He had already directed the ravens to feed Elijah. God’s provision was already prepared. Jesus reminded the disciples that God already knows what they need (Matthew 6:8). However, we are still supposed to make our needs known. Our attitude should be humble, not demanding; we must remember everything we have is a gift from God. raven

I think of people feeding ravines, but not the other way around. God always does things in surprising ways. Too often we do not see God’s handiwork because it is in unexpected ways.

So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. (1 Kings 17:5-6 NIV)

Suppose Elijah decided that going to Egypt would be a more logical place to hide. The Nile River would certainly be a larger water supply than a brook. Would the ravines feed him in Egypt? I doubt it. Perhaps my disobedience keeps me from experiencing the blessing God prepared for me.

Notice also the frequency the ravines came. God only gave Elijah enough food for that moment. Elijah had to continue in his dependence on God. It is tempting for me to follow God for a while and then run back into my comfort zone. God gives us substance daily (Matthew 6:11). He only gives us the portion necessary for the task at hand.

Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” (1 Kings 17:7:9 NIV)

Throughout scripture, God’s people are commanded to care for widows. God turns things around, a widow is going to provide for God’s man. I would think this would crush a man’s ego, but Elijah is obedient. God is removing all of Elijah’s self- sufficiency. Perhaps Elijah knew as Paul did, that when we are weak and God dependent is when we are strongest (2 Corinthians 12:10).


There have been times in my life when I was helpless, physical or emotionally.  When I lost my ability to do very little, but pray God held me close. He sustained as I learned to lean on Him. It was from those most painful, confusing circumstance that I became a woman trusting God. 


  • Has there been a time when you were stripped of your health, or employment?
  • Have you been forced into dependence on God?
  • Did you find God to be sufficient and faithful?

READ  God's Battle Forces the Lukewarm People Out of Their Comfort Zone