Elijah told Israel’s King Ahab that a famine was coming. The famine was punishment because Ahab turned away from God and towards idols. Ahab had done more to provoke God’s anger than any King of Israel ever had.
Can you hear the “God’s gonna get you if you don’t straighten up!” speeches in your head? I hate them.
Elijah went to Zarephath during the famine and asked a widow there for some food. The people in Zarephath worshipped Ba'al. There’s no reason to think the widow in this week’s Bible reading from 1 Kings 17 did any different.
The widow, who thought she and her son were going to starve, and after some convincing, gave Elijah some food. He had promised that there would be enough food and oil for her and her son. They had not only enough to survive, but to thrive.
Can you hear the “God provides enough to thrive even when we think there isn’t enough to survive.” speeches in your head? I love them. But can you hear the “God provides enough to idol worshippers” speech in your head? That one’s not too common.
It sounds as if God is more concerned with helping the powerless and the poor than worrying about what their political or religious affiliation might be.