Elijah and the Ravens

The twelve tribes of Israel had divided into two countries. The Southern Kingdom, called Judah, had its capital in Jerusalem. The Northern Kingdom, called Israel, had its capital in Samaria.

The Northern Kingdom began to be ruled by King Ahab. Ahab had married a princess named Jezebel, from a neighboring kingdom. In her land the people bowed to statues and Ahab followed what his wife did.

But even worse, he built places of worship for these statues and wanted everyone in Israel to worship them with him. He was the worst king Israel had had up until this time.

There was a prophet from Gilead named Elijah. One day, God sent Elijah to Ahab to try and get his attention.

“Because of what you have done,” Elijah told Ahab, “God will not allow any rain to fall on the land until I say so. It will be so dry, that when you go out in the morning, there won’t even be any dew on the ground.”

This, of course, made Ahab very mad. So to keep Elijah safe from the evil king, the Lord told him to cross the Jordan River and hide near a creek. “There,” God explained,” I will send ravens to bring you food. And you can drink water from the creek. All your needs will be provided.”

Twice a day, ravens flew to Elijah, bringing him food.

When the creek dried up and there was no more water to drink from it, God told Elijah to visit a widow in the town of Zarephath. “She will give you food,” the Lord said.

When Elijah arrived at her house, he asked for a cup of water and a piece of bread.

“Water and bread!” she exclaimed. “Don’t you know what a terrible drought we’re having? My son and I have enough flour and oil for one last loaf of bread. After that, there will be nothing for us.”

But Elijah asked again for her to make him some bread, promising that God would provide for them.

“Your flour and oil will not run out until the drought is over,” he assured her.

So the woman went and made bread for Elijah, and her son. Even though there had only been a small amount left, there was still more after she poured it out. She continued making bread for her son, Elijah, and herself every day. And every day, there was still flour and oil left in her jars.

Even though times were difficult, God was providing for their needs.

Later on, the woman’s son became sick and died. She cried out to Elijah, “What was the point of saving us from hunger if my son was not going to live through the drought anyway?” She was overcome with sadness.

But Elijah simply went to the boy and prayed over him. “Let this child’s life come into him again!” he cried out to God.

The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer and the boy opened his eyes. His mother ran and hugged him, overjoyed at how much God was showing her His power.