Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Kings Chapter 17

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (586 BC)
Overview: A History of the Kings of Israel and Judah (c 1-22)
Theme: The Divided Kingdom (c 12-22)
Message: Elijah Predicts Drought (v 1-24)

1 Kings 17 Commentary 

(17:1)  The Prophet Elijah - Elijah was the first in a long line of important prophets God sent to Israel and Judah. Israel, the northern kingdom, had no faithful kings throughout its history. Each king was wicked, actually leading the people in worshiping foreign gods. Few priests were left from the tribe of Levi (most had gone to Judah), and the priests appointed by Israel's kings were corrupt and ineffective. With no king or priests to bring God's word to the people, God called prophets to try to rescue Israel from moral and spiritual decline. For the next 300 years these men and women would play vital roles in both nations, encouraging the people and leaders to turn back to God.

(17:1) Elijah Confronts Ahab - Those who worshiped Baal believed he was the god who brought the rains and bountiful harvests. So when Elijah walked into the presence of this Baal-worshiping king and told him there would be no rain for several years, Ahab was shocked. Ahab had built a strong military defense, but it would be no help against drought. He had many priests of Baal, but they could not bring rain. Elijah bravely confronted the man who led his people into evil, and he told of a power far greater than any pagan god--the Lord God of Israel. When rebellion and heresy were at an all-time high in Israel, God responded not only with words but with action.

(17:6-16) God Takes Care of Elijah - In a nation that was required by law to care for its prophets, how ironic that God turned to ravens (unclean birds) and a widow (a foreigner from Jezebel's home territory) to care for Elijah. God often gives help from places we least expect it. He provides for us in ways that go beyond our narrow definitions or expectations. No matter how bitter our trials or how seemingly hopeless the situation, if we are always on the lookout for God's loving care, we will find it -and sometimes in some strange places!

(17:13-16) The Widow Zarephath - When the widow of Zarephath met Elijah, she thought she was preparing her last meal. But a simple act of faith produced a miracle. She trusted Elijah and gave all she had to eat in order to feed him. Faith is the step between promise and fulfillment. Miracles seem so out of reach for our feeble faith. But every miracle, large or small, begins with an act of obedience. We may not see a solution until we take the first step of faith.

(17:17) A Dependance on the Lord - Even when God has done a miracle in our lives, more testing may come, and more faith may be needed. The famine was devastating to the faithful widow and her son, but losing her son was far worse. We can rejoice when God provides, but we must depend on him as we face each new trial.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Your Ministry

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 1 Kings with Chapter 17.  In our text, we see Elijah's Ministry as Elijah predicts the drought, how Elijah miraculously supplies food, and how Elijah restores a boy to life. What catches my eye is this Ministry of Elijah as he did what the Lord said, and the Lord supplied the resources for all that God asked Elijah to do. In making the application, we see that the word Ministry means "Servant," and all who are saved have a Ministry. Your Ministry is to listen, obey, and act upon the instruction of the Lord as He supplies the needs for the task at hand. How about You? Do you see the Ministry that God has for you? Let us learn from our text today. Seeing the life of Elijah, we have a Ministry, and as a servant of the Lord, we need to listen, obey, and act upon the instruction of the Lord.struction of the Lord.


1 Kings 17

1 Kings 17

 1And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

 2And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

 3Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

 4And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

 5So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

 6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

 7And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.

 8And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

 9Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

 10So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

 11And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.

 12And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

 13And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

 14For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

 15And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

 16And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

 17And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.

 18And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

 19And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

 20And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?

 21And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.

 22And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

 23And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

 24And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.