"By This"

"And 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." 1 Kings 17:24

Let's rewind a little first and remember what had happened before this verse.


Elijah had predicted a drought and then lived next to a river where ravens brought him food to eat. That is until the river ran dry because of said drought. Then God told Elijah to find a widow of Zarephath because she would feed him. Elijah did as God said, and at first, the widow wasn't too keen. I mean she'd planned on eating that meal Elijah was asking for as her own last meal before she and her son died, but insensitive Elijah said, 'Sure, you do that, but first feed me. Then make a last meal for you and your son.'


Really, the guy's listening skills could use some work. Hadn't he heard her say it was their LAST MEAL? At least that's what I imagine was going through the widow's head when Elijah started talking.


Good thing Elijah had more to say. After his insistent that she feed him first, Elijah promised that her flour and oil wouldn't run out until God sent rain.

For some reason I don't understand, the widow believed the fed-by-ravens-spent-the-last-while-living-next-to-a-brook prophet. He can't have looked the best, and I don't know that I'd have trusted him. But the widow did, and it was as Elijah promised through the power of God.


For several days, the flour and oil didn't run out and everyone in her house got to eat. Then her son got sick, so sick he died. This widow with such great faith suddenly lost all faith and got mad at Elijah.


Elijah took the boy and prayed three times for God to give the son life again. God heard the prayer and sent the soul of the son back to his body. When Elijah brought the son back down to the mother, the widow said,

"...Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth." 1 Kings 17:24

What did she mean 'by this'? What about the miracle of unending flour and oil? Had she just forgotten, or were they not enough to convince her?

How often do we forget the 'miracles' we gave glory to God for only a short time before?

Sometimes, we count God's gifts a light thing, disregard them. How grateful I am that God in His mercy provided a second miracle because the widow needed one, but oh that we'd have the faith to believe without needing a miracle. Oh, that we wouldn't so soon forget what He's already given us.

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