ODJ: back from the dead
February 11, 2013
READ: 1 Kings 17:8-24
The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! (v.22).
The young couple grieved over their baby. The medical staff pronounced the baby stillborn and hurried the body away. The mother, drugged from the delivery, hadn’t even been able to kiss her baby girl goodbye. Twelve hours later Analia Bouter and her husband, Favian, went to the morgue to see their child and to say farewell. When the staff pulled out the drawer holding the body, they heard a baby’s cry. The newborn was alive!
A widow from Zarephath knew the sorrow of losing a child. The prophet Elijah, at God’s instructions, had gone to the widow’s house and requested food and lodging. The widow had only enough food for one meal for her son and herself and then, she believed, they would both starve. Elijah, however, told the woman to cook a meal for him and that, as a result, their flour jar and oil jug would miraculously refill. She did, and each morning there was flour and oil for that day’s provisions.
Sadly, the story took a tragic turn. The son fell sick and died, and the woman cried to Elijah: “What have you done to me?” (1 Kings 17:18). Overwhelmed by the mother’s grief, Elijah took the boy’s corpse upstairs and prayed passionately to God: “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him” (v.21).
Imagine the mother’s joy when she saw Elijah bringing her son down the stairs and heard the prophet say, “Look! . . . Your son is alive!” (v.23). Now imagine the joy when, on that resurrection Sunday, God announced to the world: “My Son is alive!” From Eden forward, Scripture tells us that death in all its manifestations is the great enemy. Jesus’ resurrection announces God’s authority over death and asserts the fact that God has begun to dismantle its power.
The joy the widow knew is a joy we will all one day know. —Winn Collier
Read 2 Kings 4:20-37. What is similar and dissimilar about this account and Elijah’s story? Why are these ‘death to life’ stories so powerful?
What dead place in your life needs resurrection? Where have you experienced the joy of seeing new life breathed into something dead or lifeless?