Fifth Sunday aftr Pentecost (14 Jul)

Pastor's Summary of I Kings 17:8-27

The reading from 1 Kings 17 continues the story of God's protection of Elijah from the wrath of Ahab, but God's protection here extends beyond his prophetic messenger to a non-Isrealite widow. As one who lives not only outside Israel but outside the male-dominated economic structures, she personifies powerlessness. When she accedes to Elijah's request, whether out of faith or from desperation, she places herself and her son under God's own protection and learns that that protection may be trusted.

Also unemphasized by the text, yet clearly present, is the contrast between the widow and Queen Jezebel, who has already been introduced in 16:31. both women are Sidonians, presumably both are worshipers of Baal. The vast difference between them thus lies not in their nationality/ethnicity, or even in the nature of their religious beliefs, but in their levels of compassion--or lack of it, in the case of Jezebel.