After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” I Kings 17:17-24 ESV
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:54b-57 ESV
We drink water every day, and we couldn’t live without it. Even if you don’t like to drink plain water, you have water if you eat oatmeal or soup, and many other foods are also cooked with water. Water is important to our health, but sometimes water has poison in it. One of the poisons water sometimes has is lead. You can’t really taste lead in the water, and people often don’t know if they are drinking water that is contaminated with lead or other things. But contaminated water can cause serious health problems in people over time, even death. People might not realize the danger they’re in, but if the water is tested, they will realize that it is dangerous to drink.
The widow that Elijah was living with learned about the true God from him. She learned about God’s law, and she realized that she hadn’t obeyed his law. Because of Elijah’s teaching, she knew that she was a sinner and that she deserved punishment and death. Before Elijah came, she didn’t know that, just like people who drink contaminated water don’t know that they are in danger until the water is tested. After the widow had learned about God and about her sin, her little boy died. She was sure that God was punishing her for her sins, but God had another lesson to teach her. Elijah took the boy upstairs where his room was, and begged God to bring the little boy back to life. God did what Elijah asked, and this is the way the widow learned that God is a God of mercy, forgiveness, and life.
When we hear God’s law and realize that we haven’t obeyed it, it scares us. We know that we deserve God’s punishment and death. After God has shown us our sin by his law, he shows us something new. He shows us the mercy he has for us in Jesus, our Savior. Jesus took all our sins to the cross with him, and because of that God forgives us our sins. Jesus didn’t stay dead, but on the first Easter he rose again from the dead. Because of that, we can be sure that death isn’t the end for us either. Someday God will bring our dead bodies out of the grave to live forever with him in his heavenly kingdom.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us mercy, forgiveness, and life through Jesus our Savior. In His Name, Amen.