Why Elijah was Sent to a Widow in Sidon and not in Israel

Why Elijah was Sent to a Widow in Sidon and not in Israel

Why Elijah was sent to a Widow in Zarephath and not to a Widow in Israel is part of our Christian Sermon Series.

Christian sermon series

Why Elijah was Sent to a Widow in Sidon and not to a Widow in Israel

The question "Why was Elijah sent to a widow in Zarephath which is in Sidon, and not to a widow in Israel?" can be answered with one word - Faith.

Yes, faith is the reason that God chose to send His prophet to a woman who was not an Israelite. 

We know this because when Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He read from the Book of Isaiah saying, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and to set the oppressed free. (Luke 4:18)

After reading, He sat down and all those who were in the synagogue were looking at Him. He then told them "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21)  
How to Fulfill your Life Purpose

Jesus' audience marveled at the graciousness of His words but then they asked, "Is this not Joseph's son?(Luke 4:22)

"Is this not Mary's Son and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?"
"Are His sisters not here?"

As a result, they were offended at Him. (Mark 6:2-3)

By asking these questions the people of Nazareth nullified their faith in Jesus as the Son of God because they had reduced him to just a local carpenter's son.

Jesus responded by telling them, "A prophet is without honor in his own country, among his own relatives and in his own house." (Mark 6:4)

As a result of their perception of Jesus and their not having faith in Him, Jesus could not do any mighty work there, except laying of His hands on a few sick people and healing them. (Mark 6:5) And, He marveled at their unbelief. (Mark 6:6)

Note that after telling them that "No prophet is accepted in his own country", (Luke 4:24) Jesus also said, I tell you there were many widows in Israel during the days of Elijah when it did not rain for 3 1/2 years and there was a great famine in all the land. But Elijah was not sent to a widow in Israel. He was sent to a widow in Zarephath which is in Sidon. (Luke 4:25-26) 

This implies that the Israelites did not also accept Elijah as a prophet and they did not have faith and thus God had to send him to a widow in Sidon instead of sending him to a widow in Israel.

The same unbelief that Jesus experienced among His own people which resulted in Him not doing mighty works in His hometown was also operating in Elijah's time and so God sent Elijah to the widow of Zarephath.

This lack of faith by the people in Israel also implies that the widow had faith and that is why she was able to receive Elijah as someone who had been sent by God experience the mighty work that God did through him when she was fed during the famine.

Therefore, regardless of who you are and where you live, have faith in the God of Israel and His Son Jesus Christ and you will be able to experience the mighty works that He does here on earth. 

Strengthening your faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ will also help you reap other Benefits of Having Faith in God like pleasing God and achieving the humanly impossible. 

Having faith in God will also stop you from living a defeated life while other people who do not profess Christianity live a victorious life simply because they believe in God (perfect example  of this being the Sidonian widow who was living in victory during the famine because God was providing her with food through Ejijah while the Israelites themselves were suffering from hunger).


  1. The widow was able to accept Elijah as someone who had been sent by God and experience the amazing work that God did through him when she was nourished during the famine, which suggests that she had faith because the people of Israel did not.I can relate to the personal experience you described in this essay. Knowing that others have encountered similar difficulties is consoling, and your advise is really helpful.

  2. Thank you for beautifully explaining. God bless you. I able to understand deeper meaning from your explanation.


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