Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!)
1 Kings 17:8-16, (17-24)
A widow and her son living in Sidon are starving to death as the result of the famine. Elijah assures her that her food source will not run out. He also resurrects her son after he gets sick and dies. Because of this, she believes he is a man of God.
Jesus arrives in the town of Nain with his disciples and a big following. A widow is taking her only son to be buried, when Jesus brings him back to life. Everyone is amazed and confesses that his power must be from the true God.
The God of Jacob is a God of life in the midst of a dying world. This God is also a source of justice, nourishment, healing and protection. God also brings the ways of the wicked to ruin.
The psalmist calls out to God and receives healing. He sings praises for being saved from “the pit.” Suffering is temporary; true Joy is eternal.
Paul writes of his transformation from being a slayer of Christians into being an emissary for the Gospel to non-Christians. He attributes this to God’s grace and the power of the Gospel as reveal through Jesus. He warns not to bow to the authority of other people, but rather, to yield to the inherent authority of the Christ-given Gospel.
WTF? (Breaking down scripture in plain language)Bier – A sort of coffin, always open on top, used to carry the dead from their home to the grave.
Sackcloth – A super uncomfortable outfit made of goat fur. In fact, it was supposed to be uncomfortable, as it was worn (along with ashes) to reflect a person in mourning or profound repentance.
Zarephath – There was a terrible famine in this region, supposedly brought on by God. It is a region filled with “un-believers,” and so Elijah proclaims it won’t rain on this land again until he asks the one true God to let it rain.
Navel-Gazing (First Thoughts)
- In our culture today, we pull over and make a path for funeral processions. But back in Jesus’ time, Jews were expected to join a funeral parade if it came by. But Jesus had a huge crowd already following him. So it raises a philosophical question: will we follow the dead to the grave, or will we follow Jesus to life?
- The only real significance if Nain in the text is how really insignificant it is. It can be seen as representing one of many no-name, out of the way little towns that “don’t matter” in the way that the big, important communities do. But in the Psalms, this is where the psalmist says God goes to care for the nobodies.
- It’s important to note that “the pit” referenced in the psalm isn’t hell as we think of it today…
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