Sometimes I want to take it real slow with Scripture – not just one verse, but maybe only one part of a verse because there’s just so much there. I will be addressing the entire verse today, but I’m taking it in parts just to look at it.
(NIV1984) 1 Kings 17:17a – “Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill.”
Question – is this the same woman as before or a different woman? Normally it’s interpreted as or assumed to be the same woman, but I don’t know. There is just so much unsaid here!
Also – going back to the previous verses – it’s interesting wording, that “there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.” Was there more family with her than just her son? She was a widow, so no husband, but could more of her family be living there? (Whether they were there before this helping her or staying only now that she could feed them – and would she have invited them? The gift that keeps on giving, would I have invited others?) Anyway – it doesn’t say specifically that there are more people than Elijah, the widow, and her son there, but it’s interesting to think and wonder about.
But back to this verse. There is, again, that indefinite “Some time later”. How long? When? How many years into the drought is this? After the previous occurances, yes, but how long? And how did the writer know all this happened? Who told – Elijah, the widow, or the widow’s son?
(NIV1984) 1 Kings 17:17b – “He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.”
I think the most interesting part of this verse is, to me, that it doesn’t say straight out that the boy died. It’s that he “stopped breathing.” He stopped breathing. It’s interesting that this is the focus because it seems to me that breath is a huge focus in the Old Testament – God breathed into human beings the breath of life and, as I’ve heard, the very name Yahweh is meant to sound like breathing (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2008/04/breathe/).
So it’s a huge deal that the widow’s son was no longer able to breathe. More than just his dying, it’s almost like being disconnected from God. And maybe I’m reading too much into that…but it’s interesting to notice.
And where is Elijah in all this? He’s there living with them, isn’t he? Why isn’t he doing something to heal the boy?
But more on that – and the widow’s reaction – tomorrow!
On another, completely unrelated note, I’m graduating from college today. My heart feels so full of anxiety, but God is helping with that. I’m turning back to Him because He knows – and I know from way too much experience – that sometimes when the anxiety gets like this I can’t control it very well. So it’s got to be Him – keeping it from getting to that point and curing it all at once. He is in control. I am not. I can’t be. I don’t want to be (for the most part – that’s a struggle).
Which is all to say this – please keep me in your prayers!