The Compassionate Love Of God

1 Kings 17:17-24 (NIV)

Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”

22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”


God is compassionate toward people.  In 1 Kings 17:17-24, Elijah is still staying with the Phoenician widow and her son.  He becomes quite ill and eventually dies.  This is after God has spared their lives through the miraculous supply of oil and flour in a time of severe drought.  Why would her son die now?  Was it for the purpose of another miracle?  Was it to inspire faith in this widow and her son and even Elijah?  We’re not told the reason why, but even Elijah was confused and questioned the reasoning behind the death of her son.

God, though, was not done.  Elijah, in a moment of great faith, lays down on top of her son three times and asks the Lord to restore life to the boy (he was young enough that she had been carrying him according to verse 19).  God has compassion on them all and raises the boy back to life.  God had demonstrated his power over disease, death and most importantly, Baal.  God’s power was not limited to the physical land of Israel.  His compassionate love was not limited to those who were His chosen people.  God poured out His love on this widow and her son by taking pity on them and giving life to the dead.

God’s compassionate love is still evident today through the cross of Christ.  His power to give life to those spiritually dead in their sins and transgressions happens every time someone is washed in the blood of the Lamb.  His compassion on those who cry out to Him in prayer is evident with every answer.  His love is evident as He works all things together for good for those who love Him and who seek to do His will.  How have you seen the compassionate love of the Lord in your own life?  How has His love inspired faith in you to believe that He is God and that Jesus is His Son?  May you rise up from the dead as this widow’s son arose that day and know that the Lord is God and that He loves you with a deep, compassionate love.

PRAYER: Help me to know You and to experience Your love in my life, O God.  Remind me of Your compassionate love toward me throughout this day.  Help me to believe, for my faith is sometimes weak.  Help me to love You and others.  In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.


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