The prophet Elijah goes to Zarephath, where he stays with a widow and her son. Through God’s intervention, the starving family gets enough food to eat, and the son – who tragically dies shortly after Elijah’s arrival – is miraculously restored to life. It is an amazing story, made all the more amazing by the fact that Elijah, great prophet of Israel, is in a foreign land, and this woman and her son are “beyond” God’s care.
En route to Zarephath Elijah is hungry and is fed by ravens. Or is he? One scholar has pointed out that the word we translate “ravens” could also be translated “Arabs.” That changes the story a bit.
Is Elijah cared for by foreigners, as he travels en route to assist even other foreigners. It begs consideration and, considering the largely racist attitudes to Arabs and related people’s today, challenges us to remember: God cares for all people, works through all people, and loves all people. While it is hardly easy, we are called to do the same.
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