17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, [who was] of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, [As] the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I a stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but b according to my word.
(a) That is, whom I serve. 17:4 And it shall be, [that] thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the c ravens to feed thee there.
(b) But as I will declare it by Gods revelation.
(c) To strengthen his faith against persecution, God promises to feed him miraculously. 17:8 And the d word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
(d) As the troubles of the saints of God are many, so his mercy is always at hand to deliver them. 17:10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman [was] there e gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
(e) All this was to strengthen the faith of Elijah, to the intent that he would look for nothing worldly, but only trust Gods providence. 17:12 And she said, [As] the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I [am] gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and f die.
(f) For there is no hope of any more sustenance. 17:14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, g The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day [that] the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
(g) God receives no benefit for the use of his own, but he promises an ample recompence for them. 17:15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat h [many] days.
(h) That is, till he had rain and food on the earth. 17:17 And it came to pass after these things, [that] the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no i breath left in him.
(i) God would test whether she had learned by his merciful providence to make him her only stay and comfort. 17:20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also k brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
(k) He was afraid lest Gods name be blasphemed and his ministry contemned, unless he continued his mercies as he had begun them, especially while he remained there. 17:24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this l I know that thou [art] a man of God, [and] that the word of the LORD in thy mouth [is] truth.
(l) It is hard to depend on God, unless we are confirmed by miracles.