1 Kings 16:29–17:24; 2 Corinthians 9

Ahab Reigns in Israel

29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, kmore than all who were before him. 31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, lhe took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the mSidonians, nand went and served Baal and worshiped him. 32 He erected an altar for Baal in othe house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made an pAsherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger kthan all the kings of Israel who were before him. 34 qIn his days Hiel of Bethel built rJericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.

Elijah Predicts a Drought

17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of sTishbe1 in Gilead, said to Ahab, tAs the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, ubefore whom I stand, vthere shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word. And the word of the Lord came to him: Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

The Widow of Zarephath

Then the word of the Lord came to him, Arise, go to wZarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you. 10 So he arose and went to wZarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there xgathering sticks. And he called to her and said, Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand. 12 And she said, tAs the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die. 13 And Elijah said to her, Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Elijah Raises the Widow's Son

17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, yWhat have you against me, O zman of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son! 19 And he said to her, Give me your son. And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the Lord, O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son? 21 aThen he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, O Lord my God, let this child's life2 come into him again. 22 And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and bhe revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, See, your son lives. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, cNow I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.


The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem

Now lit is superfluous for me to write to you about mthe ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, nof which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready osince last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. But pI am sending1 the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, qas I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians rcome with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliatedto say nothing of youfor being so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the sgift2 you have promised, so that it may be ready tas a willing gift, unot as an exaction.3

The Cheerful Giver

The point is this: vwhoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully4 will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, wnot reluctantly or under compulsion, for xGod loves a cheerful giver. And yGod is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency5 in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,

zHe has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;

his righteousness endures forever.

10 He who supplies aseed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and bincrease the harvest of your righteousness. 11 cYou will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which dthrough us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying ethe needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, fthey6 will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your gconfession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 hThanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!