It’s the early morning hours and I’m up reading with interest a story of the prophet Elijah. God had just revealed to him there would be no rain – not even dew – for three years. Essentially, he was told: famine coming!
What stood out to me was not only God provided for Elijah during this time of dearth, but it was HOW he provided that was so interesting.
In 1 Kings 17 verse 4, God “commanded the ravens to feed (Elijah).” We are told In verse six that they brought him bread and flesh each morning and evening; meanwhile, he drank of the brook. God provided food and water via birds!
Later, God told Elijah to go to Zarephath. God “commanded a woman there to sustain (him).”
Interestingly, she only had “a handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil in a cruse” for her and her son. Elijah – the man of God – comes along and instructs her to not only make a cake, but make it for him FIRST.
Now wait! This woman was a widow with barely enough. She wasn’t even making the proverbial end’s meet, so this request in today’s society might be considered, out of order, insensitive…ludicrous.
But clearly, this widow trusted this man of God and trusted the process. She did as told. She was not tight-fisted. Moreover, her obedience resulted in the barrel of meal not wasting and the crude of oil not failing during the entire three years of famine (v 14). Verse 15 says she “and her house did eat many days.” Wouldn’t our God do it??!
So much is wrapped up in this story:
1) God will provide in the most unconventional ways. You ever heard about birds bringing food daily? No going to the food store. Butler service!
You might think the school fees, gas to get to that interview for that job you so need, the grocery, the mortgage payment, the train ticket to go see your ailing grandmother, might come one way, but the beauty is not just when God shows up, but HOW he shows up. Expect the unexpected with God. Don’t box Him in!!! He is NOT man.
2) Despite recessions, despite increases in Value Added Tax (VAT), despite famine, GOD IS STILL GOD ALONE and will provide the entire time. It doesn’t matter what others are experiencing, if you remain obedient (this is key), if you remain faithful (also key), you shall not lack. “There is no want to those who fear Him” (Psalm 34: 9).
3) Even with your little…your only…your last, God is all sufficient. If you know without a doubt, He is instructing you to help someone in need, in spite of your own needs – do it. Sometimes God tests us with our little before handing us much.
Will you trust in the God of Elijah? Will you be obedient like the widow of Zarephath?
Growing in Christ,