GOD IS ABLE
I Kings 17: 8-24 King James Version
And the word of the Lord came unto him (Elijah) saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there; behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city behold the widow woman was there 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. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 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 die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not, go and do as thou hast said, but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, 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. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah, and she and he and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah. 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 breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? Art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother, and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.
We could spend hours reading, studying, reviewing, and learning from just this wonderful record in God's Word. However, let's consider a few of the obvious truths and principles presented.
It is wise to look beyond the appearances of the present and to focus on the proven faithfulness of God.
Elijah was told to go to Zarephath and that a widow woman would sustain him. What unusual guidance God gave to Elijah, for 3 reasons.
1. Men did not generally speak or seek help from women.
2. This widow was a Gentile.
3. This widow was poor and destitute.
But Elijah had learned to trust in God's faithfulness based on past experience. In I Kings 1:1-7, Elijah had been instructed to go to the brook Kerith to drink and that ravens would provide his food. Now, Elijah obeys God's command to go to Zarephath for a widow to provide his needs for food and shelter. God will provide our needs as we trust in Him. We can be assured He is faithful because of the promises in His Word and we are reminded by remembering His past faithfulness. We cannot see tomorrow, but we can see yesterday.
Dont let your need keep you from meeting the needs of others.
Elijah challenged this widow woman to believe and trust in God. He pushed her to trust and obey God's direction. If and when we choose to disobey God's voice, His guidance, and His direction; we ought to be willing to accept the reason for failure--us. Don't blame God for your personal disobedience to His Word. Had this widow responded by saying, "Hey, I can't afford to help you?" (or) "Please, dont ask me to help you, I am about to die." (or) "You have got to be kidding, I don't have enough to listen, obey, and help you." she and her son would have died. She could not afford to not trust God! She was facing death for herself and her son--this was a life and death issue. And had she not obeyed, they would have died! BUT, she did listen, obey, and what benefits--LIFE! If you use your need as an excuse to not give to others, you will remain in need. If you use your need as an excuse to not obey, you will remain in need. More likely you will suffer greater need. Don't use your need or lack of something as an excuse to not trust and obey God. We are instructed to trust Him in our time of need and in our time of abundance.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
Trust God in/during/after a time of need. Trust Him at all times; pour out your heart before Him. He is your refuge. Give and serve and look for the promises of God that come with eternal rewards and benefits. When you're called upon by God to give--then listen, obey, and the promise will come. At every meal time, this widow met God and at every meal time, God was there meeting her need.
I Kings 17: 8-24 Amplified
And the word of the Lord came to him: Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you. So he arose and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her, Bring me a little water in a vessel that I may drink. As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand. And she said, As the Lord your God lives, I have not a loaf baked but only a handful of meal in the jar and a little oil in the bottle. See, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it--and die. Elijah said to her, Fear not: go and do as you have said. But make me a little cake of (it) first and bring it to me, and afterward prepare some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: The jar of meal shall not waste away or the bottle of oil fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth. She did as Elijah said, And she and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not spent nor did the bottle of oil fail, according to the word, which the Lord spoke through Elijah. After these things, the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick; and his sickness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elijah, What have you against me, O man of God? Have you come to me to call my sin to remembrance and to slay my son? He said to her, Give me your son. And he took him from her bosom and carried him up into the chamber where he stayed and laid him upon his own bed. And Elijah cried to the Lord and said, O lord my God, have You brought further calamity upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord and said, O Lord my God, I pray You, let this child's soul come back into him. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, See, your son is alive! And the woman said to Elijah, By this I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.
Our obedience does not give us immunity from problems and losses.
A young boy was playing outside and ran into the house crying--a bee had stung him. As his mother made him a peanut butter sandwich, she used honey instead of jelly. The boy loved the peanut butter and honey sandwich and wanted more. His mother asked, "Do you like the taste of honey?" "Oh yes, I love it." Nonchalantly she responded, "Well, the same bee that stung you makes the honey." Many of us want God to be all honey and no "bees''.
But sometimes in life we get stung and in this record in God's Word, the widow that had listened and obeyed God's guidance got stung. She may have thought she was immune to problems--but our obedience does not give us immunity from problems and losses. God does not have a strict cause and effect relationship with His people. I'll do 'A', so He will do 'B'. And if you think that's how it's supposed to be-- you're in for a surprise! We are to obey God regardless of what our senses scream at us, and we are to trust Him regardless of the "stings" in life.
Don't deliver your mail to the wrong address.
In this record the widow in her grief and distress becomes angry and she lashes out at the man of God. People often use their anger and vent it on the people/persons/those that minister to them. The anger is misdirected and it is being delivered to the wrong address. Don't allow anger and disappointment to eat you alive. Go to God with your whole heart and pour yourself out before Him. He loves you in spite of any anger or disappointment you feel. Deliver your "mail" to the Lord that can deliver you to the uttermost.
Trust in Him at all times ye people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Consider these words.)
God is faithful in times of losses just as He is in gains.
Elijah prayed and interceded for the widow, the boy was revived and then the man of God gave him to his mother. How tender those words are to the woman that yearns to be a mother. Don't think for a minute that God doesn't understand the heart of a mother. He knows the yearning that resides within a woman's heart to become a mother, and her protective bond to her child.
Luke 7:11-16 verse 15) and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
No matter what the loss is in life or how terrible a situation may appear, God is faithful to deliver in losses just as He is in gains. He is faithful. Our hope in the face of death is the promise of the resurrection.
Hold fast to His Word and to His promises and you will not be disappointed.
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