It’s Monday and life is good because we have Jesus. Today’s devotion will focus on being willing to give even if it makes you uncomfortable or puts you in a bind. Hope you enjoy it.
1 Kings 17:8-16
Elijah and the widow of Zarephath
Most of us have never had to make a choice to serve that would have an immediate affect on us or our family. What would you do if serving God’s servant meant that you or your family might have to do without something? Would you be willing to follow through with your desire to serve and aid God’s servants. Today we look at Elijah and the widow of Zarephath.
It came to pass that the word of the Lord came to Elijah and told him to go to Zarephath and that a widow had been commanded to provide food for him. When he came to the gate of the city, he saw a woman picking up sticks outside the city. When Elijah saw the woman, he bid her to go and get him some water to drink. As she turned to go and do as she was bidden, Elijah asked her to also make him a cake of bread to eat. She told Elijah that she did not have a cake of bread, but a handful of meal and a small amount of oil. She was picking up sticks to make a fire to make a small meal for her and her son and after they ate it, they were going to wait to die. Elijah told her to Fear not, but to do as he asked first and then to make bread for her and her son for the Lord said that the barrel of meal would not ruin and the cruse of oil would not run out until the day the famine was ended. The widow did exactly as Elijah said and not only did they eat that day, but they along with the prophet ate for many days but the barrel of oil did not empty and the cruse of oil did not run out according to the word of the Lord he spoke by Elijah.
The widow was resigned to her fate and was doing all that she could do. She knew she had enough meal and oil for one last small meal so that was what she was going to have and then she and her son would wait to die of starvation. When the servant of God asked her to get him a drink of water, she stopped what she was doing and tried to aid him. She probably thought she was doing a good deed since she was going to die soon, but instead of being thankful, the servant of the Lord asked her to give everything she had. In explaining her situation, I imagine she wondered what this man wanted with such a small meal. I also believe that she couldn’t believe that someone would ask for her last meal. But Elijah said the two words that overcame her dire situation. He said, “FEAR NOT”. He said don’t be afraid to do what I have asked. She followed through with his request and they were both fed until the famine ended.
Could you do this? If you had just a morsel of food, would you be willing to give it to someone who wasn’t your child. Being a parent and understanding what a parents love is, I believe that this widow was not planning on eating any of the bread anyway, but was going to give it to her son. But this man of God asked her for not only her food, but the food of her child. How could she do this? The answer is found in verse nine where the Lord tells Elijah that he has commanded a widow woman to sustain him. You see, God doesn’t play fair with his people. He knew this woman’s heart before Elijah ever got there. He knew that she was willing even if it meant taking the food away from her and her family. I believe the statement “Fear Not” was instrumental in giving her the strength to do what she was asked to do. Then after she had made both the prophet and herself and her son a cake of bread, they ate. Not only did they eat that day, but they ate for many days. You see, when we are willing to do what God asks us to do, he will see to our needs better than we ever could. When this woman was walking in fear, she only had a handful of meal and a small amount of oil. She didn’t even have wood for a fire, but she gave what she had to God’s servant and God took care of her. You see, it wasn’t Elijah who made the meal and oil last. It was the faith of the widow woman that made the oil last. When she chose to trust in the word of God instead of what she could see in the barrel, she was able to see greater things than she ever thought she could. Not only did she save her life, but she saved the life of her son and gave sustenance to the man of God. You see, God is not interested in what we have, but are we willing to give him all of it no matter how much or how little it is. Always remember that it’s his already and he can do better with it than we ever could. In her service to God’s servant, she found hope in God and eventually saw that God’s word was true. He was just waiting on her to give it all to him. What is God waiting on us to give to him?