In 1 Kings 17, Elijah declared the judgment of a three year drought on Israel for their faithless idolatry under King Ahab. He was subsequently commanded by the Lord to go to a specific place where he was to humble himself by accepting God’s providential care which was to be provided by mere ravens and a small brook that would supply him water. He obeyed.
Ultimately, despite his obedience, the brook dried up. Ever faithful, the Lord commanded him to move to another specific place where he was to humble himself once more by accepting God’s care which was this time to be provided by a poor widow who the Lord would move upon to provide for his needs. He obeyed.
Coming upon the aforementioned widow, he asked for a drink of water. She humbly obeyed.
He then asked her to bring him a small meal. She submissively advised him of her dire circumstances:
“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.”
Despite her own obvious need and the seriousness of her natural condition, Elijah, moved by the Spirit, asked of her to sacrifice herself for him; to set aside her own needs that his might be supplied!
“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.”
Thoughtless? Unfeeling? Compassionless? Hardly, for with his request, Elijah offered the widow a sure hope:
“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.”
With that assurance, in great faith "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."
The lesson for us: when we do God's will, i.e., the important thing, first regardless of what sacrifice it may entail, the less important though needful things will always be provided by our loving, omnipotent heavenly Father in ways “exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
Would you be provided for in as gracious a manner as was the widow? Then turn your eyes from what appear to be your “great” needs to your Great Savior, and obey His words as did she.
“…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Trust in the Lord. Rest in His grace. He will not fail you.
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