HAVING BEEN FACED WITH A DRIED-UP WADI — A CLOSED DOOR IF THERE EVER WAS ONE — ELIJAH NEEDED A WINDOW. But he got a widow!
Open you Bibles (and bring them Sunday please) to 1 Kings 17:7. The wadi (or brook) God used to provide water for Elijah dried-up. What’s a prophet to do? Wait! God’s directed up to this point. Why doubt Him now? God can never forget any of his children. He never looses track of you and your needs. And He would have to deny Himself not to meet your needs. But sometimes he wants to use your need to bless someone else. Sadly, we are often unwilling.
Soon, God THE PROVIDER, spoke telling Elijah He commanded (same He did for the ravens) a widow to provide for him. If you are Elijah this is a real test of faith. First off, Zarephath is due south of Sidon, Gentile territory and home to Jezebel. Secondly, widows, in those days generally could not even provide for themselves much less someone else. Thirdly, he did not tell here where in the city she lived. But it is always best to obey the Word of the Lord then not too. But he realized his job was to start walking, not figure out all the details. So off he treks on a dangerous and arduous journey. But isn’t any act of obedience often dangerous and arduous?
He makes it to the city bone dry and hungry. He sees a widow gathering sticks and asks her for a drink. As she leaves he gets a bit “cheeky” and asks her for some food as well.
Notice here response in 17:12, as the Lord YOUR God lives. She was not a follower of Yahweh but invokes an oath telling him she and her son are preparing to die. Dead people have trouble providing.
Elijah sees the fear in the face of this widow. Knowing her death and the death of her son were imminent, she was afraid. She was on death row, and not expecting a reprieve. She did not know the man standing before her was about to offer one.
But would she accept it? In verse 13 Elijah, offers her the terms of reprieve. First, he tells her to go make the meal for you and your son. But secondly, he tells her to first make him a little bread cake, and bring it out to him. Thirdly, THEN you can make one you and your son. Perhaps he saw the “Are you kidding me look” on her face so he gives her the fourth term of the reprieve in verse 14.
Now would most people would have scoffed at this stranger but note her response, she “went and did.” Now look at 1 Kings 17:5, and you will see the exact same phrase. God blesses those who go and do, James 1:22. How often have you missed a blessing because you went and did not?
This is an amazing story of how God brought two strangers together and met both of their needs. This is what the Bible calls a miracle by the way. He worked that way then, and works that way now.
I hope these few thoughts have encouraged your hearts. If so, join us this Sunday. I have only scratched the surface of this Scripture. You need to know and apply these truths, but your unsaved friends need to know them as well. So invite them to join you this Sunday as we continue IN THE DAYS OF ELIJAH.