Even if you have read this story before – take a minute to meditate on it now:
1 Kings 17 – The Message
17 And then this happened: Elijah the Tishbite, from among the settlers of Gilead, confronted Ahab: “As surely as God lives, the God of Israel before whom I stand in obedient service, the next years are going to see a total drought—not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise.”
2-4 God then told Elijah, “Get out of here, and fast. Head east and hide out at the Kerith Ravine on the other side of the Jordan River. You can drink fresh water from the brook; I’ve ordered the ravens to feed you.”
5-6 Elijah obeyed God’s orders. He went and camped in the Kerith canyon on the other side of the Jordan. And sure enough, ravens brought him his meals, both breakfast and supper, and he drank from the brook.
7-9 Eventually the brook dried up because of the drought. Then God spoke to him: “Get up and go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I’ve instructed a woman who lives there, a widow, to feed you.”
10-11 So he got up and went to Zarephath. As he came to the entrance of the village he met a woman, a widow, gathering firewood. He asked her, “Please, would you bring me a little water in a jug? I need a drink.” As she went to get it, he called out, “And while you’re at it, would you bring me something to eat?”
12 She said, “I swear, as surely as your God lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we’ll die.”
13-14 Elijah said to her, “Don’t worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you’ve said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what’s left for you and your son. This is the word of the God of Israel: ‘The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.’”
15-16 And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said—daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty: God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!
Great story, but how does it really apply to you and me?
1. God told Elijah to go to Kerith Ravine, and had already supernaturally provided for his needs. He will always provide for our needs, in His own way. He goes before us because He knows what we need before we do.
2. God allowed the creek to dry up before sending Elijah to his next destination. He could have sent him sooner, but wanted him to experience need once again and to wait for His perfect timing. We often wonder about God’s timing, but He always loves us, provides for us, has a good plan for us – and is always right on time.
3. Once again, God had already provided for Elijah before sending him on to Zarephath. All Elijah had to do was cooperate (obey)…which he did.
4. The widow too was at the end of her rope. She had no more food, had no hope in God, and was preparing to die. God’s plan included providing graciously for Elijah and also for her and her family. Again, she and Elijah both had to act in order to receive their blessings. God had provided all that each needed – but their blessings were contingent on their obedience to His Word.
5. God always does what He says He will do. He is a loving Father, Who loves to provide for us, his children.
What are the dire needs in your life right now? Have you asked God to help you? Have you listened for His direction? Have you obeyed what He has told you?
God will always provide. He always makes a way. He always answers prayer. He always loves.
He has already gone before us and has arranged to meet our needs. He is a good God.
Trusting Him in the storm,