God Provides

Posted: January 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

Have you ever read the story of Elijah in 1 Kings? It is full of drama, intrigue, comedy, inspiration, and more than a lesson or two. Here’s one of them.

Let’s begin with 1 Kings 17:1-6 (NCV). “Now Elijah the Tishbite was a prophet from the settlers in Gilead. “I serve the LORD, the God of Israel,” Elijah said to Ahab. “As surely as the LORD lives, no rain or dew will fall during the next few years unless I command it.” Then the LORD spoke his word to Elijah: “Leave this place and go east and hide near Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan River. You may drink from the stream, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.” So Elijah did what the LORD said; he went to Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and lived there. The birds brought Elijah bread and meat every morning and evening, and he drank water from the stream.”

Once you get past the idea of eating food that came from a Raven’s beak there is a truth here that most of us miss. God’s provision is in the place of obedience. Notice God told Elijah where to go and it was there that the Ravens fed him. What if Elijah had chosen to stay where he was or go someplace else? He would have missed God’s will and God’s provision.

That’s lesson one. Lesson 2 is found in the next several verses. In 1 Kings 17:7-15 God gives Elijah a new assignment.

“After a while the stream dried up because there was no rain. Then the LORD spoke his word to Elijah, “Go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I have commanded a widow there to take care of you.” So Elijah went to Zarephath. When he reached the town gate, he saw a widow gathering wood for a fire. Elijah asked her, “Would you bring me a little water in a cup so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get his water, Elijah said, “Please bring me a piece of bread, too.” The woman answered, “As surely as the LORD your God lives, I have no bread. I have only a handful of flour in a jar and only a little olive oil in a jug. I came here to gather some wood so I could go home and cook our last meal. My son and I will eat it and then die from hunger.” “Don’t worry,” Elijah said to her. “Go home and cook your food as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread from the flour you have, and bring it to me. Then cook something for yourself and your son. The LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘That jar of flour will never be empty, and the jug will always have oil in it, until the day the LORD sends rain to the land.’ ” So the woman went home and did what Elijah told her to do. And the woman and her son and Elijah had enough food every day. The jar of flour and the jug of oil were never empty, just as the LORD, through Elijah, had promised.”

Elijah once again obeyed God and came to the place of provision, but what about the widow? God said he had commanded the widow to take care of Elijah, but when we first meet her she is preparing to make one last meal for herself and her son because there is no food. Reluctantly she listens to Elijah and did what he said and once again God provided.

Again, God’s provision is at the point of obedience.

Both stories show the faithfulness of God, but only one shows unwavering trust in God’s willingness to provide.

So are you like Elijah or the widow? Will you trust Him even when it doesn’t make sense? Will you obey Him when He asks you to do something that seems unattainable, or will you ignore Him and continue to do it on your own?

Had the widow not listened to Elijah she and her son would have surely died. God had already instructed her, but she chose to ignore His word until Elijah came along and confirmed it.

Let’s be quick to obey when God speaks knowing that he will always provide for every need when we surrender to His will and simply obey.

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