She was about to prepare her last meal. There is a great drought in the land and she only has enough food for one more meal. Then she encounters a man who asks her to feed him. She explains her situation, but he tells her to use the last bit of food she has left to make him something to eat. How would you respond to such a request?
In 1 Kings 17:8-16, Elijah has been instructed by God to go to Zarephath where he has “commanded a widow there to provide for you (verse 9, NASB).” There is a drought in the land and when he encounters the widow he asks her for a drink of water and some bread. She replied, “As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die (12).”
Then Elijah said something audacious. He tells her “make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son (13).” She just told him she is about to use the last of her flour and oil to make their last meal and he wants the bread for himself? What would you think if someone did that to you?
Yet Elijah added, “For thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth (14).’” God will provide for her needs. The amazing thing is that she did not get angry at him. Instead she, “went and did according to the word of Elijah (15).” The result? “The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah (16).”
The widow trusted in the word of the Lord. She trusted in God to provide for her needs. How many times do we find ourselves in difficult situations where someone gives us advice — gives us a Word from the Lord — and we dismiss it because it is such an audacious request? We may seem out of options; that there is nothing left to do, but God shows up with another option. All we have to do is trust the Word of the Lord and go and do it.
© 2021, CGThelen
Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” – Mark 12:43-44