Do you Trust Me?
This can seem like one of the scariest questions God could ask us. We might have an automatic response to say yes, on the other hand the reality of what he might be asking us to give up is massive. Are we willing to give up the little that we have in our hand to God believing that he will supply everything we need? We’ve grown up saying Jehovah Jireh is my provider but when asked to give up the last bits of oil and flour to make a loaf of bread, would we respond like the Widow with Elijah?
To me, it’s interesting to read the first sentence of this story, it said the brook had dried up because there had been no rain in the land. No rain and no brook means – no water to the crops for wheat or the Olive Tree for oil. If you’re in business that can mean no customers and no sales. I know what that’s like. As a business owner it can bring a sense of panic wondering where your supply is going to come from.
Elijah the prophet asked the widdow of Zarephath bring him some water and also a little cake of bread. He didn’t first tell her if you do this, then it will never run dry. He just asked her to do something for him. She didn’t reply with a happy heart, “Sure no problem, I’ll go do that for you.” She pleaded with him that it’s all that they had left for just themselves to eat then they would die. It shows her desperation.
The response of the Widow of Zarephath shows that they must of hardly had any food or oil for quite a while. She must have been scraping by to only have a little bit left to say they would make their food then die. It shows they were already in starvation mode with no other hope of getting nutrients. She was a widow who only had her son left. A son that meant the world to her who she had been taking care of for who knows how long on her own. She had to be a very very hard working woman and loved her son very much. Why would she take the last bit of food out of his mouth and give it to a stranger?
She said all she had left was a “handful of flour in a jar and a little bit of oil left”. A handful of flour is probably around a half a cup maybe a little bit more. To make a small loaf of bread in my bread machine it takes three cups of flour for a small 1.5lb loaf. So a third of that is just a few slices. But hers was unleavened, no yeast bread, so it meant if she only used oil and flour that is a very hard dense small loaf that does not fluff up like ours. Just to put that in perspective it was a very tiny meal left that she would share with her son.
After she shared her desperate heartcry with Elijah he said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
It’s no surprise that he told her Don’t Be Afraid!
Oh, the faith and obedience of that woman! She didn’t give out of her abundance, she gave out of her lack. She was sowing into a field the last of her seeds in hope of a harvest. Her obedience not only provided for her and her son but also for the man of God who stayed with her for a time.
Can you imagine how she could have shared the testimony of this miracle with the town around her? How God is miraculously providing for her. Or did she keep it to herself so her neighbors didn’t come and try to take what she had as well. It is very interesting because it was enough for her, her son and Elijah. I wonder what would have happened if she tried to give it away and if it still would have been replenished. Interesting thought to ponder.
BUT! This isn’t the end to the story. That wasn’t the last of her calamities. Her son got sick and died while Elijah was staying with them.
Verse 17. Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
It’s so interesting how quickly she forgot the miracle God was continuing to do for her household by supplying her with flour and oil.
It can be so easy, even after receiving a blessing from God to quickly question his goodness and promises by allowing fear and doubt to slip in. Just like the children of Israel did in the wilderness, when they quickly forgot all the Miracles that God did for them and complained. I love how the Bible shows our raw humanity and struggles of faith.
19“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
The only risk in giving it all to God, when he asks, is absolutely nothing! We can trust Him.
God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50, wow that is quite a passage. I will let you read it so I don’t offend anyone!) If we sell our little bit of cattle on our hill it’s not the end. God owns the cattle on all the other hills and he will supply every need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phillipines 4:19.
Trusting God should be the easiest thing in our life to do. He has shown himself faithful over and over and over again. We might think we have the best plan that will get us the best result, but in Isaiah 55:9 it says that God’s ways are higher than our ways his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We can make a plan, but it’s the Lord who directs our steps. Prob 16:9
Commit your works to the LORD [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance]. Proverbs 16:3
If we are walking step by step living in purity before God, acknowledging his ways and following his paths, He will guide us and provide for our needs. He’s a good God who loves us so much. Doesn’t mean that this life is going to be easy but it means that he has our back and will take care of us. We can trust Him!
1 Kings 17:7-16
New International Version
Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath
7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.