Monday, July 25, 2016

God's Provision to The Prophet and The Widow

Have you ever sat through a message at a church where it was titled one thing but the message was about something totally different? There was so much meat being shared - it was a smorgasbord of good stuff; not necessarily connected but all good for you. That's what happened yesterday.

The story of Elijah and the widow in 1 Kings 17, starts off with Elijah being fed by ravens - the ravens would bring Elijah food to eat and he would drink water from the brook. This happened for a length of time. Because there was a famine in the land the brook dried up and the ravens stopped bringing food. God then commanded Elijah to go to a village where He had instructed a widow to feed him. 

The widow was very poor - she was down to her last portion of flour and oil that she would use to make bread. But the widow was also obedient despite her impending need. When Elijah showed up and asked for water and bread, she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” (v12)

Elijah replied, "Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!” (v13,14)

Knowing that Elijah the prophet was a man of God, she did as he instructed and she, her son, and Elijah were able to eat for many days. The flour and oil miraculously lasted.
And then her son died, and she initially wondered if it was Elijah's fault. It's not a faulty assumption, humanly speaking - she was prepared to die before Elijah showed up; now she is able to survive since he showed up and now her son is dead. The only difference is Elijah.
Elijah takes her son up to his room - laid over him and prayed to God to restore the child's life - and God does. Upon seeing her son alive, she acknowledged that he truly is a man of God and the Lord speaks through him.

This is a powerful story. Using this story, the speaker highlighted the virtues of stewardship which are:
  • Service - no matter how much or how little you are entrusted with, a willingness to serve is important. Instead of being greedy or self-centered, focus on others. You never know how you will be blessed.
  • Management of what is given to you vs. ownership - as a steward you have been entrusted with the privilege of managing something. You treat it as if it's your own, though it's not. Were you to act like it was yours, you'd be out of line. The analogy used was one of being a server in a restaurant where you serve everyone. Your job is to serve not decide who to serve.
  • Long lasting impact - In this story because the widow was obedient when her son died the prophet healed him. In the same vein when you are obedient to God it has a long lasting impact and can impact more people than you would imagine.
It may seem hard or inconvenient to share the little that you have; with God leading you, little is much when God is in it.

So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah. I Kings 17: 15, 16 [NLT]

Are you a good steward? If you struggle in this area, ask God to give you a willing and obedient heart.

It's Monday - this post is inspired by what I heard on Sunday.


  1. I love this story and I appreciate you writing about this timely topic. {hugs}

  2. The post is speaking to me so much right now. I haven't read this story in awhile, but I will devote the necessary time to reading it again. Thank you so VERY much!!!


I love reading your comments; but please be kind. Unkind comments will be removed.