By Michael Julian
Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, Kenton
Focal Passage: 1 Kings 17:7-16
This week we pick up right where we left Elijah last week. He taught us about serving God with courage. The funny thing about courage is that it may place us in even more difficult circumstances. When we find ourselves in those places, then we come to understand the need to serve God with trust.
Remember what Elijah is up against. Ahab has become king, and his wickedness exceeds his predecessors. Furthermore, Ahab married Jezebel, who is the daughter of the king of the Sidonians. The Sidonians practice the worship of Baal, the fertility and weather god, particularly the rain and the dew. Those are two critical factors in that terrain and climate for good crop production. But, we will see God’s sovereignty.
Fittingly, God raises up the prophet Elijah to combat this insidious idolatry. The miracles done by God through Elijah show God’s clear superiority over the false god Baal, which is really no god at all. Elijah is serving God with trust.
1 Kings 17:7-12
Notice that Elijah didn’t move until God instructed him to move. The drought was worsening, therefore, Elijah’s water source came to an end. Again, this shows God’s power over the impotent Baal. But now, the prophet is going to be tested even further.
Elijah is being sent into enemy territory. It is likely that Jezebel’s father still rules the land of Sidon. This wanted man is being sent to a place where people may be looking for him to hand him over to Ahab. But God. These two words don’t appear in the text, but God was up to something unique in His own right.
In Zarephath, a non-Israelite widow was being prepared to care for Elijah and once again demonstrate the power of Yahweh and the impotence of Baal. She and her son were resolved to share a last meal before their own death due to the drought. Instead, she heeds Elijah’s words and trusts Yahweh who had spoken to her previously, thus ensuring the survival of all three. But how?
1 Kings 17:13-14
The widow would provide for Elijah first, according to the Word of the Lord, and then she could make bread for her and her son. Amazingly, the flour jar and the oil jug would never run dry. God would provide a daily portion. Isn’t it the same with us? God meets our daily needs. Look back at God’s plan to provide for Elijah. A brook, some ravens, a poor widow, and a little flour and oil. God is sovereign and superior and worthy of every ounce of trust we can muster.
1 Kings 17:15-16
These last two verses demonstrate ongoing faithfulness to God, and His faithfulness to His promises. They ate for many days. Remember, she gave to Elijah from what she determined to be her last meal.
When all seemed lost and every ounce of strength was depleted, then came an encounter with the abundance of God. Oh, the goodness of God. Elijah knew it, even in enemy territory during a drought. The widow and her son learned it when all hope seemingly vanished from their sight. Will you and I learn it together? Let us serve God with trust. B&R