When giving is not easy
The great prophet Elijah, under God’s direction had pronounced a drought on the nation of Israel as punishment for Idolatry. All the land had been afflicted. People everywhere were running out of food and starving, such was the case with the widow of Zarephath.
This widow was down to almost nothing, when God tells Elijah “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” (1kings 17:9) To Elijah’s credit he did not question God. Who would have ever thought a widow with next to nothing could provide a place of refuge.
When Elijah got there he asked the widow for food. She described the little she had. Once again Elijah is not disturbed. He instructed her to feed him first and then her child and herself. The nerve of this man to come into town as a stranger to take the little bit she had left. But Elijah understood God’s plan. This widow was about to find out that not only is there a God, but that He can take the little we have and turn it into a great blessing for ourselves and all those around us.
Shockingly she did not give the strange man a “piece of her mind” or in other words “tell him off”. No, remarkably she submitted. She would take the little bit of flour and oil and make bread for Elijah and miraculously there was still more left to make. The next day the same thing would occur. Everyday there was always more flour and oil to make bread. As long as she fed the man of God, she had flour and oil for her family. The widow practiced great faith, in obediently giving the little she had and God rewarded her faith.
It is not easy to give when we have little. But there are many ways of helping those in need. There are also multiple ways of helping to progress the work of God. When we sacrifice what we can in faith, God is faithful in return. I would never promise great wealth. However I know that God is able and willing to care for our needs when we learn to trust in Him. Jesus said “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33) Paul also said “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
- Elijah & The Miraculous Jar of Oil (lacykitkat.wordpress.com)
- Elijah! (balasamson.wordpress.com)
- The Life Of A Servant… (jesusavesisrael.org)
- Elijah and the widow of Zarephath: A sermon (wonderingpreacher.wordpress.com)
- The Keystone – Part Two (Julia Schmidt) (dawnalongthepathlesstraveled.wordpress.com)
- Leftovers (iasb31.wordpress.com)
- Devotional for February 28th, 2014 (freshdailydevotional.wordpress.com)
- Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (plantingmustardseeds.wordpress.com)