Sunday, April 29, 2012

God is Faithful

 "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, 
I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 
1 Kings 17:9

The seventeenth chapter of 1 Kings is rich with God's faithfulness. First, He provides food and drink for Elijah by the creek of Cherith. "The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook." (v. 6) Then the brook dries up (Elijah had prayed to stop the rain as judgment for King Ahab and the Israelites disobedience to the Lord, and God had answered Elijah's prayer for drought) and the Lord tells Elijah to go to Zarephath, where He had "commanded a widow" to provide for him. The widow is gathering sticks to build a fire when Elijah finds her and asks her for bread and meat. She explains that she only has a little flour and oil and that she is gathering sticks to make a fire for a last meal for her son and herself. After that they will die of starvation. Elijah instructs her to first make a cake for him out of the flour and oil and afterward she can make one for herself and her son. He says, "'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.' So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 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." (vs. 14-16) Just when things are looking up for the widow, her son becomes ill and dies. Things look hopeless again, but Elijah prays and God through Elijah provides a miracle: returning life to the son. Elijah returns the child to his mother and says, “See, your son is alive.” Then the woman testifies about the Lord, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.” (v. 24) What a fantastic account of God's faithfulness. He provides a way for Elijah to be fed, the widow and her son to be fed, the son to be restored, and glory given to His name. All this through Elijah's encounter with the widow in Zarephath. God may orchestrate many things and people to accomplish His purpose. We may move us away from our homes or take something away from us, causing us to doubt His love. But in all things -- even when we don't see how anything positive can come out of a situation -- God is faithful. He lovingly works all things together for good. In this He is glorified.

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