Life of Elijah
Last time we saw the beginnings of Elijah's ministry. When we left him last time Elijah was being fed and well looked after. But here we see an unexpected turn of events.
1/. The servant of God is tested.
First he faces the test of adversity. Some time later the brook dries up we are told. Unexpected! Nothing to drink. Do you wonder was Elijah concerned. Would you be concerned? Elijah was a man just like us James tells us.
Then he faces another test. After the brook dries up the word of the Lord comes. After. The word of God comes just when we need it. When He tells him to go it is a command. Go at once. This was a test do obedience. Elijah passes the test and he goes.
Then there was the test of faith. Will Elijah trust God. Will he go to Zaraphath. This was close to where Jezebel come from. This is where Elijah has to go. The heartland of the enemy. It just gets tougher. Go and rely on a widow. A widow who hasn't even enough resources to keep herself. What does Elijah do? He trusts God even when it doesn't make sense.
God tests his servants. He never tempts us but He does test us. Testing leads to growth. He sometimes let the brook dry up. He sometimes sends us to place we don't want to go. We sometimes have to rely on others.
2/. The mercy of God is Extended.
We arrive at zaraphtheh. Here Elijah sees a nameless woman. The bible just refers to her as a widow. She was insignificant. She was poor. No husband, no income. The widows would have been first in line when there was famine. They had no means of support. Here this woman is out gathering sticks for a fire and Elijah asks her for some food. The lady explains she has enough left for one meal for her and her son. She was desperate. Also note she was a foreign woman. She is familiar with God but says the Lord your God. Everybody here worshipped Baal. What an unlikely woman for God to use. God's mercy is not only for the likely. His mercy reaches those we don't expect.
3/. The word of God is proved.
God has told Elijah a widow would provide his needs. He arrives at Zarephath and immediately sees a widow. He is thirsty and hungry. She explains her predicament but Elijah asks her to see to his needs first and God will provide for all three of them. He asks her to put faith in God.
She does as she is told and the flour jar and oil container keep supply.
What does this teach us? Well God is a great provider. He can supply all our needs. We still have responsibilities but He will meet our needs.
But there is a deeper point here. The word of God is proved. The chapter tells us God said. God promised, etc. Each time He is proved.
The widow in verse 24 commends Elijah's God by saying to him by saying your God is true.
God is faithful to His word. Always!
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