Provision

OPENING PRAYER

God of Mercy, fill me with Your Holy Spirit until my life reflects You.

 

Read: 1 KINGS 17:1-24

[1] Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” [2] Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: [3] “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. [4] You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” [5] So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. [6] The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. [7] Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. [8] Then the word of the LORD came to him: [9] “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” [10] So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” [11] As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” [12] “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread-only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it-and die.” [13] Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. [14] For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.'” [15] She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. [16] For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. [17]Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. [18] She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” [19] “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. [20] Then he cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” [21] Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” [22] The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. [23] Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” [24] Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

 

Reflect: WHAT MESSAGE DOES ELIJAH BRING THE KING?

From here to the end of the book, the story of Ahab is intertwined with that of Elijah. The faith expressed by Elijah and others provides a contrast to the widespread rejection of God. Elijah’s very name–meaning “My God is the Lord”–says something about his calling, pointing people to the true God. He begins his ministry by confronting the king (1). His brief message informs Ahab that God alone controls the weather–significant in a context where the contrast between the Lord and Baal is under dispute.During this period of drought, Elijah is fed in a way that might remind readers of God’s provision for his people in the wilderness (2-6; see also Exod. 16). When that source dries up, the Lord provides for him through a Canaanite widow in Jezebel’s home territory, and Elijah’s ministry as a prophet is authenticated by bringing the woman’s son back to life (7-24). Elijah probably spent the best part of three years either alone or with the widow and her son–a reminder that in the grand scheme of things, God cares for widows and the fatherless (Psa. 68:5). Meanwhile, the drought showed the powerlessness of Baal–which would soon be dramatically demonstrated.

 

APPLY

Thank God that his grace can extend to the most unexpected places.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, thank You that what has been dried up and seems dead can still burst forth into life.

 

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