“Everyone has a Story” second character unlocked – The Widow at Zarephath (Part 1)
7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” 15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.
1 Kings 17:7-16 ESV
During the pandemic in 2020, toilet papers, disinfectant wipes, and essential cleaning supplies were in major shortage. Do you think you could spare some toilet paper if you were down to the last roll yourself? What if it wasn’t for toilet papers? A stranger pleading for the last bit of ingredients left for your last meal on earth? That was the request the widow at Zarephath encountered.
The widow and her household was experiencing a widespread famine due to the drought in the region. All she left in her possession was a little pot of flour and a bit of oil in the jug. She planned to gather some sticks, make a small piece of bread, eat this final meal with her son and lay down to die. She was at the end of her rope, and a stranger came and asked for a drink of water, which she willingly provided despite her own suffering. But in addition to water, he also asked her for a piece of bread. At the end of her rope, this widow chose to make Elijah his requested bread. She chose to entrust the last thing she had on earth to the care of the Living God.
Why did God choose this poor widow to provide for His prophet? Materially, she might have very little. But God looked beyond her material possession. He treasured her compassion for the needy, her faith to trust what God has promised, and her obedience to follow. Her act of faith and obedience not only brought forth the blessing of supplying bread for Elijah but a continuous supply of food for her, her family, and her guest because the flour and oil did not run out just as God had promised.
We might feel that we are at the end of our rope sometimes. There is always a shortage of time, energy, money, skills…the list goes on. But haven’t you noticed that when the widow entrusted her little flour and oil to God’s hands, He multiplied? It is not about how much we offer; it’s about our genuine willingness to give. After all, He is the great Provider! Whatever we offer to God out of our trust and obedience, He will make sure we have enough. And the more we give, the more we can give.
“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.’”1 Kings 17:14
“For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says…”. When God said it, that sealed the deal. He is the great Provider!
1 thought on “The Widow at Zarephath – Giving at the end of one’s rope (1 Kings 17:7-16 Devotional)”
“At the end” is a concept that may change how people conduct himself. Think about it, we are never really “at the end”. This will open up a whole new world for us.
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