081819.ca_.logo_.jpg

Expository Studies

Play Video
Play Video

Daily Encouragement

Play Video
a

September 11, 2012

Until the LORD Sends Rain

1 Kings 17:9-16, Page 578

    In response to a another question, today we will examine the continuous, daily, miraculous provision of food for a widow, her son, and a prophet named Elijah.  God provided enough for each day, one day at a time.  Centuries before, during the exodus from Egypt, the LORD had fed the people of Israel while they travelled through the wilderness.  The manna fell sufficient for a day at a time, and the people gathered an extra day’s supply for the Sabbath (Exodus 16:4-5, page 114).    In 1 Kings 17:9-16. page 578, Elijah stood before King Ahab, who had done more to provoke the LORD God of Israel than all the kings before him (1 Kings 16:33, page 577).  He was a very wicked and idolatrous king.  Elijah the Tishbite, a prophet of God, prophesied that it would “neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word” (2 Kings 17:1, page 578).   After delivering the prophecy of no rain to King Ahab, the LORD sent Elijah to the brook Cherith, where he stayed, being fed by the ravens bringing him bread and meat in the morning and evening, until the brook dried up one day (2 Kings 17:2-7, page 578).

 

1 Kings 17:8-9, Page 578

“Then the word of the LORD came to him saying, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

      Commanded a Widow To Provide for You.  In 2 Kings 17:8-9. page 578, we see another miracle, similar to the ravens feeding Elijah in the opening of verses of the chapter.  Now God commanded a widow to provide food for Elijah.  At each point, Elijah had to trust God with obedience.  Living on food brought daily by ravens would certainly have stretched my faith.  Now God moved Elijah to the gentile region of Sidon.  In this sense, Elijah was one of the first prophets to the Gentiles.  Jesus also mentioned this matter in Luke 4:26, page 1603.  Jesus explained that God shut up the sky for three years and six months in the days of Elijah.  During that time, there were many widows in Israel, but God sent Elijah to a widow in Sidon, outside of Israel, in the land of the gentiles.  Notice that God “commanded” (“צִוִּיתִי“) the widow to provide for Elijah.    This command to a widow surprises me.  Generally speaking, widows do not have much money or food, and in a famine, I would imagine they would struggle to survive.  In this case, the widow was also a single mom.  When God commanded the widow to provide for the prophet, the LORD blessed the widow, the child, and the prophet with food.  The LORD had no problem being the LORD of the gentiles and the Jews who loves everyone.  When the LORD commands, He also provides the means for fulfilling His command. 

 

1 Kings 17:10-11, Page 578

“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, ‘Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.”  

As she was going to get it, he called to her and said,

‘Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.'”

     A Little Water and Piece of Bread.  in 1 Kings 17:10-11, page 578, we read more about the miracle of feeding Elijah, a widow and her son.  Just like Jesus reached out to the Samaritan woman at the well in the New Testament (John 4:1-45, page1659-16661), so the LORD reached out to this widow by requesting food and water. Please remember the famine.  Asking for food during a famine would be like asking for gold bars.    Also, keep in mind that Elijah knew that God had commanded a widow to provide food for him.  We should discern a powerful spiritual principle here.  When God commands, we should keep our eyes and ears attuned to His command so that we may be blessed by the fulfillment of the command, just like Elijah was blessed by the command.  Finally, notice the personal touch Elijah requested for the food: “in your hand.”  Elijah intended for her to perform the entire task herself. 

 

1 Kings 17:12-13:20, Page 578

“But she said, ‘As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for and my son, that we may eat and die.  Then Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son.'”

      We May Eat and Die.  In 1 Kings 1:17, page 578, the widow expressed her deep concern and feelings of doom.  She firmly believed she was going to die of famine with her son.  She could not possibly spare any food for the prophet.  Her fear of famine and death clearly gripped her.  Yet, Elijah brought words of hope: “Do not fear.”  God always provides those same words of hope to each of us.  Do not fear.  Our fear hinders our faith and makes us depart from God’s will.  In this case, Elijah commanded the woman to feed him a little cake first, before the widow or her son ate.  In fact, Elijah was very specific that she had to make and deliver his food first, before she even made a cake for herself or her son.  The widow had to trust the word of Elijah and put his desires before her own and her son’s desire for food.  I imagine they had been very hungry for days as they stretched out the last of their food.  Now, right at the end, the prophet wanted the very last meal–their own life sustenance–for himself.

1 Kings 17:14-15, Page 578

“For thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘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.”

      Until the Day that the LORD Sends Rain.  Having been commanded to bring out food and water, in the precise order set out by Elijah, God now promised the widow that the LORD God of Israel would provide for these gentiles until He sent rain on the earth.  We know the famine lasted a total of forty two months.  This widow had to have faith in the Word of God to do as Elijah commanded her.  From a human perspective, she took food out of her son’s mouth and her own to keep the command of God.  She had faith that God would keep His promise to her.  Her promise manifested itself by giving the last of her food the prophet, as God had commanded her.   She literally put her life into the hands of the prophet Elijah and relied upon the miraculous promise of God to feed her until the famine ended.  The jar of oil would not run empty and the bowl of flour would not be exhausted as long as the need remained.  God has made the same promises to feed us and keep us today (Matthew 6:25-34, page 1510).   God not only created the famine, but also knew the precise day it would end.  As Jesus said, many widows suffered during that famine, but God chose the widow of Zeraphath to be blessed with food.  She had faith in the LORD keeping His promises.

1 Kings 17:16, Page 578

“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.”

       Not Exhausted or Empty.  In 1 Kings 17:16, page 578, God kept His promises to the widow, the son and the prophet.  The LORD miraculously kept refilling the jar of oil and the bowl of flour was exhausted.  So often, we start to worry and freak out because our physical supplies may be exhausted.  We tend to forget that God would always provide for us.  Even if God were to allow us to die in a famine, we would still be with Him for eternity by faith in Christ.  In the United States, September 11 has special significance.  So many people remember the terrorists and how that single event changed America.  On a spiritual level, God brings everyone to a point of decision.  When the oil has run low, and the flour has been exhausted, where will you turn?  Learn from the widow.  Do just what God has said and obey Him first.  Give the LORD your last bit of flour and your last drops of oil and rely upon the LORD to feed you and sustain you.  Never trust in your own ability to provide.  By faith I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins.  He offers me the gift of eternal life by faith.  If I believe that Jesus died on the cross, was raised from the dead, and now will forgive me of all my sins by asking in faith for His forgiveness, He will forgive me right now.  Why not ask Him right now and believe He will forgive you just as the LORD saved the widow from death.

         So we learn more about the LORD providing for us every day. 

     ●  When you listen the commands of the LORD and obey Him, then He will take care of you always. 

     ●  When the LORD seeks all you have for His own use, then you can always count upon the LORD to give you enough for eternity.   

     ●  God takes care of my fears by bringing me to faith in His promises.

Application for Today

        As I walk through life today, I want to listen to the LORD commanding me to follow Him today.  I want to ready to give Him everything today, so that I can count upon Him to provide me with everything I need for eternity.  Will you be giving all you have to the LORD, and expecting Him to take care of you today?

 

 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 
 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.