Walking with God involves obedience and trust, when we obey and follow God, others are blessed too!
Scriptural Passage 1 Kings 17:7-16
Has God ever led you to do something or go somewhere that didn’t seem to make sense to you or others? In today’s encouragement blog, we follow Elijah as he obeys God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. First, the wadi where God had sent Elijah to live has dried up and can no longer sustain him. Have you ever thought that if you just followed/served God then things would be easy? Elijah’s experience reveals the true nature of following God.
Jesus teaches that to follow Him is to “take up our cross” and “deny ourselves” daily dying to our self. Elijah has already confronted the wicked King Ahab, received nourishment in the wilderness from ravens, and obeyed God. Eljiah is being obedient yet the stream still dries up. God isn’t finished yet!
Now for the next task: go to Zarephath in Sidon to a widow who will provide for you. Understand that Sidon is the homeland of the evil Queen Jezebel wherein her father rules as king. God is sending Elijah to a foreigner widow who lives in the middle of a baal worshipping nation! How does Elijah proceed? He obeys and goes to Zarephath. For a Jewish Prophet this would have been inconceivable! Leave God’s nation and go to a pagan non-Jewish widow! Yet, Elijah obeys and meets the widow. The widow provides a drink of water then Elijah requests some bread. The widow makes it clear that she is preparing the last meal for herself and son! Yet, she honors his request!
First Elijah obeys and then the widow. Both individuals were obeying God’s Word even when things didn’t make sense! God graciously provides for Elijah, the widow, and her son. God takes care of three people at once!
Jesus mentions this account in Luke 4:25-26 and Elisha’s healing of Naaman to teach the universal nature of God’s kingdom. The audience becomes enraged and attempts to drive him off a cliff. Why were they so enraged? Because the Messiah dared to show that God’s grace and provision(s) are for others even pagan neighbors. The audience also realized the religious significance of foreigners receiving God’s sovereign blessing!
It’s important to notice that God DIDN”T provide a massive sack of flour or a barrel of oil! God provides enough for each day and no more. The miraculous provisions allowed survival in a time of drought and starvation. Notice that the drought didn’t just affect Israel but the entire region. Drought was an attack upon the baal idols who supposedly guaranteed rain and fertility. Suffering and death are universal. Are you walking daily with Christ, trusting Him to fulfill His Word? Do you know God’s Word enough to walk in obedience knowing when to make changes?
Life Lesson Applications:
1. serving God doesn’t remove difficulties in our life nor makes things become “easier”
2. obeying God requires faith–certainty of God’s ability to fulfill His Promises even when we can’t see or understand how
3. obeying God blesses others! Elijah demonstrates his faith and the widow follows in obedience
4. God is faithful to His Word–all three ate for “many days” on God’s provision of flour and oil
5. God daily provides for needs–we can depend on enough for the day at hand
In Christ and for His Glory,