In 1 Kings 17:7, we read how the brook dried up, because it did not rain for a while. Is it possible that God forsook Elijah by allowing the brook to dry up? Far from it for God to let His prophet starve to death. The Lord always provides for His workers. God is simply showing the world His glory and teaching us Bible readers an important lesson of faith.
First, God is showing us that indeed He is capable of providing for the prophet without human intervention, as he did with Elijah at the brook with the ravens. Secondly, God wants to show us how He can use faithful believers, even in extreme poverty, to provide for His workers, causing them to be a recipient of abundant blessings. These are lessons we can derive from this chapter.
God is leading Elijah to a new place of refuge for our benefit so that we can learn that when God calls us to give and to provide for His ministers, we must not think twice in obedience. Our financial state is not an excuse, as this widow was at rock bottom, yet she still chose to obey the call to give to the prophet.
This chapter shows that we have a God who helps. We have a Lord who delivers us from death. The widow at Zarephath is poor and without influence. Yet God chose her to provide for the prophet. It was a huge sacrifice for her. It would mean her last meal would go to the prophet. Her self- denial and faith — perhaps accompanied by renewed hope — she was rewarded. Jesus spoke about this situation when he was commissioning his disciples to go out and spread the gospel.
40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me. And anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Suppose someone welcomes a prophet as a prophet. They will receive a prophet’s reward. And suppose someone welcomes a godly person as a godly person. They will receive a godly person’s reward. (Matthew 10:40-41)
Jesus is saying, when you bless his ministers, you are blessing God. When you support the prophet, you receive a prophet’s reward. As believers, you do not need to work for your salvation, for it is a free gift. On the other hand, the Lord promises that when you do good works, you are going to receive a crown in heavens and rewards here on earth.
The widow’s reward for providing for the prophet was that she would receive continuously what she and her whole household needed. She gave everything, and she would have everything she needed. This is how God blesses those who are obedient in giving. The psalmist talked about this reward in this way:
19 When trouble comes to them, they will have what they need. When there is little food in the land, they will still have plenty. (Psalm 37:19)
3Their family will have wealth and riches. They will always be blessed for doing what is right. (Psalm 112:3)
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