(10) So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when came to the gate of the city, behold the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and saith fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. (11) And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. (12) And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die. (13) And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and thy son. (14) For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. (15) And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. (16) And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah. ( 1 Kings 17:10-16 KJV)
There is a few things that I love about this passage of the scripture. One of which is God’s ability to provide even in a famine! God not only provided for Elijah but also for a widowed mother and her son. In the verses above God told Elijah and I’m paraphrasing here that it was time for him to leave Cherith (a Brook) this was a place where the Lord sustained Elijah during the famine, not only was Elijah able to drink from the brook, but God also commanded that the ravens feed him. Which shows me that if he has to God will use unconventional methods to keep you nourished in seasons of lack. Eventually though the Brook Cherith dried up. This is when God commanded Elijah to get from Cherith and go to a town called Zarephath where he (God) had commanded that a widow woman would sustain Elijah. Here is where I think most of us would have missed the blessings of God. Sometimes we get so comfortable in the place where God fed and watered us that we fail to see that the Brook has dried up and the ravens is no longer feeding us. So we must be sensitive to the voice of the Lord so that when he commands us to move we move!
So verse 10 says that he arose and went to Zarephath and at the city gates he saw the woman who God had told him about. What I find amazing about this is that Elijah immediately knew that this is who God had told him about. Which shows me when you find that person who was commanded by God to help you. You will just know it. So, Elijah calls out to the widow and he asked that she brings him a little water and as she goes to fetch his water he calls out again. This time he asks for a morsel of bread in thy hand. Ahhh this is where it gets tricky. We know that they were in a famine so I imagine that water was scarce but even still the widow woman goes to fetch water for him, but now he’s requesting bread! It’s tricky because we have no problem giving what we have more of I believe that even though they were in a famine that this widow knew where to draw water from. So when Elijah asked her to give him water that was no problem. The issue came when he asked for the bread though. It’s hard to give away something when it’s all that we have. So her response was this (again I’m paraphrasing) I swear as the Lord God lives I can’t give you what your asking of me. All that I have is this handful of meal and a little bit of oil and I was planning on preparing it for me and my son and after that we won’t have anything left to give so we’re going to eat it and die. The significance of what she was saying was powerful, because she was at a place of giving up. She was at a place where she saw no way out. The famine showed no signs of ending, she was almost out of food and everything around her was dead. How many of us have been where this widow woman was ready to accept defeat because our situation tells us its over, because our circumstances tells us that we don’t have enough to carry us past this situation. Elijah tells her though to fear not make me a cake first and then go prepare for you and your son. Whoa! Hold up a minute she just said that she barely had enough for her and her son, but Elijah asked her to prepare bread for him first, then go back and prepare for her and her son. I began to realize this in this scripture, to go on and take that little bit that you think that you have and start feeding the things of God first. I know that all that you think you have is a handful of meal and a smidgen of oil, but take what you have in your hand and use it to feed God’s people. Pay attention to this in verse 11 Elijah tells her bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. What caught my attention about this was when he said in thine hand any time we have any thing in our hands it means that it is in our possession. So Elijah didn’t ask her for anything that she didn’t have. She just didn’t have a lot of it. Another thing that caught my attention was when she responded. I don’t have a cake. No, but she had in her possession every thing she needed to make a cake!
How many times have we done that to God? He ask us for something and we respond Lord I don’t have what your asking me for. All I have is this little bit and it’s not enough to feed both me and you. Here’s the thing about God though, he’s never going to give you the cake already made and then ask you for a slice of it, but he will put everything that you need in your hand or in your possession in order for you to use what God has given you. The only thing is that when you begin to use what God has given you make sure that you prepare it for God first if you don’t want it to run out.
So many times we feel that all that we have isn’t enough. God says that it’s more than enough. Take whatever it is that is your hand whether it’s singing, dancing, writing, painting, whether it’s preaching or teaching, it could be encouraging someone else, even empathy. Take that thing which you may feel is nothing and feed the things of God. God promises that it will sustain you during your famine!