We call God Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, but rarely do we acknowledge that His provision is often in response to our obedience to Him.
The example of Elijah and the widow shows that when we first attend to the needs of the man of God, He will attend to our needs.
1 Kings 17:7–24
“After some time, the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. The word of the LORD came to [Elijah], saying, ’Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there. I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.’ So he got up and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and said, ‘Please get a small cup of water for me to drink.’ As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’
“She said, ’As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, but only a handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil in a jar. I am gathering two sticks, that I can go in and make it for me and my son, so we may eat it and die.’
“Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make a little cake for me first, and bring it to me, and afterward, make some for your son and you, for thus says the LORD God of Israel: The barrel of meal will not run out, nor will the jar of oil empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’
“She went and did what Elijah told her to do, and she, he, and her household ate many days. The barrel of meal did not run out, nor did the jar of oil empty, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by Elijah.
“Later on, the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became terribly sick, so much so that he had no breath left in him. She said to Elijah, ‘What do I have to do with you, O you man of God? Have you come to remind me of my sin and to kill my son?’
“And he said to her, ‘Give me your son,’ and he took him out of her arms and carried him up to a loft where he slept and laid him on his own bed. He cried to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD, my God, have You brought tragedy upon the widow with whom I live by killing her son?’ And he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD, my God, I pray that You let this child’s soul come into him again.’
“The LORD heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he was revived. Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house and returned him to his mother, and Elijah said, ‘See, your son lives!’
“The woman said to Elijah, ’Now, because of this, I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth!’” (MEV).
- This story is familiar to us, and it’s easy to get excited about the way God provided first for Elijah and then for the widow he encountered at Zarephath.
- But often we miss an important principle: God will provide for us when we are first obedient to Him.
- Elijah’s provision came when he obeyed God’s direction to go to Zarephath. And the widow received provision for herself and her son when she first met Elijah’s needs.
- What are your needs today? Serving the needs of the house of God and the prophet of God with your time, talent and treasure gets His attention. It shows Him that your focus is on obeying Him and not receiving for yourself.
- When we give to God, He can - and does! - use us mightily.
Thank You for using me to advance Your Kingdom. Order my steps to become a more effective vessel of Your love and Your peace in my circles of influence, that You may be glorified through my actions.
Show me how to obey Your commands and meet the needs of Your servants, so I may receive provision in my life. Let me walk in obedience so You can operate in my life. More than anything else, I want to show the world who You are!
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ – Jehovah Joshua Messiah – I pray. Amen!
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