1 Kings 17:8-24 (Part 1) – Open Your Eyes To God’s Blessings & Provision

Posted: February 19, 2019 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 17:8-24 (Part 1 of 3)

The Widow at Zarephath

When we are faithful to God even when our circumstances seem hopeless, He will reward our faithfulness. Have you ever been in the midst of time where everything seems to be going wrong and everything you do seems to lead to more hopelessness? We have all been there at one point or another in our lives. Those days where you are in the midst of a trial and you just don’t want to get out of bed! Yeah, many, if not all of us, can relate to that. It may be your personal life. It may be something going on with work. It may be something with your children. It may be a combination of all those things and more.

There have been times in our lives where we have been there. I have been there at times in my life. There are trials in life for all of us. It’s not a matter of if but when and for how long. As I sit here today on the first anniversary of going into full-time ministry it is a time to reflect. This past year has been a difficult one – transitioning from my full-time job in the corporate world to the church world, transitioning from a job that I had held for 10 years and knew everything about it inside and out to a completely different world of non-profit and church accounting, transitioning from being responsible for much to being responsible for much more. I would love to say that it has been an easy transition but it has not. It has been difficult at times. It has made me question myself to the core at times. It has made me wonder why I followed God’s call into ministry. It has been rough adjusting to a different office style and management styles. But the Lord has said to me many times, keep plowing, keep plowing, you will get a handle on it but this time where you are going to have to learn to fully depend on me so that you can see what I want you to see.

It is in the midst of tough times that you have to keep your eyes open. You cannot withdraw into yourself. You must keep your eyes open as to what God is doing and how he is providing. The thing that keeps me fueled as I learn new things, relearn things in a different way, and as the Lord humbles me about the things that I don’t know and learning about my own flaws during this time is the people that God has brought in my and Elena’s life.

That’s the thing that I thought about today as I read 1 Kings 17:8-24 was how Elijah kept plowing even though his circumstances were dire and he kept his eyes open and attentive to what God was doing in his life. Without the faithfulness and openness to what God was doing, he would have written off the widow and not had the encounter that he had:

8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”

10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”

12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”

13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”

15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. 16 There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.

17 Sometime later, the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. 18 Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”

19 But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. 20 Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”

21 And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” 22 The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! 23 Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!”

24 Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”

In this passage, we see in a nation that was required by God’s law to care for its prophets, it is ironic that God turned to ravens (unclean birds) and a widow (a helpless person herself in the culture of ancient Middle East) to care for Elijah. No matter how bitter our trials may be or how seemingly hopeless our situation, we should look for God’s caring touch. We may find his providence in some unexpected ways.

It is the same for Elena and me. There are some amazing people that have come into our lives over the past year but they would not be there unless we had followed the call into ministry and to Calvary Church of The Quad Cities. Even though the first year has been a steep and humbling learning curve, without it, we would not have met some truly important people in our lives that are members of this church. These people have loved on us, blessed us, allowed us to help them through some tough times, and taught us things as well. The love of the people of this church is the fuel that keeps me going every day. We have to keep our eyes open to the blessings that God has bestowed upon us even when we are going through a tough time.

All of it is for God’s purpose, that keeps me going to. When we keep that in mind, we can open our eyes to the blessings and the provision God has around us. Don’t close your eyes. You will miss what God is doing. You will miss His blessings. And that is why we are here, to keep plowing, keep being faithful, keep doing what God directs and when we trust in that, we can open our eyes to the mighty blessings that we do already have right around us.

Amen and Amen.

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