Connected for Blessing and Provision
God chose to take the life of the prophet Elijah and intertwine it with the life of the one widow. The woman, only referred to as the “widow of Zarephath,” demonstrates a powerful faith through her obedience in 1 Kings.
She went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.─1 Kings 17:15-16 NKJV
Elijah served as God’s spokesperson, the man who stood in front of King Ahab and prophesied “…the next years are going to see a total drought—not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise.” Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife, tried to kill all of God’s prophets. At one point, Elijah thought he was the last living prophet.
Those who worshipped Baal believed Baal was the god who brought rains and bountiful harvest – so the words Elijah spoke for God were profanity against Jezebel’s god. After declaring no more rain, Elijah hid himself in the Kerith Ravine, east of Jordan, where the Lord sustained him with water from a brook and food ravens brought to him. When the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to Zarephath with instruction to look to a widow to sustain him.
Only referred to as “the Widow of Zarephath,” the city serves as part of her identification. We can assume she is the only widow in her city. Zarephath rests inside the region of Sidon, the native country of Queen Jezebel, the woman who married the wicked King Ahab and required her god, Baal, to be worshipped instead of God Almighty. We might also assume this widow is not of Hebrew lineage, but she clearly believed in the Hebrew’s God and trusted Him.
God’s purposes are so much higher and wider than what you imagine.
The Widow of Zarephath had nothing for her own family to eat, much less food for Elijah and yet she gave the prophet the bread he asked of her. Though possibly reluctant at first, she obeyed God by doing what the prophet of God instructed her to do. God was positioning her for blessing –a blessing that would feed her family through the remainder of the famine.
God’s purposes are so much higher and wider than what we imagine. God tells us to go here or there—to do this or that—and it’s easy to think it’s about us.
Hopefully you can see it as God positioning you for blessing. While that is often a part of His plan, our eyes usually rest on ourselves, when in fact it has less to do with us and more to do with what He wants to do through our relationships with the people to whom He connects us for a bigger purpose. Our lives our intertwined for mutual provision and blessing.
Today’s One Thing
Read the Widow of Zarepath’s story in 1 Kings 17:8-24 and look for a second story about what God did for her concerning her son. Think about the people God has connected you with perhaps in your time of need, or theirs. How will God provide for and bless you because of that relationship?