Lessons From Zarephath
9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 1 Kings 17:9-10 NKJV
After the Lord had provided water supernaturally at the Brook Cherith suddenly the brook of Elijah’s providence dries up. God tells Elijah to go to Zarapheth because He has commanded a widow to provide for him. When he gets to Zarapheth he finds the woman and she appears to be in no state to be able to provide for Elijah, she can’t even provide for herself and her son. In fact, she was preparing to eat a final meal with her son and die. How interesting is that? The verse above makes it clear that God Himself had already instructed this woman to provide for Elijah. She had to be thinking, how can I provide for the man of God when I can’t even provide for my son and myself?
She saw this as impossible because in the natural mind there would be no way for that actually to happen. We must always remember that when God says something in His Word, then it is true regardless of how things appear. He will not instruct us to do something and not provide the means for us to do it. Our responsibility is to keep moving forward in faith, even when that does not make any sense to the natural mind.
A few verses later, after the widow told Elijah she had only a little flour and oil and was preparing to eat one last cake with her son and then die, the response from Elijah is simple, if not seemingly impossible. He told her, “Do not fear” and then gave her the instructions to follow. The first step in being able to see His supernatural deliverance is eliminating fear. Once you let that go, then you can hear the directions of the Lord and move in faith.
She did the unthinkable and took the remaining supplies she had and served the Lord by serving the man of God. God then did what she could never have imagined and supernaturally made the meal and the oil multiply all through the drought.
Will we give up fear and obey the Lord in the direction that we hear from the Holy Spirit? Will we give what we have to Him and give our trust to Him? When we do He will supply all our needs, so we can accomplish what He called us to do.
J Todd Hostetler