Are you going through a tough time or struggle? I want to encourage you today, that despite what your circumstances look like, you have in your house the key to your miracle.
In 1 Kings 17-16, it says, “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.” Here we see a provisional miracle happen for a widow woman and her son. But before the miracle, let’s look back in time at what brought the prophet of God, Elijah, to the widow woman’s home.
God Will Always Led You Step by Step
In Israel, drought was taking it’s toll and the brook Cherith was drying up. For months, Elijah had dwelt safely by the brook amidst a wild ravine of precipitous rocks. In a few days, the little brook filled with refreshing water would be nothing but sand and stones.
The prophet had come to Cherish as a result of God’s direction and now the next step was needed. I Kings 17:8-9 says, “The word of the Lord came unto him, saying ‘Arise. Get thee to Zarephath . . . I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.’” At the right moment, God gave Eiljah the next word of direction needed.
Notice that God will always led you step by step. Elijah did not know where the Lord Jehovah would led him next, but he waited, trusted and prayed. When the brook was drying up, “the word of the Lord came unto him, saying ‘Arise, get thee to Zarephath.’” Elijah promptly obeyed Jehovah God by leaving the old, dried up place of provision and went to Zarephath. He didn’t try to stay in a familiar place, but he headed out trusting God’s direction.
Where God was leading Elijah didn’t make sense in the natural. He was going to a widow woman’s home. That home was in Zarepheth, a city under the authority of his enemy, Queen Jezebel’s father, Ethba’al. Of all the places to pick, God had a sense of humor in sending Elijah to Jezebel’s hometown!
Ethba’al, the father of Jezebel, was the king of the Sidonians and of Tyre. Zarephath belonged to the city-state of Sidon and Ethba’al held sway there. In the natural, it looked like Jehovah was sending Elijah into the lions’ den. He was heading straight for a city under the control of his enemies – Queen Jezebel’s father and a city full of Baal worshippers. Remember, no matter where God sends you, He will take care of you.
God knew how to keep His prophet from detection right in the midst of King Ahab’s in-laws. Job 28:7-8 says, “There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: the lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.” God can keep you hidden from your enemy. If God could provide a protection miracle for Elijah, He can provide for you too.
Good things happen to those who seize God-given opportunities.
The widow woman was in definite need of a provisional miracle. Divine intervention was going to bring the prophet of God into her life. Notice that Jehovah prepares the heart of this woman to receive a provisional miracle by speaking into her life, just as He is preparing your heart for your miracle. She was commanded to sustain the prophet of the Lord. It was her only means to her miracle. Obedience is always required for us to receive a spiritual and physical blessing.
What an honor it was for the widow to entertain the man whose prayer was to bring fire down upon the sacrifice on Mt. Carmel. What an honor to be used to help this great prophet of God who would ride alive into the heavens by the supernatural power of God. What an honor to entertain the man who was destined, many centuries later, to appear in glory with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 16:3)! What an honor for this poor widow woman to receive this man of God. She had to seize the moment of this God-given opportunity for her provisional miracle. She was given an opportunity to serve God in a greater capacity. Good things happen to those who seize God-given opportunities.
When we follow God’s Word and His Spirit today, God will give us what is necessary for our tomorrows.
Elijah came to Zaraphath in quest of the widow woman. In that whole city, how was he to find the right person? God knew her and that was enough for the prophet. He trusted God to guide him each step of the way. The word of the Lord will guide you in this new season of your life. Elijah knew that the same Lord that brought him to Samaria and to the brook of Cherith would continue to guide him (Isaiah 43:16). When we follow God’s Word and His Spirit today, God will give us what is necessary for our tomorrows.
Elijah found the widow in extreme poverty. What he saw must have been utterly discouraging: a thin, haggard woman, whose clothing matched her face – worn out, faded, threadbare. She was gathering a few dry sticks to kindle a fire to cook the little handful of meal she had left for her and her child. All her assets were exhausted. There was nothing left but a “handful of meal,” and a “little oil.” She who had been commanded to sustain a prophet’s life is herself ready to finish off what is left and let fate take care of her and her son. A hungry preacher, in the natural, seemed of little use unless he had wandered by to conduct a funeral service!
1 Kings 17:10-16 says, “Elijah called to her, and said, ‘Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel that I may drink.’ And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, ‘Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.’ And she said, ‘As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an 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.’ 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 for thy son. 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.’” And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 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.”
After Elijah’s conversation with her, it is evident that she recognized Elijah and that he had given her a rhema word from the Lord. Elijah was a person of pronounced individuality. The prophet heard her story and then gave her God’s promise.
It is the same with us today as back then! Notice that God will work with what you have, not with what you don’t have. What is in your house? If you need a provisional miracle today, look about you and see what you can give. Elijah sent her to the kitchen to make a little cake to sow first.
She believed the promise and acted on her faith. The promise always requires obedience to activate it. God’s work took priority above her own need. It was a step of faith and obedience as she acted on God’s Word that brought about her provisional miracle. It will be the same with us also.
Today, if your barrel of meal is almost finished, put your faith in God and obey His Word to you. Take time in the Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to quicken God’s Word about your situation. As you walk out by faith the Word He has spoken to you, answered prayer is the result. Your barrel is not as empty as you think when you put God into the equation.