Thursday, September 29, 2011

Faith Unseeing - Dinner #7

     I love the stories in I and II Kings about the prophets Elijah and Elisha.  So many miracles and tales of faith are found within those two books!  One of my favorites is found in I Kings chapter 17, when Elijah is hiding from Ahab during the years without any rain.  Elijah was not alone or forgotten during those years.  God was with him, protecting and providing for His servant. 
I Kings 17:4 “And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.”

I Kings 17:7-9 “And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath . . . I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.”

     One step at a time, God led Elijah and sustained him.  God didn’t reveal to the prophet everything all at once.  He didn’t say to Elijah, “First I’m going to provide for you by giving you water from a brook to drink and food brought by ravens, and then I’ll send you to a widow in Zarephath who will feed you.”  He had Elijah trust Him for provision, one step at a time.  When the water dried up, THEN God showed that He already had another plan to provide for him.  
     But Elijah wasn’t the only one in this story who had to trust God without being able to see ahead.  When the prophet comes to the widow of Zarephath and asks her for water to drink, she goes to fetch it right away.  But as soon as he mentions that he would like some food as well, her attitude changes. 

I Kings 17:12 “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.”

     Three verses before this, however, we see that God said, “I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.”  Before Elijah even arrived, God had already told this lady what she needed to do, but she was afraid of what might be required of her.  She didn’t mind about the water, but the last of her food supply took faith.

I Kings 17:13 “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.”

     Feeding the hungry prophet FIRST also took faith.  If he ate the last of what they had, there would be nothing left for she and her son!  But the widow woman obeyed, and stepped out by faith.  I Kings 17:16 tells us, “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.”  When God says He will take care of you, you need not doubt!
     In II Kings chapter 3, we find another faith story, but this time with the prophet Elisha.  This story tells us of three kings who joined armies to fight against Moab.  Verse 9 indicates that the group soon became parched on their journey:  “ . . . and there was no water for the host, and for the cattle that followed them.” The kings then decide together to inquire of Elisha as to what they should do.  In verses 16 and 17, we find the prophet’s reply:

“And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches.  For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.”

     Isn’t that a precious verse?  I love it!  Elisha says, “You’re not going to be able to see it or understand it, but God WILL take care of you.”  I don’t know about each of you ladies, but this is a verse I, myself, need to joyfully cling to this week.

II Kings 3:20 “And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.”

     Not just enough for each man to have a short drink – the country was FILLED with water!  What about groceries for next week? What about money for unpaid bills? You may not be able to see how, but God WILL provide!  Is there something in your own daily life requiring faith at this moment?

Psalm 34:15 “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.”


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