Bible Society of South Africa

People are part of God’s plan: One hand washes the other – 27 May 2022

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

14For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The bowl will not run out of flour or the jar run out of oil before the day that I, the LORD, send rain.’ ”

1 Kings 17:14GNBOpen in Bible reader

On the authority of God, his prophet Elijah announced a serious drought in the land. No dew or rain would fall in the land except by his word. Meanwhile, he had to go and hide himself by the brook of Cherith from which he could drink water. Ravens would bring him bread and meat in the morning, as well as in the evening. When the brook eventually dried up, God sent him to dwell in Zarephath. God had already commanded a widow there to supply him with food.

But everything does not always run the course of our human expectations. The little flour and oil left over in the house would only be enough for one last meal for her son and herself. Thereafter, death awaited. And now this man asked for water and demanded that she make him a little cake first. She heard him say, “For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’ ” (1 Kings 17:14,). Now she had to take a leap of faith. Did God not command her to take care of him already? (1 Kings 17:9) She did what Elijah requested. And yes, indeed, as the Lord promised to Elijah, the oil in the jug and flour in the jar were not spent! This widow believed Elijah and trusted God. Dear believer, learn from this: Faith is the small step between promise and certainty.

But then her son became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. Almost immediately, the widow and Elijah were looking for reasons by blame shifting. She wondered: Did Elijah bring God’s judgement to her house? Elijah, a bit reproachful, asked God whether He brought this calamity on them. What a pity that we so easily ascribe calamity to God but choose to take all His blessings for granted. A Must! A given!

Elijah took the boy to the upper room of the house and questioned God on the condition of the boy. He then stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the Lord: “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” (1 Kings17:21, NIV) The Lord heard his prayer! Only then the woman declared that Elijah was a man of God and that the word of the Lord from his mouth was truth! What an undisguised declaration of faith!

Dear readers, when God has done a miracle in our lives, our troubles may not be over. His provision is never given for us to rest upon it. We must stay dependent on him as each new trial faces us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that your presence is like oil in our lives. Thank you for people on life’s path that extend a hand of friendship to us, and to whom we can reach out as well. May the oil of Your love in our lives rub off on others. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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