June 23rd, 2022
Our verses for today are part of the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath told in 1 Kings 17. The story is instructive in a number of ways, but perhaps its most important lesson is what it has to say about giving. When the Spirit of God is at work in the world, it pays to support that work.
Elijah was in the midst of his struggle with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Because of their sins and the sins of the people, Elijah had prophesied that there would be a drought. During the drought, the Lord told Elijah to go to Zarephath because He had “commanded a widow there to feed you.” The widow told Elijah that she was about to prepare her last meal and then die, so he assured her with the words of our verses for today.
From the perspective of the world, the widow had it backwards. Instead of supporting Elijah, she should have kept everything for herself and her son. From the perspective of the world, it was outrageous for Elijah to even ask for food from a poor widow. He even had the audacity to ask her to feed him first.
From the Lord God’s perspective, however, giving to the work He is working in the world is the key to survival in desperate times. Indeed, it is the key to prosperity. Proverbs 11:24-25 says, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.
The story of the widow of Zarephath is a story about priorities. What should come first are not our concerns, but the Lord’s concerns. Take to heart what happened to the widow—and then keep an eye out for the opportunities to bless the work of the Lord that come your way.
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