“And she went and did as Elijah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the pitcher of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by Elijah”. (I Kings 17: 15-16).
Here in this passage we have exemplified the fact that receiving God’s blessing and obtaining of food (figuratively, spiritual food) is the result of obedience. The widow of Zarepheth complied with Elijah’s request - “And she went and did as Elijah said” (v.15) and great was her reward for so doing. Are not we oftentimes fearful of the future?; afraid that when our physical strength declines we may be left without the necessities of life? Then let us take comfort that such fears and anxieties are totally groundless and unnecessary. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (the temporal necessities) shall be yours as well” (St. Matt. 6: 33, parenthesis mine). “O fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want” (Psalm 34: 9). “No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84: 11). However you will observe that each of these cheering promises is conditional: our duty is to give God the first place in our lives by avoiding worldliness and fearing, obeying and honouring Him in all things. In return He will provide for all of our daily needs (not always our wants) and necessities; our “jar of meal” will not be “spent” and our “pitcher of oil” will not fail us (cf. Philipp. 4: 19).
Perhaps someone reading this is inclined to respond thus, ‘Such wholesome advice is easier to receive than to act upon. It is simpler to be reminded of God’s promises than to rely upon the same’. Someone else may be disposed to say, ‘Look here old chap you have just no idea how distressing are my circumstances right now, how dark my future seems, how sorely I am tempted and how the Devil is injecting doubts into my mind’. All quite true, yet however desperate your case my be, I would earnestly entreat you to pause and to think upon the widow of Zarephath: it is highly unlikely that your situation is as extreme as hers, and yet she did not perish for want of food. Those who put God first and “strive to enter into life”, will always find Him with them in the end. Things which appear to be acting against us, work together for our good in His wondrous and loving hands. So whatever be your need this day (spititual or physical), dear friend, forget not Elijah’s God and yours.
Warmest good wishes,