“Go and live in the village of Zarephath, [said the LORD], near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.” So he went to Zarephath. 

As Elijah arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.” But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” 

But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!” So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.”

1 Kings 17:9-16

God reminded me of this story recently and I felt like I needed to share this as an encouragement and word from God. This is a bit long of a passage, but basically it is explaining that Elijah went to the village of Zarephath because God instructed him and promised that He would feed Elijah there through a widow. What is interesting is that this is outside of Israel, as Jesus points out in Luke 4. That means that God led Elijah out of his comfort zone and out of his own country to go somewhere new, in order to receive what God wanted to give him. This is a side note: but I wonder how many times God directs us into the unknown and new where He has provision for us and we don’t take it out of fear of discomfort?

But going back to this story, there are two main characters in this story, the widow and Elijah. I think Elijah’s part is important to us because of his specific obedience and trust in God to provide for him and fed him wherever he is led. That is a huge step of obedience to travel outside of Israel, to see a widow nonetheless! Widows were not known for having an excess and would not be a typical candidate to go and receive extra food from, wouldn’t a well off family or some type of royalty make more sense? But God chose to provide through the widow—I wonder if it’s because He saw her heart and her obedience. It is important for us to always trust where the Lord is leading us and to the right people. Going to the right people in the right timing is essential. 

The widow’s part is equally important because of where God meets her at and what God chooses to do. She literally had lost the hope to continue living and was planning her own funeral. But when encountered by a man of God, she was obedient and willing to give her very last to him. Just like the widow with the two mites in Luke 21 that Jesus’ applauds, this widow is equally honored by God for choosing to give her last. It is that level of sacrifice and generosity that moves the heart of the Father, and when we learn that type of generosity, that is when the miracles and blessings of Heaven pour out!

But I believe the most important part of this passage that I want to release as a prophetic word to anyone reading this right now is what the Lord promised to the widow through Elijah—“there will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!” While the times we are living in might feel like a famine of sorts, where the economy is down and tensions are high, I want to release what I believe to be a word from God: that there will always be provision available for you in these times! It might not make sense where the provision is coming from and it might look miraculous at times, but this is God’s declaration to his people right now. There will be times of rain, times of growth and plenty, but take heart, because even now, there is always plenty in the household of the Lord!

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