Applications from 1 Kings
If you read the last post, Give up the Certain for the Uncertain, please skip ahead to the application.
In this story Elijah is on his way to meet a widow. He had spoken the word of God to the people and stopped the rain. The people were being punished for serving Baal. God was going to prove to them that He was the only God. After speaking this, God sent Elijah to rest by the brook. His brook has dried up and now God tells him to go and find this
widow who will take care of him. When Elijah finds her he asks her to bring him something to drink. As she goes he asks for something to eat. She tells him that all she has is enough flour and oil to make one last meal for herself and her son then they will starve. Elijah tells her if she will make bread for him first, that God will not
allow the barrel of flour nor the cruse of oil to run out until rain comes. She did what Elijah said and sure enough she didn’t run out. Twice now we are seeing that God’s people have what they need when Baal cannot provide. As the rain ceased Elijah has water and is fed by the brook while the Baal worshipers are in drought. Once the brook dries up God supplies through a helpless widow.
Baal can’t provide because he isn’t real. God will provide.
I like this lady! Did you notice her response to Elijah in v.15? “She went and did…” Elijah told her that God was going to provide and she trusted He would and went forward with what God wanted her to do.
There are two things that come into consideration here: God spoke to this widow before Elijah ever knew her. “I have commanded a widow…to sustain thee.” She wasn’t doing what man told her, she was obeying God. Elijah wasn’t telling her what he wanted her to do. “For thus says the Lord God of Israel…” Elijah was just giving her God’s Word.
All this widow had was an empty barrel… But, she allowed it to be used of God! Elijah went from a dried up brook to an empty barrel, but in both places saw the abundance of the blessings of God!
Allow God to use what you have. “Well, I only have this empty vessel…” Those are really the only ones He can use anyway. Sometimes we get so full of self that God can do little with us. If we will just empty ourselves of everything but Him, He can make a miracle.
John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Pastor Chanc Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN
This blog post was adapted from a sermon preached at Harpeth Baptist Church in the summer of 2012.