Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 12-17; 2 Chronicles 9:29 – 17:19; Ps. 91, 121
“At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.” These are the words of the Lord to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:13. God showed His strength in this way to King Ahab generations later as He took away all dew and rain for several years. But for Elijah, who was faithful, God provided.
Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land (1 Kings 17:4-7).
So what happens when what God provided is gone? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Have you ever wondered when God’s overflowing provision in your life will end? Perhaps you question what is ahead or whether or not God will provide for you in the future, despite the fact that He is providing for you right now. When the brook God provided Elijah dried up, He faithfully provided another source.
Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring 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 gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die” (1 Kings 17:8-12).
Oh, but Elijah knew His God! He knew that he served the God who provides! God had already told Elijah that He would provide for the widow – that there would ALWAYS be enough! She trusted in Elijah’s words and made bread for him first, and what God promised came true – there was ALWAYS enough!
So what happens when we want more than “enough”? The widow’s son became sick; the son whom she was raising so that he could one day provide for her in her husband’s absence died in her arms. Can you imagine her grief and worry? Elijah took the child and did what most of us would do in this same situation – He asked God “Why?”
Elijah begged God, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” God heard Elijah’s prayer and the life of the boy returned and he revived! The child was placed back in the arms of his mother, who responded, “Now I know for sure…” (1 Kings 17:21-24).
“Now I know for sure.” Maybe that is why God allows events in our life that cause us to ask “why?” Like the widow, we need to know for sure that we serve the God who provides – that we can trust God for all of our tomorrows.
Think of all the times when God has provided generously for you. Stop and speak it out loud. Now think of the ways in which you need God to provide for you again. Are you in a situation where you find yourself asking God why He is allowing something in your life? The answer may be floating in your morning coffee – so that you can KNOW FOR SURE and so others around you can KNOW FOR SURE that you serve a God who provides!
So, next time God provides and then what God provided is taken away from you, what will be your response? Are you willing to let God take you on a journey that leads to the land of “knowing for sure”? Can you trust God that there will ALWAYS be enough?
I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. – Psalm 121, NLT
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him…
If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
The Lord says, “I will rescue those how love me, I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” – Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16