Sunday, August 10, 2008

P.S. to "Sowing, not Giving" Post

Just another thought on the matter that ocurred to me while doing my devotions.

"And the word of the Lord came unto [Elijah], saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there; behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee." (I Kings 17: 8&9)

God's leading is not always clear to us. Many times we are confused, or discouraged because we can't see what comes next. Think about Elijah here. I know some of the reality of this Bible passage is lost simply because we weren't there for it, but close your eyes and imagine being in Elijah's place. Elijah had to be supernaturally fed by ravens to survive, because of the drought at the brook of Cherith that Elijah had prophesied, no less. Instead of supernaturally providing water, God told Elijah to move a village in Zidon to stay with a widow.. a poor widow at that!

Remember Zidon? Zidon was the home of that infamous Queen Jezebel, Elijah's enemy at the time. He had to abide in her territory, and he had to so humble himself as to request that the poor widow would share what they both thought was her last meal. She, a stranger whom he had never met! Not only did he not know her, but she didn't know him, and had no way to confirm that he was indeed the prophet of God. What a strange way for God to deal with His servant!

Of course, we know the rest of the story, but Elijah and the poor widow didn't at the time, and had to act in faith and obey God. Can you imagine that scenario today?

God says "Give the last of the food in your house to God's man."

"What? You have got to be kidding. I already give as much as I can. He is YOUR man, after all. Didn't you hear what he said in his sermon last week? I didn't like his tone at all. Besides, he is better off than I am, at least it seems so." And on and on ad nauseum.

You also know that AFTER the widow obeyed, God permormed an amazing daily miracle of continuing to CREATE oil and meal for the widow, for as long as the drought lasted. She didn't know the Lord would do that. He never said "If you obey me, I'll provide for you." Elijah didn't know either. They both thought that meal would be the last. They were willing to obey to the point of starving.

It is easy to say "well, I would have done that if I lived in those times." If you won't trust Him now, you wouldn't have then either. Obeying God now, in your life today, can be just as exciting and just as rewarding.

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