During the time of the book of Kings, God allowed man to reign over his people. If we go back to the book of Samuel, we can recall that the Israelites wanted to be like the other nations and have a man rule over them. God was grieved, but gave the people what they wanted. So, the reign commenced with King Saul.
We can, also, see how God always has a back door of opportunity that we can always go through. He gave the people what they wanted, but there were those who were brought up to be groomed as prophets. Elijah, his name meaningYahweh is my God, is introduced during Ahab’s reign in I Kings 17.
I Kings 16:33 (AMP)
And Ahab made an Asherah [idolatrous symbol of the goddess Asherah]. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel before him.
Ahab was an evil king and he married a very wicked woman, Jezebel. Jezebel came to Israel not only as a princess, but she was also a priestess of Baal.
Baal was the local nature deity responsible for rain, thunder, lightning, and dew. Elijah not only challenges Baal on behalf of the God of Israel, he challenges Jezebel, her priests, Ahab, and the people of Israel.
Here is the introduction of the prophet Elijah. No one knows him and he is asked by God to go directly to the king. He gives him a word from the Lord.
I Kings 17:1 (AMP)
ELIJAH THE Tishbite, of the temporary residents of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years but according to My word.
King Ahab probably shook his head saying, “Who is this character? The god Baal is in control of the weather.”
This is how God works. He doesn’t rise up the known people in this world. He brings up the unknown people and if we’re willing, He’ll raise us up to do the wonders of this world for Him.
God knew that Elijah would be in danger if he stayed there. God sends Elijah away for awhile and hides him, provides shelter, food, and drink.
I Kings 17:5-6 (AMP)
5So he did according to the word of the Lord; he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan. 6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook.
Elijah had to trust in the steps the Lord was taking him through. He didn’t reveal everything at once; He led Elijah step by step. He even used an unclean animal, the raven, to accomplish the deliverance of the food twice a day.
Mark 10:15 (AMP)
Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] positively shall not enter it at all.
Whatever the Lord tells us to do, we need to do it even if it seems below us. Sometimes we don’t accomplish what God has asked from us because we’re too busy worrying about what others may think. If Elijah would’ve worried that the ravens were an unclean animal and would dirty up the food as they were delivered, well, he probably would have starved. Instead, he trusted and had faith in the Lord.
When the brook dried up, the Word came again to Elijah and he obediently obeyed His command. The Lord asked him to go to a certain place for a widow to provide food and shelter for him.
The brook dried up… Elijah prophesied that there would be no rain and he wasn’t exempt from it. The whole land would dry up, but we see God giving Elijah the provision. In our economy, we see people losing jobs, food prices rising, and everything around us increasing as our pockets are decreasing. But as Elijah, if we stay faithful to the Lord, He will bring us to the brook and lead us into other provisions that only He can open.
Elijah arose and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the city, there was a widow gathering sticks. He called to her asking for a little water to drink. As she was going to get the water, he asked for a morsel of bread. She explained to him that she was gathering sticks to start cooking her last meal for her and her son, and then die.
I Kings 17:12 (AMP)
And she said, As the Lord your God lives, I have not a loaf baked but only a handful of meal in the jar and a little oil in the bottle…
You have a widow who has no one taking care of her and has a son that she has to provide for; she’s in a tough situation. She has to choose to obey Elijah or heed to her instinct. We know what decision she makes because God sends Elijah to her. When God says something, it will come to pass. Elijah doesn’t lose faith that he was mistaken. He knows what God said and so he persists. God prepared her heart without her even acknowledging it until the proper time.
I Kings 17:13-14 (AMP)
13Elijah said to her, Fear not; go and do as you have said. But make me a little cake of [it] first and bring it to me, and afterward prepare some for yourself and your son. 14For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: The jar of meal shall not waste away or the bottle of oil fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.
Elijah is using the same concept the Lord tells us. Make the Lord first in your life and everything else will come after. By doing this, the provision will come. He promises her that she will have enough until the Lord sends rain again.
She proceeds to bake the cake and serves him first, then her household. The land was without rain for three and a half years. Just as God rained manna for the Israelites, He provided for the widow and her son during that whole time.
I Kings 17:15-16 (AMP)
15She did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of meal was not spent nor did the bottle of oil fail, according to the Word which the Lord spoke through Elijah.
A couple of weeks ago, I gave a brief testimony in regards to trusting the Lord. Two Saturdays ago, the Lord gave me another lesson on trust. I was driving into Boston to meet up with my sisters in Christ. As I was driving off the ramp, the GPS was telling me to take a left. But I knew that I had to turn right. Usually, when I know I’m correct, I don’t listen to the GPS. But for some reason, I was led to listen. I moved to the left lane and waited for the light. As I was waiting, a homeless man with a signage that says, “I’m homeless and hungry”, was walking up the ramp. When all of a sudden the Holy Spirit nudged me and said, “Give him a banana.” I didn’t flinch or asked questions. I just grabbed the bag that I had in the passenger side, which, by the way, I usually have my breakfast item in the back seat. I opened my window and gave him the banana. His gratefulness was amazing that I think if I was standing in front of him, he would have given me a hug. The light turned green and I moved on. There were other vehicles around me and no one beeped at me to hurry along. It was a surreal moment. His reaction caught me by such a surprise that I started to get sentimental and thanked the Lord for the opportunity of serving someone today.
I took the left turn, went around the rotary and went back to the set of lights and proceeded on my journey. I started to laugh because I knew that I had to take the right turn but the Lord had an appointed moment for me. I arrived at my destination and, as always, the Lord blessed me with a parking spot near the entrance.
In this lesson, the Lord told me, “See how you can trust Me in the little things, that’s how you need to trust Me in the big things.” I listened to Him when He wanted me to give the banana and I trusted that He would have a parking space available for me when I arrived in Boston.
Whatever the Lord is asking us to trust Him with, let’s do it gladly and ungrudgingly. Our first line of defense against the enemy is obedience.
John 6:35 (AMP)
Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time).