Summary: It was necessary that the widow abandon her last resources by faith before the Living God would assume full responsibility and full control over her situation. The same is true of us. We must surrender all to gain Jesus!
GIVE OF YOUR FLOUR & OIL – OR DIE!
1 Kgs. 17:7-17, 22-24
A. HUMOR: THE FEMINIST
1. A young woman was attending Wellesley College in Maine, a school that is steeped in the feminist movement and agenda.
2. She herself was president of the women’s lib group on the campus. She looked for opportunities to promote her cause. She boarded a crowded bus with no seats left.
3. To her consternation, a nice young man rose to his feet, ostensibly to let her have his seat.
4. She said, “No! You must not give up your seat for me! We women aren’t going to be beholden to you men. We don’t need any special treatment. I insist you keep your seat!”
5. The man, still standing with raised eyebrows, finally replied; “You may insist as much as you like, Lady, but this is my street where I get off!”
6. Sometimes we too get the wrong opinion of people we meet. The passage we’re looking at was a time when that could have happened.
7 Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” 12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. 17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
1. Imagine this dusty, dirty, raggedy prophet who hadn't had a bath in a year and a half! Chapped lips, raven’s feathers in his beard, coming up to you!
2. God has always taken care of His people, actually those who are doing His work. Sometimes He does use unusual methods.
3. So it should not seem far-fetched, when we read our Scripture tonight, how God takes care of Elijah.
4. We’re going to see how God worked in the lives of a widow & a prophet to bring about a miracle.
5. Title “Give of Your Flour & Oil – Or Die!”
I. THE WIDOW
A. A WOMAN DESTINED
1. In reading the Scripture, one gets the idea that this widow just happened to wander out the gate of her city, accidentally, at the right moment. That’s often how spiritual things look.
2. But God said, “I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food” (vs. 9). But she is not even aware of God’s command.
3. Luke 4:25-26. God could have sent Elijah to many widow’s houses, but He chose this one.
4. Who was this woman -- that God Almighty should notice her?
a. She was no Hannah, the godly Jewish woman God heard.
b. She was not a foreigner like Jael who put to death Sisera, one of the Lord’s enemies.