Summary: In many cultures widows are never considered as strong, successful and influential women but God gives great honour to many widows in The Bible as they teach all humanity the deeper lessons of life by their simple acts of faith in God Almighty.
** INTRODUCTION **
The bible has many stories about widows:
The widows oil of Zarephath - 1 kings 17:1-24
The widows offering – Mark 12:41-44
The widow of Nain - Luke 7:11-17 Jesus raises a widow’s son.
Not sure why these ladies names were not given. But some were given the names of their village. Just like some of the Punjabi music Bhangra artists. Even some Punjabi pastors are known by their village. Pastor Khojewala.
Could it be that what these widows DID was much more important than their NAME and that's why their names were not given. Often we remember people in the bible by what they did. I.e.: the Samaritan woman at the well.
** MAIN **
Here’s a commentary about Mrs Oil you can you can read about her in 1 Kings 17 the story Elijah and the widows oil.
(Read 1 Kings 17:1-24)
King Ahab sinned against God more than all his predecessors and then had married Jezebel and he worshiped Baal.
God stopped the rain in the land and told the prophet Elijah to move away from king Ahab and that place and to go to a solitary hiding place. Here God commanded the brook to give him water and the Ravens to bring him food.
So God stopped his provision (water) in one place and gave it in the new place. God didn't send Elijah to a 5 star hotel with a huge entourage / team of people. God sent Elijah to a solitary place where he could not be disturbed, it would be just Elijah and God. So that Elijah could hear from God. God even provided the food.
We don't need to be with the rich or famous or the ungodly to fulfil our needs. God can use the basic simple things right in front of you to provide for you.
When it was time for Elijah to move on to his next assignment, the brook dried up. Here we see that God was guiding Elijah. God provided the brook and now he dried it up because he no longer needed it.
Could it be that some things in your life have come to an end because God is moving you onto the next task.
By this time there was famine in the land because God had stopped the rain. God sent Elijah to help Mrs Oil who was thinking of committing suicide.
When God gives us a job to do, it's always to help someone else. It's not about looking after me me me... like building bigger barns or a bigger bank account. But it's all about helping others. Life and especially living for Jesus isn't about what I can get but what can I give.
Elijah asked Mrs Oil for some bread and water. He asked her to give him what she had prepared as her very last meal.
Before you give in and say that's it I'm finished, give everything to God. Give God a chance to show himself strong to you. God is saying I'm here give all your situation over to me. Think about the things you are worried about and ask yourself, have you given it over to God?
Elijah said in verses 13 to 14
“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. 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.’”
First make a small loaf for me... honour God with: your first fruits; your young years; the first part of the day.
Matthew 6:33 “Seek first Gods kingdom and his righteousness and it will be given to you.”
God was basically saying to the widow, that until the famine stops I will keep on providing for you supernaturally. You too can rest assured that while the situation is out of your hand, God will take care of the situation. God will not give us more than we can handle. He knows what we can handle.
If you have experienced losing something precious for example, when a loved one passes away, losing someone precious is more than we can handle so God steps in and picks us up and carries us through the hardest times of our grief. Even so God will carry you through other difficulties that are out of your control.
Going back to our story we can say that it just took simple obedience to God, God said it, Mrs oil did it, and then the miracle was done.
You don't need a PhD or a degree in RE or doctrine to know God and receive his goodness. Some of the older generation born before 1950’s were not privileged to be educated and sometimes think that their knowledge of God is restricted because they can’t read the Bible. Unfortunately a lot of society think that the more educated and more religious experienced people are closer to God. However this isn’t Gods way of thinking.