Summary: there is hope when we make up our minds to serve God in uncertain times!
I Kings17:1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."
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I Kings 17:10 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 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 cake 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 gives rain on the land.’"
This morning I want to speak to you about serving God in the uncertain times.
The story is told of a man who was walking across the road when he was hit by a car. The impact knocked him on his head which caused him to be in a coma for a couple of days before he finally regained consciousness. When he opened his eyes, his loving wife was there beside his bed holding his hand.
He said, "You know, Judy, you’ve always been right by my side. When I was a struggling college student, I failed again and again. But you were always there with me, encouraging me to go on trying."
He said, "And when I got out of school and went for all of my interviews and failed to get any of the jobs, you stayed right there with me, cutting out more classifieds for me to check on..."
“Then I started work at this little firm and finally got the chance to handle a big contract. But I blew it because of one little mistake, and yet you were there beside me all the way. Then I finally got another job after being laid off for sometime. But I never seemed to be promoted and my hard work was never recognized. And so, I remained in the same position from the day I joined the company until now... And, through it all, you were right there by my side."
Her eyes are starting to fill with tears as she listens. He says, "And now I’ve been in this accident and when I woke up, you’re the first person I see. There’s something I’ll really like to say to you...."
He said, "Judy, I think you’re just plain bad luck!"
God places us in specific places for specific moments in time.
Sometimes those places are great & those moments are great.
God placed me to work at the hitching post while a young girl named Candie worked there.
God placed you & me in a place where we heard the gospel & we made the decision to live for him.
Thank the Lord when he places us in desirable places during desirable times!
But what do we do when God decides to place us in a place where the timing is questionable & uncertain.
I believe it is no accident that you are here at this place for this time!
• I felt within my heart that God challenged me to look at the life of the Elijah.
• If you understand the life of the Elijah you realize that he was called to ministry during a very difficult period of time.
• The king & Queen that reigned during that time were the most ruthless rulers in all of Israel’s history.
• Ahab & Jezebel where devout baal worshipers.
• God called Elijah to proclaim to the king & Queen and all the people of Israel that there is going to be a drought where there’s going to be no dew or rain for several years.
• This was it difficult task for Elijah because he not only had to proclaim this terrible message to all the people but he also had to live during this tough time.
• God told Elijah to turn eastward & hide by a brook in kerith.