We’re in the middle of a series called Cooking Stories in the Bible. These stories are handpicked to stir your soul. It’s the time of year where it’s cold outside and it’s warm inside, and we’re all just kind of drawn to the kitchen, aren’t we? Today we’re gonna return to First Kings chapter 17 and reunite with our friend Elijah the prophet.
What’s better than fresh bread when a friend bakes you a loaf of fresh bread? My friend Donna baked me a beautiful loaf of bread the other day, and boy was it delicious. Hi, I’m Erica. Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. We’re in the middle of a series called Cooking Stories in the Bible. These stories are handpicked to stir your soul. It’s the time of year where it’s cold outside and it’s warm inside, and we’re all just kind of drawn to the kitchen, aren’t we? My husband and I have been toasting up Donna’s bread and he’s been putting butter on it. I’ve just been eating it without, It’s absolutely wonderful. But hopefully these stories will fill your heart as fresh bread fills your tummy because they are chalk full of faith.
Today we’re gonna return to First Kings chapter 17 and reunite with our friend Elijah the prophet. What do you say? Last time we heard a story about how the Lord instructed Elijah to go plant himself next to a brook and to be fed by the ravens. Today, the Lord has another mission for his prophet. Here we go. We’re gonna pick it up in verse eight. “Then the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.’ So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, ‘Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?’ As she was going to get it, he called to her, ‘Bring me a bite of bread too.’ But she said, ‘I swear by the Lord your God, that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook the last meal, and then my son and I will die.'”
So Elijah is sent into these dire circumstances. Watch and see what happens. “But Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid. Go ahead and do what you’ve said, just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord the God of Israel says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again.’ So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days.” Here comes our takeaway verse, verse 16. “There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.”
Such a touching story to me because it shows the depth of the Lord’s love for Elijah. He was providing for him once again. First, he used ravens, like we read about last time. The second time he’s using a widow, he’s tapping a widow who’s lost all hope. Can you imagine preparing a final dinner, a final meal for you and your child, and then knowing that the two of you were gonna die? I mean, I can’t even imagine such dire circumstances. But the Lord wanted to provide for that widow and her son. All she had was a handful of flour and God used it. I don’t know where you are today in your life. I don’t know if you are just scraping the barrel, the bottom of the barrel of the flour of patience and grace. Maybe you’re just feeling done. If all you have is a handful left of hope, if all you have is a handful left of faith, put it in the hands of the Lord and see what he will do. He wants to provide for you, not just so that you can eat, but so that you can have hope. Our God is the God of hope.
Let me pray for you right now in case this is you. Father, we just come to you right now, my friend and I, Lord. Some of us are, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel of hope, but you’re the God of hope and you can refill us right now. Would you refill my friend’s heart, would you fill my friend’s heart with so much hope that there’s overflow? May my friend sense your love in a new way today as if your arms are wrapped around him or her, because I know your arms are. Thank you, Jesus. It’s in your name we pray, amen. There is always hope and you are always loved.
Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at onpurposely.com.