Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Multiplying Prophets – Share or Die
Elijah’s reputation rivals that of any Biblical prophet. He excelled in spirit and power and as a human received an honor given only to Enoch, the first prophet, to be translated and not see death (Genesis 5:24). Moreover, God honored only Elijah and Moses with their attendance with Jesus at His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13). Today, Jewish people still set a place at the Passover dinner table for Elijah, also leaving the front door open so he might come in and dine upon his return.
During his lifetime, Elijah was more reviled than honored. He predicted, to the outrage of King Ahab, a severe drought lasting years (1 Kings 17:1), bringing great hardship to the land along with threats from Ahab. God protected Elijah by sending him to the wilderness and caring for him miraculously, with ravens feeding him. When the desert brook dried up, God made further provision, sending Elijah out of the land of Israel to Zarephath, a town near Sidon. God had commanded a poor widow woman, a pagan Gentile no less, to supply Elijah with food. This choice seemed almost as bizarre as the ravens.
God’s ways are not our ways. He receives glory by using the weak and foolish things of the world along with society’s outcasts. Thus, God chose not to send Elijah to a rich merchant, king, or any man; rather, He sent him to a destitute and desolate woman. This flew in the face of the prevailing cultures on both sides. Not surprisingly, when Elijah arrived and requested a piece of bread, the widow told him she had enough provision to make a meal for her son and herself, which they would eat and die!
This response did not faze Elijah because he knew God was on his side. Boldly, impertinently, and as a guest, he told the woman to make him a meal first, before she and her son would eat. Many a host would have been insulted at such a brazen request, especially a Sidonian because they despised Jews as much as the Samaritans did. It is true that Elijah had mentioned the God of Israel, but what is that to a pagan?
It is only through God’s grace and intervention that this story continues. God imparted a willingness for her to help, even a Jew. Perhaps she was like Rahab, who had heard of the miracles of Jehovah (Joshua 2:8-11). But what assurance did she have that this stranger indeed represented the true God of Israel? She must have wondered whether he were just a hungry imposter impersonating a prophet of the I AM God.
Moreover, why should she serve Elijah first? Doesn’t family come first in times of need? Charity begins at home, and risking the welfare of a stranger must have seemed reckless. Any hungry vagrant would feel free to impose on her to fill his belly; why should she trust this man who appeared suddenly? Thus, another miracle in this story seems to be her trust in God and a man claiming to be His prophet.
This woman of great faith did as Elijah commanded. Has one found in Israel a woman such as this? Taking the prophet at his word, she complied and, instead of losing by her actions, she was repaid with extravagant interest. Firstfruits are given first to God, in this case His prophet, but then multiplied many fold.
Until God sent rain on the land, the barrel of meal never emptied, nor did the cruse of oil run dry. As she took from them, they were replenished by divine power. Never did corn or olive oil increase in the field by growing as they did by such human use. The meal and the oil multiplied not in the hoarding, but in the consumption. When God blesses a little, it will go a great way, even beyond expectation or belief. In doing so, God sustained not only this woman and her son, but His loyal prophet as well.
This vulnerable widow woman was blessed by listening to and believing the words of God’s prophet Elijah. God is willing to multiply our meagerness if we trust Him and give to Him first. What precious item will you risk using for God so you can see Him bless and replenish you miraculously?
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
© Copyright 2015, I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries, All rights reserved
Paperback versions of the book “I’m Normal. I AM” are available through AuthorHouse Publishers at http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=38944
Are You Normal? What’s Normal about You? To find out, visit our website at http://www.imnormal.com