Widow’s Last Meal

1 Kings 17:10-16 (NIV)

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.

During a time of famine and with very little food supplies left to survive, the widow in Zarephath no longer had any hope.  She was prepared to make her last meal with whatever she had left.  Elijah went over and called her at the town gate and asked her to bring some water and to bring him a piece of bread.  She barely had enough to survive, yet Elijah reassured her and told her not to be afraid and to make him some bread first and then make some bread for herself and her son.  If my children were hungry, usually I would let them eat first.

Elijah was echoing what it says in Matthew 6:33 about seeking the Kingdom first.  He wanted the widow to give to God’s prophet first and then to herself afterwards.  If you give of your time, your resources, and your energy to God first, he will give to you what you need to be sustained on a physical and spiritual level.  It doesn’t sound easy to do, but I do have to commend the widow’s faith that God will provide.  Abraham and Isaac didn’t have a lamb to sacrifice, but God provided.  I needed atonement for my sins through a one-time sacrifice and God provided Jesus in my place.  God asks me to do the same in my sacrificial life to Him.

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