Somewhere in my third year of doing business, I found myself at the end of my rope. With not enough money to pay my employees back then. I went to my room, knelt down with a broken heart and I prayed to God.
I asked Him for help.
I did not turn to my family to borrow money, nor to friends, nor to the bank. Even though these thoughts came to mind, I turned to God first.
Then the phone rang that day. A referral came in from a high school friend.
Turns out the referral was good, the deal closed, we got paid a hefty sum and I was able to pay my employees in full.
I had my quiet time today and even though 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel is in my top 5 list of favorite books in the Bible, I still find myself hoping that the bad things that happened in those books, all the way in the books of Kings would have not happened.
Yet it did. King David slept with Bathsheba, got her pregnant and then murdered her husband, enabling him to legally but not lawfully steal her as his wife.
Solomon married many foreign women. And in all his wisdom and seemingly impenetrable and undefeatable mind, these women were able to steal his heart away from God. It was a downhill ride from there as the prosperity of Israel made the people overconfident in their wrong decisions – worshiping other gods and turning their heart away from God.
So today I was already in the book of 1 Kings. The start of the story of the prophet Elijah.
Just like I was during that time when I had no idea how I was going to be able to pay the salary of my employees, the Widow at Zarephath also did not know how she was going to live on. All she had was a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug.
“Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 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?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
“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.” – 1 Kings 17:7-12
Talk about desperation!
And yet here, was how God told Elijah to respond:
“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. 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.’” – 1 Kings 17:13-14
Wow! How can that happen? An infinite amount of flour in a little jar and an infinite amount of olive oil in a little jug? How long can it last? It’s impossible!
I would be hard-pressed to sacrifice my supposed final meal to a stranger especially if my son was going to eat from that final meal as well. But the widow obeyed.
“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.” – 1 Kings 17:15-16
This entire story reminded me of how faithful God is in providing for us. A lot of people worry about what tomorrow will bring and how much they will lack. But the truth is, God is in control and we need not be anxious about it.
We only need to have faith that God loves us and will take care of us. Then we need to obey and see God’s miracles in our lives.
A little jar and a little jug that will never run out.