September 3 – A Poor Widow and Elijah – 1 Kings 17
Today, we read about a woman placing the priority of God’s man and God’s mission above her own needs. She is nameless to us, but well known in heaven. She was a widow, single mother, and in a harsh drought. Elijah comes into the city, and right up to her. He asks her for a drink which was a precious commodity of itself during a drought. As she turns to retrieve the valued liquid, Elijah asks for some bread as well. The widow’s reply reveals her hopeless situation. She explains that she was on her way to gather sticks for a fire to cook one last pancake for her and her son to share. Once they ate this, they were going to die as they had nothing more to eat. Elijah still asked to be served first. She obeys out of faith. Miraculously, the flour and oil replenish themselves for many days as Elijah had promised. When we place God’s priorities above our priorities, we create an atmosphere for miracles from God to materialize. If she would have eaten her last ingredients and apologized to Elijah for not having enough to feed him; not only would the widow missed seeing a continual miracle, but her and her son would have died.
The widow acted on faith that still contained a shadow of doubt. It was not until verse 24 that she knew in her heart that Elijah was truly a man of God, yet she still risked everything in verse 15. Faith is wholeheartedly acting out in the face of doubt and fear. Faith has never been characterized by a condition of the heart without action. You cannot have faith in Jesus Christ without an action. Even the thief on the cross acted on his faith in Jesus Christ by boldly speaking out. Many “silent” or “sleeper” Christians that claim to have faith in Jesus Christ will be turned away from Heavens Gate due to a false faith in Christ. This widow did not understand how the flour and oil would replenish themselves, but she acted on her faith in spite of the unanswered doubts in the back of her mind. Let me encourage you today: if you have never truly placed your faith in Jesus Christ, do it now; if you are not obeying God’s commands in the face of fear or doubt, step out in faith and do what the Bible instructs us to do. God uses an unnamed widow woman to teach us a valuable lesson. In what area do you need to step out in faith?