Today’s Bible Verse
But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do 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.”1 Kings 17:13 (NLT)
Put Me First
The story of the widow at Zarephath begins in 1 Kings 17:8. The Lord gave Elijah, the prophet, clear instructions to go to the village of Zarephath for The Lord had instructed a widow to feed Elijah. Elijah does as he is instructed. When he meets the widow, he asks her to bring a “bite of bread to eat,” to which the widow responds, “I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house.” As we continue to read the text, we discover that the widow was gathering sticks to make hers and her son’s last meal before they died of starvation.
When I read this story, it seemed all too familiar. How many times have we been in a similar situation? I don’t mean a situation where we are gathering sticks to make our last meal to later die. No, the similar situation I speak of is one where God gives us clear instructions to do something, to take a step in a certain direction, or maybe to be a blessing to someone. God not only gives us direction, but He also confirms it through the man or woman of God He’s placed in our lives.
Elijah and the widow are the two main characters. Both Elijah and the widow received instructions from God. One was told to go to the village (Elijah) and the other (the widow) was told to feed Elijah when he got to the village. Elijah, as a man of God, obeyed God and did as he was told. The widow, on the other hand, looked at her circumstance; she focused on what she saw in the natural—the handful of flour and the “little” cooking oil.
When Elijah asked the widow to make bread for him “first,” it wasn’t because Elijah thought he was better or more important than the widow and her son. It was out of obedience. In return, he knew that a blessing from the Lord would come for the widow and her family. You see, God was sending Elijah as a representative of His. When the widow finally does what is asked of her, we find out that the “handful” of flour and the “little” oil turned into, “There will ALWAYS be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and crops grow again!” (v. 14).
We are living in a time where for some people, scarcity is very real. Last year (2020) around this time, grocery store shelves were empty and toilet paper and hand sanitizer were nowhere to be found. People got laid off, and a year later, the circumstances may still be the same for some while circumstances have improved for others. In either situation, we are not called to look at our current circumstances. It is time to do what is asked of us, to take the next step into what God is calling us to do. When we give our handful of flour and our little oil left in the jar, God will ensure that our flour and oil are always full and won’t run out regardless of pandemics, job layoffs, and everything else in between. He promises us that in hard times, even in famine, they will have more than enough (Psalm 37:19). Today, I urge you to put God first. I don’t know what that looks like for you, but you do. Go ahead and take that step. There are blessings on the other side of your obedience. (Sally Tarin, Word of Life OC)
Change My Story
Don’t allow your current circumstances to stop you from obtaining what God has for you on the other side of your obedience as you submit to the man or woman of God He placed in your life. What is stopping you from taking the next step into what God is calling you to do?
Lord, I thank You for what You’ve done in my life thus far. Regardless of what the current circumstance looks like in my life, I will be obedient to what You have asked of me. Help me to see my leaders as more than “just” a man or woman. I know that You placed my leaders in my life to help guide me in the way I should go.
Today’s Bible Verse
Our Bible Reading Plan gives 25 daily readings per month. There is no scheduled reading for today. You can use this time to catch up on any readings you may have missed, or read through previous passages again.