"But first…"

As was mentioned last Sunday, Elijah’s words to the widow from Zarephath are surprising – even when we read them thousands of years after the actual conversation. This woman is desperate and hopeless, preparing the last meal she and her son will ever eat. Nevertheless, even after she specifically mentions these distressing facts to Elijah, he asks her to bake him some bread – first!

"Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son." - I Kings 17:13

This is only one of many stories God uses to illustrate the powerful truth – "the righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:17). Facts, fears and feelings would have quickly led this widow in a different and disastrous direction. Yet it was her faith that prompted her to do exactly what Elijah had requested.

However, it was not the widow’s faith in Elijah but her faith in the promises of God that made the difference. Here is what Elijah told her:

"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 gives rain on the land.'" - I Kings 17:14

In fact, it was her obedient faith in God’s promises that saved both her life and the life of her son.

For many, today’s climate might seem as desperate and as hopeless as what the widow was feeling. Yet, as God challenged her through Elijah, He challenges us with these similar words from Jesus:

"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." - Matthew 6:31-33

Brentwood Hills
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583