Posted by: Jo | March 22, 2013

Trusting God To Provide

“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 dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land’” (1 Kings 17:14)

imageI have always loved telling stories, especially to young children, and as I was an elementary school teacher when I was young, I was able to indulge in this passion to my heart’s content. Later as a Sunday school teacher I had equal satisfaction telling children the wonderful, exciting, true stories found in God’s word. The Old Testament stories held a special fascination for me and as many of them are filled with so much action, I would get quite carried away with my dramatic rendition and was thrilled to often see little faces concentrated on mine waiting for the next word to come out of my mouth. The stories about Elijah and Elisha found in the two books of Kings are some of the most exciting. I was reading 1 Kings recently and thought as I often have before, how much the stories still have to teach us in our modern society. Trusting God to provide is often the theme of the accounts of these two amazing prophets and as I was reading about the severe drought brought about by God (1 Kings, Chapter 17) I was struck by the pertinence these stories have for us today.

Elijah himself was forced to trust that the Lord would provide and during the first part of the drought he lived near a brook and God sent ravens to feed him. Imagine what was running through his mind. Ravens to bring the food! Where would they find food? Could they be trusted to return every day? Could he trust God not to forget about him?

imageThe brook then dries up. Imagine what was running through Elijah’s mind now. Now I am in real trouble. What is going to happen to me? The next part of the story is a shining example of the wonderful way God provides for those who trust him. God sends Elijah to find a widow and when he meets her she is gathering sticks to light a fire and cook a last meal for herself and her son and then prepare to die because her food has run out. He asks her to first make him a small cake before cooking for herself and her son. Imagine what was running through her mind. Imagine what would run through our minds. Elijah tells her to trust that the Lord will keep her oil and flour supply constant until the end of the drought. She takes a giant leap of faith and does exactly what Elijah tells her to do and lo and behold her flour and oil last throughout the drought and she is able to share what the Lord has provided to also feed Elijah.

Trusting that God will provide often takes a leap of faith in our own lives. We may experience times like the widow when everything about the future looks bleak. In those times we are tempted to withdraw into our own fears and worries. We can forget that the Lord we follow is capable of overcoming huge obstacles which may look daunting to us. We forget all the times he has stood by us in the past.

The word “trust” is found all throughout the Bible. It is a general theme of God’s relationship with man and learning to trust him and his laws was a giant step for the children of Israel. Countless times the prophets and Psalmists urged the people to trust their Almighty God.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid…” (Psalm 56:3 – 4)

imageA friend pointed out to me that “trust” is often associated with “obey” and I think the story of the widow illustrates this. She had to in faith and obedience use her last oil and flour to make the cake for Elijah, trusting that God would provide for her and her son. We too may often be asked to take that step of obedience in a situation we are in, trusting that the Lord will provide. The beautiful old hymn sums it up.

Trust and obey, there is no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

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Responses

  1. Thanks, Jo – good words as always. Two things came to mind –
    A discussion about how to enjoy the peace of God usually ends up with “Trust and Obey”.
    I only noticed a few years ago that God told Elijah to go to Zarephath because He had commanded a widow to feed him. It seems she didn’t know God had commanded her until the moment came – we need to be looking for those moments from God.
    God Bless!

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  2. […] Trusting God To Provide (godspeaking.wordpress.com) […]

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  3. BEAUTIFUL WORDS JO ! There is no other way !!!!!!

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