Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 10, 2015

“He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body … for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Kings 17:1-16.

“1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”  2 The word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3 “Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.  4 It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.”  5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.  6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.  7 It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there;  behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”  10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks;  and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.”  11 As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.”  12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar;  and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.”  13 Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear;  go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son.  14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’”  15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.”    1 Kings 17:1-16.

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If we believe that God is both Almighty and our Faithful Father, then we will believe that God can provide for us, no matter how hopeless our situation seems to us to be (because He is Almighty) and will faithfully provide all that we need (because He is our Faithful Father).

The Heidelberg Catechism exhorts us to not meaninglessly repeat the Apostle’s Creed without believing the meaning behind its words.

Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.

In addition to this major lesson, we can glean two minor lessons from today’s Scripture.

First, just because God helps us through one trial does not mean that there will be no more trials.  We first saw that God delivered Elijah from a drought through a miraculous provision of ravens at Cherith brook.  However, the brook dried up.  Then, God delivered Elijah through he miraculous provision of a widow and her handful of flour and a little oil in the jar.

We cannot determine or know how many trials we will face or how God will deliver us.  Too often, I set my hope on having no more trials.

After God’s financial delivery of me, I tend to think that I will face no more financial trials.  But I become faced with another financial trial.  I cannot depend on having life without troubles.  I can only depend on an Almighty God and Faithful Father Who delivers me out of all my troubles.

“The righteous cry and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous;  But the LORD delivers him out of them all.  Psalm 34: 17-19 (Emphasis added).

Second, God helps us often through humble and unexpected means.  God fed Elijah through the mouths of ravens.  God fed Elijah from a widow’s bowl who thought she did not have enough for herself and her son.  Too often, I set my hope on receiving a check in the mail.  Very often, God uses other and often humble and unexpected means to deliver me, time and time again.

For example, I remember being hungry without money and being called to visit my Pastor to do something for him.  In my heart, I grumbled at having to do this service while I felt the LORD left me hanging financially.  When I walked into the fellowship hall to meet the Pastor, I was surprised to see the ladies of the church were having a luncheon.  They invited me to sit down and eat.  Each lady seem to want to please me and show off her own food as each put her own food in front of me to eat.  I felt that I was at a loving and lavish banquet.


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