1st Kings 17 records a time when God sent his prophet Elijah to a Gentile woman of Sidon on the coast of Phoenicia. She was a widow, but God told Elijah that he was sending him to her so that she could provide for him and hide out from wicked king Ahab (18:10).
Odd, wouldn’t you think? God had stopped the rain so as to bring a famine on the land (18:2) but sends his prophet to be cared for by a widow, and a poor one at that. Even as Elijah finds her, she is preparing for the last meal she believed she and her son would eat before they died.
Elijah asked her for a drink of water and a piece of bread. After seeming to apologize for her inability to fulfill his request, she hears the prophet’s promise,
“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. 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.’”
In believing God’s promise and heeding the words of the man of God, she found that indeed, neither flour nor oil was lacking in her kitchen until God provided otherwise.
Who would have imagined that this would happen to her? But for the God who spoke the universe into existence, a little flour and oil is no problem.
What flour & oil are you lacking as you read this? Anything? As Abraham had centuries before this time called the name of the place where God provided a ram to sacrifice in the place of Isaac “The Lord Provides”, this woman could now give that same name to her little hearth. To what could you give the same name?
As Jeremiah would write even after God sent the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end” (Lamentations, so the love and mercy of God are constantly available for you and me.)
Trust in God. He alone, is the author of good that never ends. His faithfulness guarantees it.