A LITTLE CAKE FIRST
I Kings 17:8-16 "And the word of the LORD came
to him, saying, Arise, go Zarephath, which belongs to
Sidon, and dwell there: See, I have commanded a widow there
to provide for you. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came
to the gate of the city, indeed, a widow was there gathering
sticks. And he called to her, and said, Please bring me a
little water in a cup, that I may drink. And as she was going to
get it, he called to her, and said, Please bring me a
morsel of bread in your hand. So she said, As the LORD your God lives, I
do not bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a
little oil in a jar: and, see, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that
I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and
die. And Elijah said unto her, Do not fear; go and do as you have
said: but make me a small cake first from it, and bring it to me,
and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God
of Israel, The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the
jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain upon the
earth. And so she went away and did according to the word of Elijah: and
she, and he, and her household, ate for many days. And the bin of
flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the
word of the LORD, which he spoke by Elijah."
Before the great famine that came to Israel, Ahab
and Jezebel sat as king and queen. Elijah was unknown and
unrecorded. After this famine, Elijah would be remembered as the
greatest preaching prophet of all history. Though man(kind) tends to
record events that are great in the realm of manís senses, Godís
history majors on great decisions made in the hearts of men and
This Was A Chastisement For The Sins of Godís
I cannot speak with authority as to why famines
and other disasters come upon unsaved people, but God has declared
that famines are one of the form He uses for chastening HIS people.
(Deuteronomy 28:23-24, II Chronicles 7:13-14). In this particular
case it was idolatry engineered by Jezebel. (I Kings 16:30-33).
Godís response to Israelís sin was for Elijah to appear suddenly
before King Ahab and proclaim, "As the Lord God of Israel lives
before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years,
but according to my word."
The Righteous Remnant
AND THE WICKED Passed Through The Famine
They did not have little tracts of ground
selectively rained on so they could set in abundance while the
wicked suffered from hunger and thirst. In fact, they had the added
burden of being under threat of death from Jezebel.
God Did Protect and Provide for His People.
Seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal
at the beginning of the famine were still there at the end. One
hundred prophets of God were hidden in two different caves and fed
with food right off Ahab and Jezebelís table.
( Undoubtedly, Obadiah volunteered to carry out
the garbage.) Elijah was cared for at the brook Cherith and later by
a widow of Sidon. There was not just one miracle. There were seven
thousand, one hundred and one miracles twice a day for three and one
half years. In Psalm 37:23-25, David observed that God takes care of
THE UNLIKELY BENEFACTOR - THE WIDOW
Elijahís stream dried up and God sent him to a
gentile widow of Zarephath, a most unlikely choice by human
She Was A Gentile and a Phoenician
Surely there were godly Israelite women who would
have been honored to take care of Godís prophet. (It was for
alluding to this woman and Naaman that the people of Nazareth tried
to throw Jesus down off a precipice to His death).
She was also a citizen of the very country from
which Jezebel had come. She probably didnít have the "True
She Was A Widow And In Abject Poverty
Usually only men were allowed to make an
honorable living. There was one sparse meal between her and death by
starvation. Surely God would not expect a woman of such a meager
means to help Godís servant, yet she was the one God chose.
THE WIDOWíS FAITH
She Acknowledged That Elijahís God Was The Living
God (verse 12) and She Was Receptive To Godís Voice
God had told Elijah "Öbehold, I have commanded
a widow woman there to provide for youÖ" We are not told how God
commanded her, but the scriptures reveal that God speaks through
godly parents; through preaching and teaching; through literature;
through providence; through dissatisfaction with the world.
She Believed The Word of The Lord, Obeyed Him and
She put faith in Godís Word above human
reasoning. There was never two hands full of mean, Öjust one.
Her faith to make the man of God a little cake first was tested
every meal. The ultimate purpose of God in sparing her was not just
so that she and her son might live, but that she might take care of
the man God chose to bring revival to His people.
She Had To Make The Little Cake For The Man of
God Before She Got The Miraculous Multiplication.
PRINCIPLES OF THE INEXHAUSTIBLE BARREL
God Has Chosen That The Support Of His Work Comes
From Those Who Profess Faith In Him.
The support of Godís work from our resources, no
matter how meager, sanctifies our labor. It makes holy work out of
the assembly line, the business office, the sales counter or the
tractor seat. It links our cottage with the heavenly mansion and our
city with the heavenly Jerusalem and the present world with the New
Heavens and the New Earth.
God Conquers Our Fallen Carnal Nature
Our greed and covetousness He transform and
changes our get nature to a give nature so that we are
more like Him.
God Gives Everyone the Privilege of Supporting
This widow and the woman who gave two mites
proves that God receives special delight from the giving of the
poor. God has His rich , like Joseph of Arimathaea, but He never
provides so many rich folks that the support of the poor is not
What God Receives From Us He Returns Many Fold
How many times this widowís gift was multiplied
of the 3 Ĺ years. God intends for His continual supply to include
the continual support of His work.
God Has Special, Miraculous Blessings for
This widow had her son raised from the dead. God
doesnít perform miracles for everyone. This woman is a type of those
for whom He does.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted