How Much is a Little?

I Kings 17:8 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, 9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.

One of our faults is that we want to judge what God can do by what is before us and not by God. Our times are easily comparable to the times of Elijah. This was during the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, a time of idolatry and backsliding in Israel. It’s just like our world today. The King of Israel wasn’t David or Solomon but a man of wickedness. He was ruthless. At his wife’s influence he brought in the worship of the idol Baal. He kept up the lip service in the temple of God telling people it was okay to worship both. There could be a dual allegiance. We know that’s not true. God raised up the prophet Elijah to send a message to the King. The land would see no rain, not even dew, until the Lord spoke otherwise. Water sustains life and it would dry up. Without air and water it all falls apart. We see everything weather-wise out of balance today. Scientists have all sorts of ideas why but the root cause is sin. When people don’t follow the Lord, he will shut up his blessings. There is a famine of hearing, that is paying attention to the Word of the Lord. What would happen if God did the same thing today? He knows how to bring us to our knees.

It didn’t take long for the people to suffer. Elijah was taken care of through this time. It was by little means. Little is much when God is in it. When the brook where Elijah was staying dried up, God had another plan. A widow was commanded by God to take care of him (although she didn’t realize at this time). Little did she know that by her obedience she would be taken care of too. The woman was out gathering sticks to build a fire. Elijah asked her to bring him a drink. Water was precious in those days. Yet she obeyed what he asked her. God helped her find it. If we will yield ourselves and put forth a little effort, wonder what all we’d find.  God has not stopped blessing his people. As the widow went out to find water for Elijah, he asked her to bring him a morsel of bread as well. That was really asking a lot. She told him all she had was a handful of meal and a dab of oil. She was gathering sticks to make a fire and make two cakes, one for her and one for her son. Then they were going to eat it and die. We’re in a dying world, but we don’t have to die. We don’t have to fall by the wayside even if others do. Elijah told her to make a cake for him first and when she went back she would find something in the barrel and in the cruse. She did it!

Now is not the time to get selfish. Don’t say there is no use to serve the Lord. There is every bit of use in serving him. We don’t have to starve. Give to God first. What this widow gave wasn’t much, but she gave it. She went back to the barrel. She knew she had emptied it, but because the prophet of God told her to go back she did. No matter what it takes, we’ll never run out of God’s resources. His promises are just as viable today as ever. He’ll never fail us. The woman believed and it happened!  There was meal in the barrel and oil in the cruse. 

We expect miracles.  Well, get a big spoon and let God fill it. As long as the drought lasted, this woman had water, meal, and oil.  It never failed. God is true. Little in our eyes? What size is it in God’s eyes? He knows our needs. He cares about them and he can do something about it. He will prevail.  Let’s remain and do what God tells us to do.

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