Still Humiliated (Lent 30-2014)

Do you ever feel alone in this world?  Like everything is stacked against you?  Elijah had just royally ticked off King Ahab and his wife—the evil Queen Jezebel—by predicting a drought that would last for years. 

SGL 30 2014Where are you Elijah fed by ravensGo hide, God says.


1 Kings 17:1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” 2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.

How humiliating.  Running for cover.  Drinking from a brook that was about to dry up.  Being fed meat and bread by ravens. (Yikes! You didn’t know where they’d been or where they got the meat and bread from—ugh!) But God told them to feed you, so there you go.  Being fed by ravens.  Then God adds insult to injury from a human perspective:

1 Kings 17:8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” 12 “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread– only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it– and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 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 run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'” 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

Yes, God was faithful!  Yet, the way He did it must have felt like a huge humiliation.  Elijah, in all your manliness, you will be fed by a woman.  Not just any woman!  The low social class of a poor widow with no means of providing for herself and on the edge of starvation.  Not just any widow.  No!  This widow was from Zarephath.  The heart of pagan territory…a Gentile city of Sidon…and right under Jezebel’s nose.  However, God chose a widow who would show great faith.  She believed that Elijah was a man of God and she acted accordingly.  Therefore, God blessed all of them every day with food in keeping with God’s faithfulness and goodness.

Be Still.  When I call you to the brook and send you to time alone in the secret place, it’s because I AM prepared to provide for you there.  You need time to Be Still in order to be useful.

Be Still.  When I call you to exercise faith by obedience, even in humiliating things, I AM prepared to sustain you and to give life to you.

Be Still and Know that I AM God.  John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Be Still and Know that I AM God.  John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Questions for reflection:

  1.  Read 1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” Jezebel and Ahab were the so-called strong.  Who were the weak things in 1 Kings 17 whom God used to show that His wisdom is greater?
  2. There were probably all kinds of widows in Israel.  Consider that King Ahab was the Israelite king at the time.  His wife Jezebel, born a Phoenician princess, was queen over Israel.  Together they were political strong and worshipped false gods.  Therefore, what might be some reasons God chose to send Elijah to a widow outside the community of Israel?
  3. Jezebel has become an archetype of the evil woman.  Why is it helpful, therefore, that God chose to keep Elijah alive by the faith of a woman?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 8, 2014

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