Thursday, April 14, 2011

Flour Power

Do you ever wonder if God knows what you are going through? Do you ever wonder if He has any interest in you and your situation? You are one in a world population that is approaching 7 billion people. That's a lot of people and a lot of hairs to keep numbered! Could you name 100 people that you know? Could you tell me what is going on in the lives of 50 of your "close" friends? Do you ever wonder when someone says "I'm praying for you." if they really do? Or do you wonder if God is too busy to even hear their prayers. God has a lot going on in the world and a lot of people to keep up with! As I was reading last week I came across a passage that got me thinking about something. Take a look at the passage:
I Kings 17: 7-14 - 7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 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.’”
These verses give us a small snapshot in the story of Elijah. Elijah was unique among the Old Testament prophets. He was the first that we know of who raised a dead person back to life, he called fire down from heaven and consumed a water soaked bull before a group of Baal worshipers and he was taken to heaven in a whirlwind without actually dying, among many other things. Read the rest of I Kings and the first few chapters of II Kings if you want to see what else he did.

But before all of this Elijah listened to God and prayed that it would not rain, God held back the rain for three and a half years according to James 5: 17, 18. In the passage above, verse 7 says "Some time later.." This was after Elijah was hiding out having his meals delivered to him by the ravens. How long was "Some time later"? I'm not sure maybe six months, maybe a year, maybe two years. But at some point Elijah left the brook and went to a widows home and asks for something to eat. You can see the dialog above. The point I want to make is that for a certain amount of time, maybe a year, maybe two years or maybe even three years God had to "remember" to fill this lady's flour and oil containers. In the midst of everything else that was going on in the world He remembers to fill these vessels. In the midst of wars, births, deaths, kings rising to power and kings falling from power, a man being attacked by a lion (yes, see I Kings 20: 35, 36) God remembered to fill this womans four and oil containers. How did he do it I have no idea. Did he assign an angel to this task, did he speak it into being every day, did he have the ravens deliver it like He did for Elijah we have no idea and that is not the point. The point is that God is a God of details. He is concerned about the things that concern us. He knows what we are going through in the midst of everything else that is going on. In the midst of earthquakes, floods, economic crises, unemployment, political unrest, and everything else He knows that your flour and oil jars need to be filled. Be encouraged in knowing that this is our God, this is who loves us and cares for us. This is who we have the privilege of worshiping. Come to Him with your empty jars, your needs, your concerns, you issues and your situations and see what He will do!

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