WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 21, 2022
TOPIC: THE MIRACLE OF INEXHAUSTIBLE SUPPLY
BY T. O. BANSO
“And Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, 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 on the earth’” (1 Kings 17:13-14 New King James Version).
The Prophet Elijah, apparently moved by the Spirit of God, had declared to King Ahab of Israel that as the LORD God of Israel lived before whom he stood, there would not be dew or rain during the next few years, except at his word. Ahab worshipped Baal whose worshippers believed was the god of the rains and harvest.
After Elijah had made this prophetic declaration of drought, the LORD told him how He would take care of him during this period, as his declaration meant that food and water would be scarce. He told him to go eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith where he would get a supply of water to drink and He had commanded the ravens to feed him there.
Elijah obeyed. God did as He had said. The ravens fed him morning and evening and water was available in the brook. But the water soon dried up because there was no rain. Therefore, God gave him another instruction. He told him to go to Zarephath, in Sidon, and live there, as He had commanded a widow there to provide for him. Zarephath, also affected by the drought, was in the home territory of Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, and outside the borders of Israel (1 Kings 17: 8, 14).
A widow is the most unlikely person that should be burdened with the feeding of a stranger in a time of serious hardship, but that was the person God chose to take care of Elijah. Again, Elijah obeyed. And when he came to the gate of the city, he saw a widow there gathering sticks. He told her to please bring him a little water in a cup, that he might drink. The woman kindly granted his request.
But as if that was not enough, Elijah said to her, as she was going to bring the water, to please bring him a morsel of bread in her hand. This second request was difficult for the woman to grant. She was a poor widow trying to cope with the drought. “So she said, ‘As the LORD your God lives, I do not have 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’” (1 Kings 17:12 New King James Version).
The woman was not an Israelite and lived in a Baal-worshipping nation. Nevertheless, she acknowledged the God of Israel, even if not yet as “The LORD my God” but “The LORD your God.” Elijah appreciated the woman’s condition. He knew the severity of the drought and addressed her concerns.
1 Kings 17:13-14 says, “And Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, 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 on the earth’” (New King James Version).
Generally, giving is a beneficial and rewarding discipline that one should cultivate. Proverbs 11:25 says the generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. The Bible also says in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (New King James Version).
A legitimate request by a minister of God must not be seen only as a way for him to meet his need, but also as an opportunity for the giver to be blessed. When you meet the legitimate need of a genuine servant of God, his God will pay you back.
Matthew 10:41-42 says, “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (New King James Version).
From Elijah’s conversation with this widow, you would see that Elijah was not insensitive to her condition. He was empathetic even though he had a need he wanted her to meet. How do I mean? Elijah was not selfish. He didn’t exploit the woman by bringing some supposed spiritual command that would make her and her son starve to death faster than she had expected!
Elijah didn’t tell her to go and cook whatever remained in her house for him alone and see the wonders God would perform for her! No, he didn’t say that. He told her to go home and first make a small loaf of bread from the flour she had, and bring it to him. Then she should go and cook something for herself and her son. In other words, Elijah would eat and the woman and her son would also eat. But the woman should put him first, and, thus, indirectly, put God first.
One of the accusations against some servants of God is that in their preaching of the prosperity message, they defraud the poor, the needy, or the vulnerable. Elijah didn’t do that. Jesus neither did that. If the poor widow must give all her two mites, all she has to live on, as was the case in Mark 12:41-44, that should be her personal decision. She must not give under duress or be manipulated by anyone.
Paul, talking about the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, said that though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty had overflowed in rich generosity. He testified that they gave not only what they could afford but far more; they did it of their own free will (2 Corinthians 8:2-3). They even begged Paul to be allowed to participate in giving to the needy believers in Jerusalem (verse 4).
Elisha did not manipulate the widow of Zarephath. She willingly granted Elijah’s requests. She gave him water and food in a time of drought because she had faith in the LORD God of Elijah. Therefore, what would have been her last meal was not. Her jar of flour and jug of oil were never empty just as the LORD had promised through Elijah. She and her son didn’t suffer hunger during the remaining period of the drought. And later, when her son died, Elijah brought him back to life (1 Kings 17:17-24).
While there are some money-grubbers dispossessing believers of their money and properties through the abuse of the principle of sowing and reaping, believers must not throw the baby out with the bathwater. They should sow or give in faith, and voluntarily, to genuine servants of God and God’s projects and programmes.
According to Galatians 6:6, those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing good things with them. The Bible also says in 2 Chronicles 20:20 to believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established and believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.
Even when you’re giving in response to a request or announcement by a genuine servant of God, your will is still important. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7 New International Version).
Give in faith, voluntarily, cheerfully, and regularly. When you give biblically, your jar of flour and jug of oil will never be empty. Paul told the Philippians, who partnered with him in ministry by giving to him more than once, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 New King James Version).
The same reward can be yours if you faithfully support a genuine servant of God by giving to him and kingdom programmes and projects. You will enjoy God’s inexhaustible supply.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall give in faith, voluntarily, cheerfully, and regularly to God’s projects and programmes in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to be faithful in giving financial and material support to your servants who have been a blessing to me spiritually. I receive harvest for my sowing in Jesus’ name. I pray that all those practising the principle of sowing and reaping will enjoy inexhaustible supply from God in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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