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Now I Know!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

1 Kings 17:22-24

"The LORD heard Elijah's cry, and the boy's life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, 'Look, your son is alive!' Then the woman said to Elijah, 'Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.' "

The truth of God's Word is our supreme guide and authority. Everything we set our purpose to accomplish must be measured according to God's truth. The ideas of men are temporary and soon change or disappear entirely. The passage of Scripture for today's Daily-E-Votional is the basis for total commitment. God is not pleased with halfhearted devotion and we will find ourselves feeling miserable as well.

This passage gives a clear picture of the benefit of obedience. To illustrate this process, I will attempt to share this in my own words, using the Word as the source for the story.

There was a famine in Israel. The cause for the famine was the wicked acts of a king named Ahab, who had married a wicked woman named Jezebel. A Prophet of God named Elijah had pronounced God's judgment of the famine, and told Ahab that there would be no rain in the land for the next few years, except at his word.

Now when words of this nature are spoken, the speaker becomes rather unpopular to say the least. It was necessary for him to lay low until God directed him to take the next step of action. Elijah spent time by a brook where he was fed by ravens that God had sent to bring him food. There was water in a brook, but after a time, that dried up.

Let me interrupt the story for an interjection. There are times in our life when the "brook" dries up. It may have been a "brook" that God had provided, but if and when it dries up, it means that it is time to get ready to move to the next place that God has provided for us.

The Lord came to Elijah and told him to go to Zarephath. God also told Elijah that He had commanded a woman in that town to provide him with food. It is never revealed when and how the Lord had spoken to her. Whatever the manner God used---we are not told.

When Elijah entered Zarephath, he saw a widow gathering sticks. He asked her to bring him a little water in a jar so he could have a drink. She started off for the water and he called after her to also bring him a piece of bread. Now, this was going beyond what she thought she should be obliged to do.

Sometimes the Lord uses the inconvenient requests of others to lead us to a place that He has prepared for us. It might be a place of service, or it may be a place where He is going to provide for us. Think about what this little widow was being asked. She had nothing, so to speak, and now God was asking her to give of her last little bit to His prophet. It just didn't seem fair. It may not have seemed fair, but she was about to receive a blessing from the Lord.

The widow carefully explained to Elijah that she had no bread, and only a handful of flour in a jar, and a little oil in a jug. She explained that she was gathering the sticks to return home, make a meal for her and her son and then they would die from the famine.

Elijah encouraged her not to worry, but to go on her way and do as she had planned, but with one big exception. She was first to bring him a small cake of bread, before she and her son ate. He then gave her the wonderful and miraculous news. If she did as he asked, the Lord had promised that the jar of flour would not be used up and the jug of oil would not run dry until the day the Lord sent rain on the earth.

This little widow had to act on faith. What if this prophet was not telling the truth? Why did it require her acting, rather than her seeing the jar and jug fill up first? Why couldn't she and her son eat first and then give him what was left? The answer is simple. The Lord had commanded her to be committed.

It is exciting to read that the widow did exactly as Elijah had instructed her. We read that there was food every day for Elijah, the woman and her son. The jug and jar were never used up during the famine in the land---A source of inexhaustible supply. But the story is not finished. In spite of her obedience, her son became ill, grew worse and worse and finally stopped breathing.

The little mother lit into Elijah and asked him if he had come to remind her of her sin (where did that came from?), and to kill her son. Elijah carried the lifeless body to an upstairs room and poured out his heart to the Lord. He reminded God of the faith and commitment of the widow and now this tragedy had fallen upon her. The Lord heard his prayer and the boy lived. He took the child to the grieving mother.

There seemed to be lingering doubts in her mind. How could she doubt God, when the daily supply of flour and oil was always replenished? But she did. It was only after receiving her son back that she believed. "Now I know!"

There are lessons to be learned here. God demands that we completely sacrifice ourselves to Him before He acts to supply our "jars" and "jugs" with an inexhaustible supply. We have witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that gives us the encouragement to say as the widow said, "NOW I KNOW!"

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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