1 Kings 17:1-16
From the beginning of creation in Genesis, we see that God was creative in His language. He spoke, and things came into being. He was also prophetic. None of His words fell to the ground (Isaiah 55:11). It always came to pass. His promises never fail. So we may assert that the Language of God is always creative and prophetic.
Interesting examples of God’s language are His commands. He commanded a large fish to swallow Jonah and was obeyed. Jesus directed His disciple to take the first fish they caught, and this fish provided the silver coins for their taxes. Jesus commanded the elements, the wind and the waves, and they obeyed.
So far we have only covered the animal kingdom and the elements. These have No Free Will, so they Have to Obey. Now, we come to an interesting situation when God commands a human being who is endowed with Free Will. In 1 Kings 17:8-12, God told Elijah, “I have commanded a widow there to provide for you”. Yet, if we look at the account closely, there was no such indication on the widow’s part that she had ever received such a command. She did not say when she met Elijah, “Oh yes, The Lord has told me to care of you.” So, is there a contradiction here between what God says and what was actually happening?
Before answering this question, let’s look at the life of this very special gentile woman, a woman under great trial and testing. Zarephath means ‘smelting or refinery’. A place where precious metals were extracted through intense heat. The Lord God was proving her faith through the intense trial of famine. She was preparing their last meal before she and her son starves to death. One can only imagine the agony of anyone having to confront such dire circumstances. Any child of God could question the faithfulness of God and His provision. The widow of Zarephath had more or less nothing left. She was at the brink of death.
The Tipping Point. 1 Kings 17:13
Elijah said “make me a little bread cake from it first, and bring it out to me”. This could surely be the last straw for anyone under such intense trial. What manner of person or God could demand such a thing from anyone, denying them even their last meal?
The Trial by Contradiction. The widow of Zarephath was not the only person to go through such a trial. Abraham faced the same kind of trial when God told him to sacrifice Isaac, his son of promise. That was Abraham’s tipping point, his only son.
Job had a similar experience. He had no more wealth and his health had been taken away. What was his tipping point? When his wife said to him, “curse God and die”. Job had nothing left except his faith in God.
Is there a contradiction here between what God says and what was actually happening to the widow?
The answer is in verse 14 – For thus says the Lord God of Israel, “The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.”
The widow did not receive the command to look after Elijah until Elijah said these words. Verse 15, ‘So she went and did according to the word of Elijah’. Her obedience was immediate!!!
Take note, it is always much more difficult to hear the command of God through a man than to hear it directly! BUT this widow was able to distinguish between the two. So the Command of God came to pass as God had spoken ( the sequence of events and its timing was not as we expected! )
What then is the Language of the 7 Widow of Zarephath?
It is the Language of God’s Rest. Heb 3:18,19. Heb 4:1-7. The widow of Zarephath ‘heard the voice of God and did not harden her heart.’ She obeyed Immediately. This was in sharp contrast to the attitude and approach of the Israelites to God in the wilderness.
Brother Steve Yap