There are many times as we are walking with God he is calling us to a deeper place. We are faced with trials at the surface but God is just using these circumstances to go deeper. A deeper place of fellowship, faith, and trust in him. As I was studying The Prophet Elijah and his faith, the Holy Spirit revealed something so significant about his provision that I am writing this at 1am. (Lord, have mercy with these typo’s).
In 1 Kings 17, Elijah tells Ahab that the Lord is no longer sending rain due to Israel’s worship of baal and a fertility God they believed could bring rain. After Elijah spoke this to Ahab he went into hiding and God brought him provision through raven’s, bread, meat, and water each day until it ran out. After this, he was directed to a Gentile woman and her son. She did not have much, only some oil and flour. It is really only enough for her and her son to eat and soon die.
Then Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid; go and do as you have said. But first make me a small loaf from it and bring it out to me. Afterward, you may make some for yourself and your son, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the surface of the land.’” -1 Kings 17:13-14 CSB
There is a promise of provision for the Gentile for now, by her obedience of bringing Elijah a small loaf to feed on. While there is another promise I did not see until now, there will be provision later for her when the Lord sends rain. I am going to skip a lot of important details you should read later if you haven’t read 1 Kings 18 for the sake of keeping this short and not getting off track. However, we see that there is no cloud in sight.
Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a rainstorm.” So Ahab went to eat and drink, but Elijah went up to the summit of Carmel. He bent down on the ground and put his face between his knees. Then he said to his servant, “Go up and look toward the sea.” So he went up, looked, and said, “There’s nothing.” Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” -1 Kings 18:41-43 CSB
Seven times, Ahab went to look for rain and could not find ANYTHING. Can you imagine the widow in Chapter 17? Where is the promise of God of rain so my son and I can eat? Often times, I think we can be like this with God. There is no hope in sight of what God has promised, yet God continues to tell us to keep asking, seeking, and knocking and knocking seven more times. However, I do think that the widow, could reflect on how God provided the time before and this gave her hope.
When we are needing a miracle and waiting on the promises of God to come to pass, it is important that we continue with perseverance and unashamed boldness. God is not reluctant to provide what we need. He is such a good father that he is going to have us wait until the perfect time. Waiting on his perfect timing may stretch us and have us press into his presence a little more. In the end he wants to take us deeper into understanding who he truly is. I would imagine that the widow reflected on the time before that God had came through for her had provided. I would imagine that she thanked him for this and praised him in advance for what he was about to do. After all, God’s word cannot come back unfruitful.
“On the seventh time, he reported, “There’s a cloud as small as a man’s hand coming up from the sea.”-1 Kings 18:44 CSB
Can you imagine this small cloud giving so much hope to the widow? When God’s promises come to pass there is such great joy. However, I do think we can learn something from 1 Kings 17 & 18 other than what is blatantly written. God promised to provide for her then if she obeyed and promised provision in the future and God has promised us the same. In the unknown, we can reflect on who God is and what he has already done. We can intentionally continue giving him thanks for all he has already done and praise him for the faithfulness he continues to show, ever before we see the small cloud come up from the sea. Faith takes knowing who God is and that he does everything out of the abundance of who he is, love. If you do not have the right perception of who God is it will be hard to trust that the rain will ever come.
Take this time to understand that God does not go out and wing it. He is a God of order. When it feels like the rain is never going to come, remember the faithfulness that he has done in the chapter before and thank him for this. Your rain will come, but for now we must thank him for the faithful father that he is. Trust in his goodness and know that it sometimes takes some extra knocking, for Ahab seven times of going back, for us to see the promises of God fulfilled. We must not give up. Knowing that God is always on time.