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A Mother's Faith... (Mother's Day)


A MOTHERS FAITH 12.05.24
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INTRO: Today is Mother’s Day, so I want to talk this morning about a great woman of faith. 

 

This morning, I want to talk about an incredible Mother mentioned in the Bible. 

 

  • The scriptures don’t record her name but just that she was a widow. 

 

 

1 Kings 17:1-16 (NIV) 1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” 

2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” 

5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 

 

  • With no rain or dew for a number of years there would have been no crops for food or water for animals and severe famine had ravished the area. 

  • It says the ravens brought him meat and water morning and evening. 

  • Picture of God’s provision. 

 

 

Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath 

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 in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there 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 olive 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.” 

 

 

From the Kerith Ravine to Zarephath is about 100kms. 

 

The region  

  • It was a long walk for Elijah to go to the region of Sidon. 

  • Considering that he had run out of water because the brook had dried up. 

  • Sidon means fishery.  

  • So Sidon was a larger coastal town that had fishery, located around 15kms north of Zarephath. 

  • Zarephath was a very small village where they smelted metal to purify it, and also made pigments to dye fabric. 

  • When there is famine in the land, no one is buying things made from metal or dyed clothing as it was expensive.  

  • So many of the people there would have had no income. 

  • Even harder for this woman as she had no husband to provide for her. 

  • If she had a husband, he could have gone to Sidon and caught some fish. 

  • But it was just her and her young son. 

 

 

Isn’t it funny how God works sometimes!!! 

 

  • He didn’t send Elijah to a wealthy persons place for his provision….. 

  • To a person that had abundance…… 

  • But to the home of a widow who had nothing….. 

  • A handful of flour and a little oil. 

  • Gathering a few sticks to light a fire… 

  • Cook a very small Jonny cake for their last meal (not much of a feed)  

  • Then wait to die. 

  • Desperate situation for this woman. 

  • Not only for her but also her son. 

 

Q: Why did God send Elijah to this widow? 

 

  • Sidon and Zarephath were Pagan areas where people worshipped Baal. 

  • But God knew that she would be obedient to His leading.  

 

  1. God knew that she would be responsive to His leading. 

 

  • V:9 God speaking to the prophet; “I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 

  • God must have spoken to her before Elijah arrived there.  

  • “I Have,” past tense. 

  • The widow must have heard from God before Elijah got to her home but didn’t understand how God was going to provide the food. 

  • It’s one thing to hear from God, but it takes faith to put it into action. 

  • Faith without works is dead.  

  • We are not saved by works but faith must be seen by our actions. 

 

 

 

13 Elijah said to her, “Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf 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 sends rain on the land.’” 

 

  1. She had faith that God would do what He said. 

 

  • She could have thought that Elijah was pretty selfish with his request. 

  • She said I only have enough to make a small piece of bread for herself and her son and now Elijah says, “First make me a loaf of bread and bring it to me, then make something for you and your son. 

  • In the natural, if she made a loaf of bread for the prophet, there would have been nothing for her and her son to eat. 

  • She had to make the bread for the prophet and take it to him, then go back to the kitchen and make something for herself and her son. 

  • After she made him bread there would have been no flour or oil left. 

  • Used to being an independent woman…. Single mum… 

  • Having to take care and provide for her family… 

  • It would have been so hard to let go of control and trust God. 

 

 

Q: What did the widow Do? 

 

V:15   She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.  16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.  

 

  • If you have a word from God and step out in faith, God will move on your behalf. 

  • The provision only came after she had given her all. 

  • Faith then provision.  

  • If you are waiting for the provision first, then no faith is required. 

 

  • But she trusted God with the little she had and gave in obedience to his word. 

 

God can use the little that we have and multiply it for his use. (5 loaves and 2 fish) 

 

  • He only asks us to use what we have and put Him first. 

 

 

Jesus said this: 

 

Matthew 6:30-33 (NIV) 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

 

 

Can you imagine what it would have been like for her during the famine. 

 

  • People would have been struggling to put food on the table and she had an unending supply. 

  • People would have seen God’s abundant blessing of provision upon her and her family. 

  • Not only was she able to provide for her family, but she could also give to God by feeding Elijah the prophet. 

 

Paul says in: 

 

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (NIV) 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 

 

God supplies all that we need to live (Bread for food) as well as the seed for sowing. 

 

  • His provision is more than enough so that we have extra to give to God and others. 

 

 

  • People would have been coming to her for flour and oil. 

  • She had an endless supply of bread for around 3 years. 

 

 

 

Ps Mark Sena spoke from 2 Kings 7: about there being a spiritual famine in the land. 

 

  • He talked about a spiritual famine in Geraldton. 

  • People are searching for something to fulfil that spiritual hunger. 

  • We have the answer. 

  • We have an endless supply of bread. 

 

 

John 6:47-51 (NIV) 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 

 

  • Because trusting God will keep your Jar full and your Jug flowing… 

  • Jar is flour and the Jug is oil. 

  • Picture of Provision and anointing…… 

 

Jesus is the only bread that can fulfil that Spiritual hunger and he has anointed us to share bread of life with others. 

 

 

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

 

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NIV) 1 As God's co-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation. 

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