Food for One More
1 Kings 17:7-24; Prophets and Kings, pp. 129-131
Even though bad things may happen, I know God loves me.
“The God of all grace . . . will himself restore you and make you strong” (1 Peter 5:10).
Kerah was hungry. His family was hungry too. They had not had any food for three days. Their father had gone to try to find something. But he came back with nothing. “I’m sorry,” he said. “There is no rice left in our village. It has not rained for many months. Without rain, things will not grow. We may not have any food for a long, long time.”
Just when they thought they would die, God sent help. A truck with a sign that said ADRA came to their village. “Rice, rice!” the driver called. “Each family may have one bag of rice!”
Soon each family in the village had enough rice to last for several days. More trucks came during the long months until rain came again.
A long time ago God took care of Elijah in a special way too.
It hadn’t rained in Israel in months. The fields were brown and dead. Bare trees stood like skeletons against the hot sky. The rivers and streams had dried up. And finally, even the Brook Kerith, where Elijah had been hiding from King Ahab, ran dry. But God was still caring for Elijah.
“Go to Zarephath,” God said. “I have told a widow there to take care of you.” So Elijah left Israel and traveled more than a hundred miles away, to another country. There, at the gate to Zarephath, a widow was gathering sticks.
“Would you please bring me a little water in a jar?” Elijah asked her. “And would you please bring me some bread, too?”
The woman had turned to go get the water. But she stopped when Elijah asked for bread. “I don’t have any bread,” she said. “All I have are a handful of flour and a little oil. I’m gathering firewood so I can bake some bread for my son and me. And after we eat that, we will die.”
“Don’t be afraid,” said Elijah. “Go home and make me a small piece of bread. Then make something for yourself and your son. For God says the oil and the flour will not be used up until He sends rain on the land.” (See 1 Kings 17:14.)
This woman was not an Israelite. But she believed in God and placed her faith in Him. She decided to trust God to take care of her needs.
It happened just as Elijah said it would. He went home with her, and she made some bread for him. After that day, whenever she went to bake bread, there was just enough flour and oil. The flour and oil never ran out. The miracle God worked to save Elijah also saved the lives of this woman and her son.
Some time later this woman’s son became sick and died. Her first thought was that God was punishing her. “What do You have against me?” she cried out in her sorrow. “Did You come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
Of course God had not caused the boy to die. God’s grace brings the gift of life. God’s grace had kept all three of them from dying during the famine.
Elijah had been staying in an upstairs room at the widow’s house. He took the boy to that room and cried to God, “O Lord, my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” God answered Elijah’s prayer. At once the boy came back to life.
God cares about the problems in your life too. Even though bad things sometimes happen, God still loves you. He wants you to trust Him. He will take care of your needs, just as He cared for Elijah and for the widow of Zarephath.