September 16, 2022

A Small Loaf

1 Kings 17:7-16

“The jar of flour will not be used up . . . until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.”

—  1 Kings 17:14

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sudden demand for flour and yeast. Many, many people wanted to make bread at home! This surge caused a shortage of supplies, leaving shelves bare at the grocery store and causing some people to go without the basics they needed.

Today’s story in 1 Kings highlights significant shortages: the stream runs dry, and the flour and oil are about to run out. Scarcity is everywhere, and Elijah and the widow and her son seem to be living on the edge of survival.

Imagine how the widow must have felt when Elijah asked her to make him a small loaf of bread with her limited re­sources. Largely because of a custom to be hospitable to strangers, she did it, not wanting to bring shame on her household. It couldn’t have been easy, but she made a small loaf of bread and served it to Elijah. And, miraculously, God replenished her flour and oil so that they did not run out until the end of the drought.

The fact that this takes place in Sidon, a land outside of Israel, shows that the Lord God, who makes all things abundant even in times of scarcity, is stronger, better, and more powerful than the gods of other nations. In fact, God is the only true God, the Lord of heaven and earth.

Lord our God, you are our provider. At times we are scared about running out of things, and yet we see that your power is greater than our fears. We trust in you. Amen.

About the author — Julia Prins Vanderveen

Julia Prins Vanderveen works and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, Trevor, and their three sons. Julia has served as a copastor with Trevor at a church in Vancouver. She is a campus pastor and a humanities teacher at the Vancouver Christian School.

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