October 19, 2011

First Give

1 Kings 17:7-16

“Don’t be afraid… But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me …”
1 Kings 17:13


The brook that provided water for Elijah dried up. So God told him to move to another area, where a widow would supply him with food.

A famine was ravaging the land, and it was severely affecting the life of that young widow. With no husband, no food, and a hungry child, it looked like she and her son would die soon.

She was planning their final meal when Elijah arrived. Tired from his journey, he asked her for water and food.

She explained that she was preparing a last meal for her son and herself. But Elijah asked if she could first make him a small loaf of bread, and he shared with her a promise from the Lord: “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.”

This widow now had to make a decision. Should she believe the words of this prophet before feeding herself and her son?

This “ordinary” person was someone whom God would use for his extraordinary purposes.

She did as Elijah asked, honoring the Lord with her act of hospitality. And God miraculously provided her with flour and oil that never ran out until the end of the famine. She gave—and God gave even more.

God of life and light, help me to be more generous. May I be challenged by the realization that I can never outgive you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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