Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
It shouldn’t surprise us too much that God would use a miraculous means to care for His prophet. In 1 Kings 17, God cares for Elijah by sending him to Zarephath in Sidon and having him stay with a widow and her son. This is God’s means of keeping Elijah safe.
He does a few other things as well, though. Let’s notice some of them. First, during this time of famine, the widow is aware that she is going to starve. The crops had failed and there was no more food. We don’t know this for certain, but apparently the woman was poor and could not buy more, or else there was simply nothing to be had. However it happened, the woman had no resources. Her life was going to come to an end, along with that of her son. Yet, as God provided his prophet to bring words of life for Israel, he also provided for the woman and her son to have food. This is a very common biblical scenario. God provides for his people’s physical and spiritual needs together.
The image of bread shouldn’t escape our notice. In the New Testament we learn that Jesus is the “bread of life” and that He plans to feed his people, even giving them eternal life. As a foreshadowing of this, bread, grain, and other foods are routine parts of the offerings of Israel.
Finally, for today, the woman showed her need. She was aware that she could not care for her need or the need of her son. Likewise, when we turn to our Lord for help, we confess that we are unable to take care of the trouble which will ultimately bring our lives to an end. We have no other recourse but to throw ourselves on God’s mercy. Thanks be to God, He is the merciful Lord who provides for our needs according to His riches, not according to ours.
When God speaks through His ministers, whether prophets, priests, or others who are bearing His Word, and particularly whe He speaks to those who are aware of their own frailty, He speaks words of life and hope.
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