Enjoy God’s ‘PROVISIONS’ by giving HIM our ‘FIRST PORTION’: And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.'" So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah. (1 Kings 17:13-16)
Zarephath, a city on the Mediterranean coast in Phoenicia, was the location of the first miracle of Elijah. In obedience to the word of God, Elijah journeyed to Zarephath where God had arranged a Gentile widow to feed him. She is not identified as either Phoenician or Israelite, but was apparently a worshiper of Jehovah. She was a poor lady who was about to prepare her last meal before the famine claimed her and her only son’s lives. She was actually subjected to a severe test of faith when Elijah requested her to prepare a meal for him first!
This poor widow was asked to give up the last portion of her food to Elijah, and in return, God would give her an unfailing provision. In effect, she was to give God the first place during her battle for survival. She overcame her fear and responded by faith in God and His prophet Elijah. When she obeyed, she learned the precious lesson that those who put God first never lack the necessities of life. Her bin of flour and jar of oil never failed through the entire period of famine. In the New Testament, Jesus honored this Phoenician widow in His inaugural sermon, triggering a violent reaction from His hometown listeners (Luke 4:25–26).
When genuine faith is tested, it brings glory to God and works for the good of the believer (1 Peter 1:7). While an apostate Israelite nation suffered because of the drought, God supplied the daily necessities to a non-Israelite who willingly took Him at His word. The fresh supply of oil and flour each day was a reminder to both the prophet and the widow of the value of personal trust in God who alone was sufficient to meet their every need.
What we can see in this incident is that God was in command of nature, people, and circumstances, not only in Israel, but even in Jezebel’s home region—the heart of Baal country. When we walk by faith and give Him the first place in our lives, God will supply all our needs and will open doors of opportunity for us. Be sure to trust the Provider and not the provision! Brooks dry up, but God never fails! Let us enjoy God’s provision by giving Him our first portion!