Read: 1 Kings 15:25-17:24; Acts 10:23b-48; Psalm 134:1-3; Proverbs 17:9-11
It doesn’t take long to see the kings of Israel had problems. They kept following the root that Jeroboam had planted and God would take their whole family out. God is serious about his leaders; how the leaders went determined how the nation went. Asa, the king of Judah reigned 38 years as a good king while the kings of Israel had many kings, one lasting only 7 days. Israel’s most wicked king was Ahab who married Jezebel which means “unchaste”. That was an understatement to who she was. She brought the worship of Baal to Israel.
God sent the prophet Elijah to tell Ahab that his sin had caused a drought. Then God told Elijah to run and hide by the brook, Cherith. There he would have water and the ravens would bring him food. Droughts lead to famines. When the brook dried up God sent God sent Elijah to Zarephath were a widow would be his supply. When he got there he found her and asked her for water - in a drought. Then he asked her for bread. She only had enough for one more meal for her and her son. I can’t imaging what Elijah must have thought. God had sent him here to be sustained and there was no sustenance. Zarephath means “refining”. God was using this situation to refine him. So Elijah put his faith in what God had told him and told her to make him some bread, that her little flour and oil would not run out till the famine was over. God was working on this woman also. She had to trust what Elijah said was true. What did she have to lose? She was already preparing herself to die. She did it and God came through for all of them.
She had a second test when her son became deathly ill and stopped breathing. She blamed it on Elijah! Elijah interceded for the son and he came back to life. This confirmed to the widow and to Elijah that he was a man of God and that God would back him up.
In Acts, Peter and Cornelius finally meet and share their stories of how God spoke to them. Peter understands in a much larger scale God’s redemptive plan. It is not just for the Jews, but for the Gentiles also. As Peter spoke to them about the good new, they were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter baptized them and they begged him to stay longer.
God sends many blessing to us disguised as tests and trials. When we begin to see them from God’s perspective - we start to be blessed.
Proverbs 17:9 is a great verse to put to memory.
Lord thank you for sending refining fiery tests into our lives to help us to receive the blessing.