S92P1 – God’s miraculous provision: the dry brook and the empty bin and jar

1 Kings 17:13-16

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.

An evil king who provoked God to anger more than any of his predecessors had led God’s people in idolatry once more.  It was for Elijah to proclaim a drought over the land as a result of this wickedness.  Once he prophesied these words, God led him to a safe and solitary place where he would drink from a brook and be fed by ravens commanded by the Almighty himself.  Eventually, the brook dried up, the ravens went away, and God instructed Elijah to find a specific widow who would give him sustenance.  It is one miracle of provision after another, but it might not have looked so promising in the eyes of this prophet.  The dry brook and the absent ravens would be replaced by a widow who simply did not have enough.

This widow was in rather dire straits.  When Elijah asked her to feed him, she indicated that she was about to make the last meal she could for her and her children before they died.  This might seem like a dramatic statement to make, but her words were sincere.  She expected that this would be their end because of their lack.  It is just like God to take his servant in need and bring his provision through someone else in even greater need.  The circumstances make it so that there can be no other explanation for this miracle.  God could have sent Elijah to a wealthy merchant or farmer for his food, but He instead sent him to someone so hungry that she herself expected that death would come soon.  God’s provision would then go beyond sustaining his servant but also sustain the widow and her children.

Scripture does not speak to this specifically, but I picture a bin of flour and a jar of oil which are not overflowing but simply have exactly enough at all times for what is needed.  This is not a lesson of excess, which might be how we view God’s abundant provision.  This is about God’s storehouse being sufficient and never running dry like that brook.  God’s miraculous provision does not need to be big and flashy.  It can be subtle yet impactful, but it always is undeniably his hand at work, and it often comes from the unlikeliest sources.  Father, thank You for your miraculous provision that ensures we always have exactly what we need.