Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are.”
1 John 3: 1
“How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful unchangeable Friend!
His love is as great as His power,
And knows neither measure nor end!”
Today’s Study Text:
“And he (Elijah)…cried out to the Lord, ‘O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.’ The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he came back to life. Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. ‘Look, your son is alive!’ he said.”
1 Kings 17: 21-23
New Living Translation
“Our God Keeps His Promises”
“Every day we should have some new word of God to rest upon. How can God say no, to something He has promised?”
Mrs. Charles Cowman
Have I witnessed in my own life the way God has kept His promises to me?
Is there a situation in my life right now, where I am counting on God to keep His promise?
“God is the God of promise. He keeps His word, even when that seems impossible; even when the circumstances seem to point to the opposite.”
“He has given us…His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.”
II Peter 1: 4
It would have been a glorious time to be in the little home in Zarephath. From a scene of immense tears and sorrow, Elijah, the Bible tells us, descended from his rooftop room with these words for the widowed mother, “Look, your son is alive.”
Now I have to admit, as I read this passage of Scripture, I wondered, “What in the world would have been going through the mind of the mother as she waited alone downstairs.” Think of how she must have felt. Things had appeared so rosy and then, all of a sudden, the world she loved and had grown accustomed to fell apart before her very eyes. Has this ever happened to you? It can be absolutely devastating!
I certainly don’t think the widow expected to hear Elijah say, ‘Here’s your boy back. And by the way, he’s alive!” I know one thing, if I had been the mother and Elijah had been upstairs with my dead child, I would have been asking God for a miracle -- and you know what, I believe this was exactly what the widow was doing, and why not. She’d witnessed a daily miracle, every day since Elijah’s arrival. Every morning when she went for oil and meal to prepare “breakfast,” she got a reminder from heaven that God was at work -- right under the roof of her home. This fact got me to thinking about the words of Jesus in Matthew 6: 25-34, specifically verses 31 and 33: “Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, ‘What are we going to have to eat?’ or, ‘What are we going to have to drink?’ or, ‘What are we going to have to wear?’…your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.” This was a truth which the widow observed every time she made a meal. On a daily basis, her heavenly Father was building her faith in Him. Every time God met her needs -- her trust increased. So that when a massive trial crashed in upon her, and Elijah asked her to give him her son, she obeyed without hesitation. And when Elijah came down from the roof to give her son to her, the first words out of her mouth were only a confirmation of what she believed in her heart, “By this I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” All that Elijah had told the widow about the God of heaven and earth had been verified by God’s answer to her prayer. Her son’s life -- every time he threw his arms around his mother in the future -- shouted out the message, what Elijah said was the truth about his God. Elijah’s God keeps His’ promises. He is truthful!
But there’s another side to this story for not only did God do something wonderful for the widow and her son, but God did something tremendous for Elijah as well.
This portion of the story is found in 1 Kings 17: 20, 22 -- “And Elijah cried to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord my God, have You brought further calamity upon the widow with whom I sojourn by slaying her son?’…And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.”
I love this passage for it gives us a picture of the relationship Elijah had with his heavenly Father. Elijah was bluntly honest, to say the least! He was forceful and he wanted God to act on behalf of the widow, who when in desperate want herself, opened her home to Elijah. Elijah did not come to God hesitantly. He came boldly, reinforcing the fact that this dear lady had taken care of him, and now he wanted God to take care of her.
I liken Elijah’s prayer to the words found in the book of Isaiah. King Ahaz was preparing for battle and God told Isaiah to go meet the king with a message from God that King Ahaz was not to be fainthearted because of the armies aligned against him. Then God gave a message directly to the king. God said, “Ask for yourself a token of proof of the Lord your God, one that will convince you that God has spoken and will keep His word; ask it either in the depth below or in the height above” (Isaiah 7: 10, 11, Amplified Bible). As the King James Version of the Bible states, “Make thy petition deep” (Isaiah 7: 11). And I ask you, “How much deeper, higher, or wider could Elijah have gone than asking God to give life back to the widow’s young son?” Believe me when I say that this experience had to do a lot for Elijah’s trust in God. He knew without a doubt that his prayers had been heard when it stopped raining. But now, in one of most unheard of examples, God demonstrated to Elijah that His power has no limitations –- not even death can overcome our God! When we are willing to “make our petitions deep” and to wait and persevere, even in the face of the most discouraging situations, God will act to work out His plan for what is best in each of our lives. As one individual so beautifully expressed:
“Make thy petition deep, O heart of mine,
Thy God can do much more than thou canst ask;
Launch out on the Divine,
Draw from His love-filled store.
Trust Him with everything.”
Elijah had relied on a God who kept His promises. He trusted God in Gilead; in the court of Ahab; at the Brook Cherith; and now in Zarephath. At each step along the way, God had expanded Elijah’s vision as to what He was capable of doing through the ministry of His trusted servant Elijah. It was not only to expand the faith of a widow in Zarephath that God gave life back to a young boy -- it was also God’s way of preparing Elijah for the greatest moment of his life -- a moment when the honor of God’s name would be at stake. Who better to stand up for God than one who knew and trusted his Father to keep His word -- always. As one of my favorite missionary heroes, Hudson Taylor, so trustingly expressed, “There is a living God; He has spoken in the Bible. He means what He says and will do all He has promised.” This is the God Elijah trusted. And it was the God the widow of Zarephath trusted, too. This same God is alive today. He keeps His promises now, just as in the past -- and we can trust Him, too.
“Thou art coming to king,
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.”
“And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”
Psalm 50: 15
“Lord, I’m in trouble. Time after time in the past when I have been sore pressed with affliction, You rescued me. Right now I don’t doubt You are planning good for me. I just didn’t know how disagreeable the journey would be. How long drawn-out, how tormenting. Dear God, You know I love You. I know You love me. You have plans for my good. Grant me patient while I wait to see how You work it out this time.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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