Happy to be here with you again today, there was a bit of a break between episode 17 and 18 but here we are again. Thank you God. I pray this message encourages you as a lot has happened in the world these past few days. In today’s message we read from 1 Kings 17 about Elijah and how God provided for his servant Elijah. We see the choices he (and we) face in times of distress and we can be encouraged by the reminder that God does do whatever He says He will do even if it doesn’t make sense to us. Are we willing to wait on God? Are we willing to look at and focus on what God has already said (in His Word) and obey it completely? We can choose to trust in the Lord (if you don’t really know the Lord then now is a great time to get to know Him through His Word- the Bible). We are actively waiting on God by seeking out what He has already said and then aligning our lives to do whatever it is that he has told us to do. Let us choose to trust and obey in God and wait patiently and prayerfully for whatever is next.
1 Kings 17:1-7 Elijah is provided food via ravens during a drought each day because that is what God told him to do
‘Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord , the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord . He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. ‘ 1 Kings 17:1-7 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/1KI.17.1-7
1 Kings 17:8-16 The widow has a choice to make. does she give her last meal to Elijah who says that God will provide for her and her son or…?
‘Then the word of the Lord came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord , the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.'” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah. ‘ 1 Kings 17:8-16 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/1KI.17.8-16
We saw that Elijah trusted that God would provide. How could he believe that God would FEED him via BIRDS?? He likely developed this trust from the experiences that he had with God in the past and in seeing God work in various ways. God indeed provided, just as He said that He would. Then we see when the brook dried up that God gave Elijah a new instruction. Elijah listened to God again and found the widow, just as God had said. The widow was then presented with a choice: does she believe that God will provide as Elijah has told her by not letting her last bit of flour and oil run out (which by the way is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE?!?) Elijah asked her to make her last bread cake and then feed it to HIM first (was this some sort of test on her part? We don’t know.) before feeding her and her son. Naturally speaking, that would have likely meant that she would be giving her last meal to Elijah and there could be nothing left for her and her son. She didn’t have it all written out like we do and can simply keep reading to know what happened next. She had to make a choice. The widow chose to believe God and did what He said to do. With her actions, she saw how God miraculously provided for all of them as He said he would. We don’t have any guarantees; they didn’t either. Regardless of the future outcome, we each moment have a choice to make – do we trust in our own selves/our own ways/ what we can physically see and makes sense? Or do we choose to trust in God?
Philippians 4:4-7 Do this, don’t do that
‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ‘ Philippians 4:4-7 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/PHP.4.4-7
Philippians 4:8-9 God says specifically what to focus on instead
‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. ‘ Philippians 4:8-9 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/PHP.4.8-9
Philippians 4:11-13 Lord help me to be content with whatever situation I am in because you are with me.
‘Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ‘ Philippians 4:11-13 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/PHP.4.11-13
Of course the Bible isn’t written about specifically me and you so we should be careful not to read into it only thinking about ‘how does this apply to me and my life right now today?’ The Bible is a collection of books that tell us all about GOD. We can know the character of God from reading His Word. We can see how God provided over and over again. (We can also see how people over and over made choices to go their own way and the consequences of those choices are there written for all to see; it is all in there and a lot of it isn’t pretty.) We can read and learn from what happened to other people in their own tough situations. They didn’t know what would happen just like we don’t know what will happen. But we know the character of our God whom we serve. The widow and the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1-16 had to make choices just like we have to make choices. Do we trust God? Do we listen to what God has said? Do we read His word (or the Law) that He has left for us to know Him? Even when we know what God has said, do we believe Him? Do we obey Him completely? Do we then actively wait and see what God is going to do next in a posture of expectation? Do we trust that God WILL provide? Do we realize that God has ALREADY provided what we all really need? We ALL need salvation and God has already provided the Way to Him through His Son, Jesus. Thank you God. (If you don’t know or understand what I mean, please go back to Episode 1 and beyond and have a listen. Or leave a note with your question or comment and I’ll try and help you or respond.)
I talked about my time in Cambodia serving the youth there as a part of the youth missions conference a few months ago and things not turning out the way that I thought they would. I waited to act even though people around me wanted to know what to do. The truth in the lyrics to song, “I Will Wait” was one of the songs that ministered to me during that tough time. You can watch me talking about that experience here:
Thank you again for joining in and praying for us #togetherathome and others around the world. I pray this time encourages you to dig into your Bibles and to seek #truth and the understanding that comes from the Lord. This is our 5th week of “no school at school” as everyone here continues to go to school online to minimize group gatherings and help prevent the spread of the #coronavirus in #Daegu, South Korea. I am thankful for our local leadership’s efforts. I am in prayer as I see the news of the spread of this virus and many deaths around the world. I will continue this “Bible Time & Worship” online ministry as long as God gives me the ‘go’ to be used in this way. If so, I plan to be on at noon (Daegu time) via FB every Monday – Friday. Remember, God is able and #Godisbiggerthanxyz (any situation we may be facing). It is in Jesus that I continue to place my hope and trust. I pray you do are doing that too. Sincerely, Sejana
#homeworship #thankful #familyBiblestudy #Killthevirus #Godisbiggerthanxyz #onlineministry #discipleship #faithoverfear #bestrongdaegu #parenting #togetherathome #iwillwait
Looking for a Bible Study to watch and reflect on during this time? Try these: https://sejanashines.com/2020/03/07/bible-time-worship-every-episode-summary/