Food for the Hungry: The Witness, Part 8

by | Apr 15, 2020 | Provision, The Witness

There had been a terrible drought in Israel.

Elijah received directions on what to do to survive: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” (1Kgs 17:9, NIV2)

Just before that, Elijah had been fed by ravens who, “Brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” (1Kgs 17:6, NIV2)

Now Elijah would be fed by a poor widow. Once he met the widow, he asked for water and a piece of bread. That poor widow had a problem: “‘As surely as the LORD your God lives,’ she replied, ‘I don’t have any bread-only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it-and die.'” (1Kgs 17:12, NIV2)

The poor widow was dirt-poor, and she had but one meal left. And here was this man asking her to give it to — him?

Elijah reassured her all would be well. “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.” (1Kgs 17:13, NIV2)

Before she could say anything, Elijah continued: “For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.'” (1Kgs 17:14, NIV2)

This is just like the New Testament: multiplication of bread with a twist! This time it would last until the drought was over! God cared for Elijah, but he also cared for that poor, devout widow and her son. Our Father has been active since the creation. We matter to Him. He hears our pleas and comes through for us, big time!

Imagine Elijah, the poor widow and her son eating the same thing together day in and day out. They must have even smelled the same, like wholesome oily bread!

The same is true with the multiplication of fish and bread performed through Jesus the Christ: They all smelled like Jesus: a pinch of healthy bread and fish breath. (See Matthew 14: 13-21)

When “Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” (John 12:3, NIV2). She had spent most of her money, just to give this special gift to Jesus. Some were criticizing her, but it didn’t matter to her. She did what was right and good, and even though this was an offering solely for Jesus, she left the premises smelling like Jesus.

When we love like Jesus does, we start to smell like Him; and the smell is truly heavenly, for love reigns within us. We start to become like Him, the way we should: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2Cor 3:18, NIV2)

Does multiplication of food still exist today? If our Father performed these miracles in the Old as well as in the New Testaments, why would He stop helping us in our time of need? This tesimony was written by Dwight Longenecker:

“When I was a young Anglican minister I lived in an apartment with my younger brother.

I complained to him one day that when I was a theology student I lived by faith. I really had no money and was living from hand to mouth with the little I could earn while I studied.

Now that I had a job and a house and a salary it seemed boring.

So he said, “Why don’t you give half of your money away? That will make it interesting.” I said, “Okay. Let’s do it.” “By the way,” he said, “I think we’re also going to have lots of other people come to live here.” I started giving half my money away and we lived on the rest and he was right. Within the year my apartment was filled with about six other guys living with us in an informal kind of religious community. We prayed together and did church work. When they got part time jobs they contributed to our financial needs.

I didn’t tell anyone I was giving away half my salary and that what I had left (and there wasn’t much to start with) had to provide for eight of us.

To help feed everyone my brother would get up early and bake two loaves of bread.

He went to the local bakery and bought a big 50 lb. Bag of flour.

This was in June. The baker estimated that if my brother baked two loaves a day the flour would last until September. We had to use it up by then because if we didn’t it would get weevils.

We needed more bread and my brother started baking three or even four loaves a day.

That was good bread.

In December we noticed that the flour had not been used up. It lasted three months longer than it should have and it didn’t have weevils.

In December one of the guys got a good job and we could afford to buy flour as we needed it.

Did we experience a multiplication of food similar to the one with Elijah and the widow woman?

I believe we did, and that’s one of the reasons why I believe in miracles.

That’s also why you should not buy into any preacher who holds forth on the feeding of the 5,000 saying “the real miracle was that they all shared their lunch” That is so lame.

That’s baloney. Either it was a miracle or the gospel is a lie.

Nothing can stop our Heavenly Father! This is why we have truly nothing to worry about, even amidst a heavy drought. Do we truly believe this?”

Thanks to Dwight Longenecker

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “The Witness” devotional series, please click here.)


Food for the Hungry: The Witness, Part 8