In the 1930s, the Dust Bowl battered the southern plains of the United States. High winds and choking dust were sweeping across farmland from Texas to Nebraska for nearly six years, killing people and livestock and devastating crops.
In 1 Kings 17, we read that a devastating drought had come to Israel. The prophet Elijah explains that this was ordered by God (v. 1). As a result of the idolatrous practices of Ahab and Jezebel, Israel had come to believe that Baal controlled the essential elements of life: the rain, the fertility of land, man and beast, life and death. They knew the one true God, yet they had abandoned Him.
In response, God took steps to bring His people back to Himself. First, He raised up a prophet, Elijah, and second, He stopped the rain. Israel had seen prophets before, but stopping the rain was new. Yet it was a fulfillment of a threat God made in the covenant at Sinai (Deut. 11:16–17).
The lack of rain demonstrated that God was in control of all things. They had been warned in love, now they would experience His discipline. But the Lord also provided a prophet to point the people back to Him. Elijah would call the people to repentance and faithfulness.
God’s care for Elijah by providing water and bread is not only a miracle, but also points to His loving care (vv. 4–5). He saw the prophet’s condition and cared for him. In addition, we see the faith of the widow at Zarephath who would give the smallest bit she had in obedience to God. In return, she also witnessed a miracle—“there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family” (v. 15).
>> God’s provision for Elijah and the widow, even in the midst of a drought, is a beautiful example of how He cares for us. God sees your need. He loves you. He will provide for you.
Today we pray for people with big financial needs. Lord, please provide abundantly for them so they know the gift comes from You and no other. If you want to provide for someone through us, point us in the right direction!