1 Kings 17:1 – 16 This record demonstrates the hand of God’s provision and protection on the prophet Elijah’s life. God gave Elijah specific details where to go and hide from the wicked king, Ahab. Verses 2 – 4, “And the word of the Lord came unto him saying, “Get thee hence and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.” Elijah’s obedience caused him to discover the unlimited resources of God which sustained his life during a dire season. The ravens brought him “bread and flesh in the morning and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook,” verse 6. Desperate times produce desperate measures – God “commanded” an unclean bird to supply Elijah’s daily bread – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5 Indeed!!

Eventually the brook dried up and it was time for Elijah to move on – guidance by circumstances! God had provided for Elijah at the brook Cherith for a season, but now it was time to move on to God’s next station of supply. As we move under the direction and guidance of God, we discover His unlimited resources as we step out in faith and obedience to God’s “proceeding word.” Jesus said,”Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” God’s “proceeding word” is creative. It is living and active, all creation bows and moves at His spoken word.

Elijah had divine guidance from God’s proceeding word (the highest), as well as guidance by circumstances, (a lower gear.) In verses 9 – 16 we read how the Lord told Elijah to go to Zarephath, where He had made provision through a little widow woman to sustain him. Elijah went and found the lady gathering sticks to make a fire to bake her last meal with a handful of meal and a drop of oil in a cruse, for herself and her son. It was all she had left in provision and her reasoning had told her that they would eat the last scraps and then prepare to die, such were their dire conditions of the drought in the land. The word of the Lord came through Elijah that if she baked him a cake first, and then baked one for her and her son that the Lord would perform His miracle of supply – verse 14, “For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.
15, And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16, And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by Elijah.”

When God speaks with a “proceeding word” it is time to step out in faith. As we respond to His guidance, the Lord opens His hand where all the resources of heaven and earth are at His disposal for divine purpose and His glory. Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” The faith of the Son of God is a gift to His children – a gift to be activated by us to put “legs on our prayers.”

The record of Elijah, the widow woman and the cruse of oil not failing has been an encouragement to many through the ages of God’s unlimited supply and provision to His children. We cannot see beyond the horizon in the natural, but there is a “beyond” in God past the horizon that our Heavenly Father has gone before us and has everything under His control. Our part is to listen, to obey and to trust. When God speaks, my obedience in responsibility releases His vast supply.