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Widow & the Handful of Meal

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Widow & the Handful of Meal

  1. 1. THE WIDOW & A HANDFUL OF MEAL A LESSON BY ELISABETH C. TUNSTALL “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 sendeth rain upon the earth,” (I Kings 17: 4).
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION AS THE CORONAVIRUS CONTINUES TO TAKE THIS WORLD BY STORM, EVERY FACET OF OUR SOCIETY HAS TO BRACE FOR IMPACT. UNEMPLOYMENT CONTINUES TO SPIKE AMID THIS INFAMOUS PANDEMIC AND THE BASIC NECESSITIES OF MANY FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS ARE BEING THREATENED DAILY. HOWEVER, GOD HAS PROMISED HIS CHILDREN THAT OUR BREAD AND WATER WILL BE SURE. BUT HE ALSO WARNS US THAT “MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD,” (MATTHEW 4: 4). THESE DAYS CAN CHALLENGE ONE’S FAITH BUT WE MUST LEAN WHOLLY ON THE WORD OF GOD.
  3. 3. THE WIDOW & THE HANDFUL OF MEAL THE SPIRIT BROUGHT TO MIND THE LESSON OF THE WIDOW AND THE HANDFUL OF MEAL AND HOW IT PERTAINS TO US RIGHT NOW. THIS WAS DURING THE TIME OF ELIJAH, THE GREAT PROPHET WHO LIVED DURING THE REIGN OF KING AHAB, ONE OF THE MOST WICKED KINGS THAT RULED OVER ISRAEL. KING AHAB AND HIS WIFE, JEZEBEL, WERE SO DEEPLY IMMERSED IN IDOLATRY AND WICKEDNESS. THEY KILLED MANY PROPHETS AND WORSHIPPED BAAL, RAISING UP ALTARS AND GROVES IN HIS NAME. THIS ANGERED THE LORD GREATLY.
  4. 4. THE WIDOW & THE HANDFUL OF MEAL ELIJAH SPOKE AGAINST AHAB AND CURSED THE LAND, SAYING THERE WOULD BE NO RAIN OR DEW. THIS LASTED FOR 3 YEARS AND 6 MONTHS LEADING NOT ONLY TO A GRIEVOUS DROUGHT BUT FAMINE AS WELL. NOW THE LORD CONTINUED TO TAKE CARE OF ELIJAH AS HE DOES WITH ALL OF HIS CHILDREN. HE INSTRUCTED HIM TO GO TO THE BROOK CHERITH, WHERE HE COULD DRINK FRESH WATER AND THE RAVENS WOULD COME TO BRING HIM FOOD BOTH DAY AND NIGHT UNDER THE DIRECTION AND MERCY OF GOD. EVENTUALLY, THE BROOK DRIED UP. SO THE LORD INSTRUCTED ELIJAH TO GO TO ZAREPHATH TO SEE A WIDOW WHO WOULD PROVIDE HIM WITH FOOD AND DRINK. LET US READ……
  5. 5. I KING 17: 8-16 “AND THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO HIM, SAYING, ARISE, GET THEE TO ZAREPHATH, WHICH BELONGETH TO ZIDON, AND DWELL THERE: BEHOLD, I HAVE COMMANDED A WIDOW WOMAN THERE TO SUSTAIN THEE. SO HE AROSE AND WENT TO ZAREPHATH. AND WHEN HE CAME TO THE GATE OF THE CITY, BEHOLD, THE WIDOW WOMAN WAS THERE GATHERING OF STICKS: AND HE CALLED TO HER, AND SAID, FETCH ME, I PRAY THEE, A LITTLE WATER IN A VESSEL, THAT I MAY DRINK. AND AS SHE WAS GOING TO FETCH IT, HE CALLED TO HER, AND SAID, BRING ME, I PRAY THEE, A MORSEL OF BREAD IN THINE HAND. AND SHE SAID, AS THE LORD THY GOD LIVETH, I HAVE NOT A CAKE, BUT AN HANDFUL OF MEAL IN A BARREL, AND A LITTLE OIL IN A CRUSE: AND, BEHOLD, I AM GATHERING TWO STICKS, THAT I MAY GO IN AND DRESS IT FOR ME AND MY SON, THAT WE MAY EAT IT, AND DIE.”
  6. 6. I KING 17: 8-16 “AND ELIJAH SAID UNTO HER, FEAR NOT; GO AND DO AS THOU HAST SAID: BUT MAKE ME THEREOF A LITTLE CAKE FIRST, AND BRING IT UNTO ME, AND AFTER MAKE FOR THEE AND FOR THY SON. 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 SENDETH RAIN UPON THE EARTH. AND SHE WENT AND DID ACCORDING TO THE SAYING OF ELIJAH: AND SHE, AND HE, AND HER HOUSE, DID EAT MANY DAYS. AND THE BARREL OF MEAL WASTED NOT, NEITHER DID THE CRUSE OF OIL FAIL, ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD, WHICH HE SPAKE BY ELIJAH.” WHAT IS THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE AS IT RELATES TO US TODAY?
  7. 7. ELIJAH ELIJAH REPRESENTS THE HOLY SPIRIT. AS WE KNOW, ELIJAH WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST PROPHETS THAT EVER LIVED ON THIS EARTH. HE WAS SO RIGHTEOUS THAT THE LORD SAW FIT TO TAKE HIM UP IN A WHIRLWIND TO HEAVEN WITH CHARIOTS AND HORSES OF FIRE SO THAT HE WOULD NOT TASTE OF DEATH. THE HOLY SPIRIT GAVE POWER AND STRENGTH TO ELIJAH, ALLOWING HIM TO COMPLETE MANY GREAT FEATS, INCLUDING HEALING THE SICK, BRINGING FIRE AND RAIN DOWN TO THE EARTH, DIVIDING THE RIVER JORDAN IN HALF AND TEACHING AND DEFENDING THE TRUTH. IN FACT, ONE OF THE NAMES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SPIRIT OF ELIJAH (2 KINGS 2: 15).
  8. 8. ELIJAH LET US ALSO CONSIDER THE TIME IN WHICH ELIJAH CHALLENGED THE PROPHETS OF BAAL BEFORE ALL OF ISRAEL TO PROVE WHO THE TRUE LIVING GOD WAS. THERE WAS JUST ELIJAH VS 450 PROPHETS OF BAAL. IN I KINGS 18: 21, “AND ELIJAH CAME UNTO ALL THE PEOPLE, AND SAID, HOW LONG HALT YE BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS? IF THE LORD BE GOD, FOLLOW HIM: BUT IF BAAL, THEN FOLLOW HIM. AND THE PEOPLE ANSWERED HIM NOT A WORD.” NOW TO SUM IT UP IN SHORT, THE PROPHETS OF BAAL WERE NOT ABLE TO BRING DOWN FIRE UPON THEIR ALTAR BECAUSE THEY WERE CALLING ON A MERE IDOL.
  9. 9. ELIJAH WE KNOW THAT ELIJAH, HOWEVER, WAS ABLE TO BRING DOWN FIRE UPON HIS OFFERING BECAUSE HE CALLED ON THE TRUE GOD. THIS CHANGED THE HEARTS OF MANY PEOPLE. THIS SERVES AS A REFRAIN FOR US A WELL. IN THE LAST DAYS WE KNOW THAT THEIR WILL BE A GREAT OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH IS LIKEN TO A BAPTISM OF FIRE. THIS BAPTISM OF HOLY GHOST WILL CHANGE THE HEARTS OF GOD’S PEOPLE, OPENING THEIR EYES TO THE TRUTH SO THAT THEY SEE WHO THE TRUE GOD IS JUST AS ELIJAH DID FOR THE PEOPLE UNDER THE REIGN OF AHAB.
  10. 10. WIDOW A WIDOW REPRESENTS THE CHILDREN OF GOD THAT EXPERIENCE GREAT LOSS IN THEIR LIVES, MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO SUSTAIN. IN THIS CONTEXT, IT NOT ONLY IS A SPOUSE, BUT CAN BE ANYTHING SUBSTANTIAL, SUCH AS ONE’S HEALTH, JOB, OR HOME FOR EXAMPLE. THESE TYPE OF LOSSES CAN CAUSE A GREAT DEAL OF EMOTIONAL STRESS AND SOMETIMES ANGUISH. NOW
  11. 11. WIDOW AS WE READ, THE POOR WIDOW HAD BARELY ENOUGH TO FEED HERSELF AND HER SON. TODAY, WE MIGHT FIND OURSELVES IN SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL STATES, WHERE IT SEEMS WE ARE BARELY HANGING ON OR COPING DUE TO WHATEVER TRIAL WE MIGHT BE FACING. OUR RESERVES ARE VERY LOW AND WE HAVE ONLY A LITTLE BIT OF STRENGTH TO KEEP GOING AND TO SURVIVE. ALSO RECALL THAT ELIJAH ASKED HER TO MAKE SOME CAKE FOR HIM FIRST. THIS MIGHT SEEM ODD. HOWEVER, THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES US THAT WE MUST ALWAYS GIVE OUR DUE TO GOD FIRST. ALL ELSE IN OUR LIFE COMES SECOND, EVEN OUR FAMILY. BY MAKING GOD #1 IN YOUR LIFE, HE WILL REMEMBER YOU IN TIMES OF NEED AND PRESERVE YOU FROM HARM. BECAUSE AS WE READ IN THE LESSON, THE WIDOW OBEYED ELIJAH AND SHE AND HER SON DID NOT GO HUNGRY.
  12. 12. HANDFUL OF MEAL MEAL IS A COARSE, UNSIFTED POWDER GROUND FROM THE EDIBLE SEEDS OF ANY GRAIN SUCH AS WHEAT OR CORN. THE WIDOW ONLY HAD A HANDFUL IN A BARREL, WHICH SHE WAS GOING TO USE TO MAKE THE LAST BIT OF BREAD FOR HER AND HER SON DURING THIS DROUGHT AND FAMINE. THIS MEAL REPRESENTED THE WORD OF GOD, WHICH IS CHRIST. WE KNOW THAT CHRIST IS THE BREAD OF HEAVEN THAT SUSTAINS US IN SPIRITUAL TIMES OF FAMINE AND DROUGHT.
  13. 13. HANDFUL OF MEAL IN ST. JOHN 6: 32-35, "THEN JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, MOSES GAVE YOU NOT THAT BREAD FROM HEAVEN; BUT MY FATHER GIVETH YOU THE TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN. FOR THE BREAD OF GOD IS HE WHICH COMETH DOWN FROM HEAVEN, AND GIVETH LIFE UNTO THE WORLD. THEN SAID THEY UNTO HIM, LORD, EVERMORE GIVE US THIS BREAD. AND JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE: HE THAT COMETH TO ME SHALL NEVER HUNGER; AND HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME SHALL NEVER THIRST.”
  14. 14. CRUSE OF OIL OIL IS ALSO A SYMBOL OF THE WORD OF GOD. IN ANCIENT ISRAEL, THEY WOULD USE OIL TO LIGHT THE LAMPS AND TO ANOINT WITH. THE WORD OF GOD ENABLES US TO LET OUR LIGHT SHINE, WHICH IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT RADIATES FROM WITHIN. WHEN WE ANOINT, THIS MEANS TO SANCTIFY AND MAKE HOLY, DEDICATING SOMETHING OR SOMEONE TO GOD. WE WANT TO BE AN HOLY OFFERING UNTO THE LORD. THE WORD OF GOD SANCTIFIES US THAT WE MAY BE PLEASING AND ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD.
  15. 15. WATER THIS IS A SYMBOL OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. WATER ENABLES LIFE. IT CLEANSES AND REFRESHES. IN OUR PREVIOUS LESSON, WE LEARNED THAT THE RAIN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS ABOUT REPENTANCE, TEACHES US THE TRUTH AND ENHANCES OUR SKILLS AND TALENTS THAT WE MAY EXCEL IN THE LORD. WE LEARNED THAT CHRIST BRINGS LIVING WATERS THROUGH HIS WORD AND THAT BLOOD AND WATER FLOWED OUT HIS SIDE AND PENETRATED THE GROUND, WHICH IS LIKEN TO OUR HEARTS. OUR SPIRITUAL WATER, ENSURES THAT WE DO NOT THIRST AND THAT WE CAN SURVIVE EVEN DURING THE MOST DIFFICULT TIMES, DURING TIMES OF DROUGHT.
  16. 16. PERILOUS TIMES DURING THESE PERILOUS TIMES, WE ARE NOT IMMUNE TO WORRY, SORROW OR FEAR BECAUSE WE TOO ARE IMPACTED BY THIS CURRENT CRISIS. WE ARE CONFINED TO OUR HOMES OR WE HAVE TO GO OUT AND WORK, PLACING OUR HEALTH AT RISK. SOME OF US ARE UNABLE TO WORK AND HAVE LOST SIGNIFICANT INCOME. WE MAY BE CONCERNED FOR SOME OF OUR LOVED ONES WHO ARE AT HIGHER RISK OF BEING INFECTED. WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO ASSEMBLE TOGETHER IN THE SANCTUARY DUE TO STAY AT HOME ORDERS. OUR FAITH IS BEING TRIED IN THE FIRE AS WE SPEAK.
  17. 17. FAITH & STRENGTH EVERYDAY, WE MUST PRAY FOR FAITH AND STRENGTH BECAUSE WE MIGHT FIND OURSELVES MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY DRAINED, WEARIED OVER THE CHALLENGES WE FACE. BUT KNOW THIS, WE WILL BE PRESERVED, OUR LIVES SUSTAINED SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY, IF WE CONTINUE TO FEED AND DRINK FROM THE WORD OF GOD AND LISTEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT. LET US REMEMBER HIS WORDS, “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 SENDETH RAIN UPON THE EARTH.” THIS IS A PROMISE UNTO US EVEN TODAY.
  18. 18. CONCLUSION THE LORD WILL ENSURE THAT OUR BASIC NECESSITIES WILL BE MET AND HE WILL GIVE US THE THINGS WE NEED SPIRITUALLY TO BE SAVED. HE ALWAYS MAKES A WAY FOR HIS LITTLE ONES. WE KNOW THAT THERE IS A FAMINE AND DROUGHT OF TRUTH IN THIS WORLD. AND THOUGH THE WICKED OFTEN QUESTION AND CURSE GOD WHEN TIMES ARE HARD, WE DO NOT. INSTEAD WE SAY, LET HIS WILL BE DONE. LET GOD BE MAGNIFIED. TODAY WE MAY FEEL WE HAVE A HANDFUL OF MEAL AND A LITTLE CRUSE OF OIL BUT IT IS ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN US. HOWEVER, WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE END OF THIS FAMINE AND DROUGHT. WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAWNING OF SPRING, TO THE SEASON OF PLENTY, WHEN AN ABUNDANCE OF RAIN FROM THE HOLY GHOST COMES POURING DOWN ON US, THAT WE ALL MIGHT BE CHANGED AND FLOURISH FOREVERMORE. AMEN.

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