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"Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food,"(1 Kings 17:7).


The place where Elijah was receiving his provision had dried up. God had given him a command to go somewhere else to receive his provision. God had first ordered the ravens to feed Elijah, then He told him to go to a widow. Widowhood in biblical times was associated with poverty and vulnerability. Elijah was also in a place of continuous refinement, that is why he was sent to Zarephath. He wasn’t sent to a well to do widow but one whom was very poor.

“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 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, (1 Kings 17:12).”


The town was called Zarephath, in Hebrew this word means a place of refinement, smelting place, place of purification with fire. Smelting is the extracting of precious metals by heat. God uses the trials of our lives to remove impurities that reside deep within our hearts. In a similar way gold is heated at extreme temperatures to remove other metals. God sits as our refiner and he uses the trials of life to refine our hearts until we become pure as gold.   


“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify … and refine them like gold and silver,” (Malachi 3:3).

The provision of God can come in unconventional ways. God had a pending miracle for the widow but first she had to be tested. Elijah wasn’t the miracle maker he was merely a vessel used by God to perform the miracle. Both Elijah and the widow were able to benefit from the miracle that God would produce.


The widow in Zarephath was in her very own refining process, she was in a crucial time in her journey. She had to walk by faith and not by sight. The word of the Lord had come to test her by fire. The widow had to be willing to share the little she had. She had to believe the Lord would be faithful and multiply her little.

"He called to her and asked, would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink? As she was going to get it, he called, And bring me, please, a piece of bread," (1 King 17:10-11).

The widow of Zarephath had to see Elijah with spiritual eyes. If she viewed him with natural eyes, she may have mistaken him for a beggar and sent him away. She would have missed out on her miracle and both her and her son would have surely died. There was a famine in the land and she wasn’t the only widow, but she was the only one that God sent Elijah too.

If the widow had a lot, it would be easy for her to share with Elijah. The test came when she had little. When her very own hope had been cut short. The widow could have looked at her circumstances and thought; I have nothing to offer Elijah, I’m poor and I’m preparing my last supper. But she didn’t look at it from that perspective. The widow's sacrifice in Gods eyes was great; she gave from her poverty.

"They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on,"(Mark 12:44).

She had a sacrificial love; she was willing to lay aside her own interest for the sake of others. She made room and provision for Elijah. When men are suffering, they tend to practice self-preservation. It’s difficult to deny oneself for others when we are in anguish. The love of Christ was sacrificial, it required him to deny himself to take on the sins of mankind.  


‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13).

Maybe you feel you don't have much to give, but I want to assure you that God can use you when you feel depleted. All He's looking for is a willing heart. Your season of famine and deep refinement won't last forever, God is after the gold he's place deep within you. He's using the trials to refine your character and purify your heart. If you are in a season of refinement, take a moment and ask yourself, how can God use me to serve others in this place?

 The bible says “the generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed,” (Proverbs 11:25).


Elijah’s faith was also being tested in this place, he had to be able to trust that God could use him to perform a miracle. The widow would provide a small cake of bread and water but what Elijah really needed for the journey ahead was spiritual food. Elijah’s faith had to be in the provision of God and not in himself. He had to be humble enough to ask someone whom was poor for assistance. Elijah was able to empathize with the widow because he knew what it felt like to be hungry. His own suffering and refinement had prepared him to have compassion for others.


The little you have will not be used up nor depleted until God sends the rain. Even though things look hopeless, God is not going to allow you to die in this place. He will sustain you in your place of refinement. 


“For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: This jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land, (1 Kings 17:14).


The widow had nothing she planned on dying after eating their last meal but God showed up in her famine. God can show up in your poverty, He is Jehovah Jireh and he can sustain you in any season. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. God can perform a miracle in the midst of great adversity!


Trust Him

Follow Him

Believe Him


He is a promise keeper. ❤️

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