Coincidentally, I have written this blog 4 years back. Since that last blog have covered all I would have to say about this passage, I shall ‘refresh’ it and add new comments to it. J
Whenever I read this passage, the thought of eating food from the mouths of ravens (same family as crows) sort of sounds disgusting; of all birds I cannot stand the crow as they are like cockroaches being very dirty and black. Ravens are also considered unclean animals in the Bible. However, it is through this miracle that God fed prophet Elijah during the initial stages of the drought.
Prophet Elijah was able to accept what God provided for him even if it means sharing the filth with the raven. And truly God did not disappoint by providing him for the entire duration of the drought. The Lord’s Prayer for our daily bread is to ask God to provide us with our daily sustenance in order to live.
In this materialistic and affluent society, more often then not we have not experienced hunger or famine and having our stomachs full is taken for granted. My only time that I felt really physically thirsty was during an army exercise overseas. It was quite a long period of time perhaps more than a day that we did not have our water ration and we really thirst under the sweltering heat. However thank God that the water eventually came. That was perhaps my closest experience of what a drought is.
Some may feel that being full in the stomach is not good enough and they covet for expensive delicacies and exotic food. As Christians, we have to always give thanks for the food that we receive, as it is God who provided us the food and provided us the capability to work and a good job. Many Christians I know do not actually thank God for the meal before they partake of it, and it is a good practice in our church to give a thanksgiving prayer before the meal. More importantly, we should be contented with what God has given us and that truly every day of our lives is God given.
Other than God being the provider for our lives, on the reverse side of the coin is our trust and faith in His providence. Prophet Elijah had no doubts that God will provide for him, the widow and her son. Many times as humans we are myopic in our vision and in the process often doubt God or tempt Him when we fail to see His deliverance. God is able to see far and is able to use any items (in this case the jar or flour and jug of oil) and even the unclean bird for his purpose. Who would image that the jar and jug can provide unlimited flour and oil? Even the magician’s hat is limited in the items it can take out! To believe that God is able to work such a miracle requires faith from the widow and prophet Elijah.
When things go wrong, for example in the case of the widow’s son passing away, do we lose our faith in God? Will we know how to rely on God when we meet with tragedies? Again prophet Elijah was able to demonstrate his reliance on God and God answered his prayers.
This is a reminder to me, especially recently (oops this is 2010 blog…) there have been a lot of issues in my work (one of my projects that I am doing) and I thank God that He opened a way in that project. Just only today, my colleagues commented that we have been very ‘lucky’ as yesterday in office we did a demo to the customer of our equipment capabilities and it required hanging a ‘target board’ at a location. And today, just so coincidentally this location cannot be used for the demo and thankfully the demo although plagued with so many technical issues and project management issues was successfully conducted yesterday!
Ok back to 2014. I am in the same job and have faced even much more troubles and issues since. However, the Lord has been gracious, in that if we seek Him first in our lives, putting career in the backseat, He will in fact bless us in what we do. Not only does He intervene to resolve these issues, He also ensured that things work out better than imagine. It comes so much that my immediate boss who is sort of a workaholic, accepts that there are other priorities in my life above work.
Recently, I was overseas to solve some major technical issues, although it was raining heavily (in fact a storm) at that country and that there were even large hail stones, God opened a way for the rain to stop temporarily for me to solve these technical issues on site. I would surmise that if God did not provide this window of opportunity, I would still have been stuck in that country and the project would hit a real roadblock. Amazingly, although the tasks were very daunting, compounded with such bad weather and the customer already furious, He opened a way that the customer was pleased with the phenomenal (customer’s words) results. All these can only happen with God’s help.
As a closure,
This hymn comes to my mind:
Hymn 378 Trust and Obey
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey
May we trust in Jesus and find joy in Him.