In I Kings 17 we read the story of the prophet Elijah going to the town of Zarephath. Interesting note: Zarephath means place of refining or testing. God told Elijah to stay with the widow there. God did not tell the prophet to find the wealthiest home he could to take of care of him. No, God sent him to the poorest widow.
God usually finds the lowest, the poorest, the weakest so He can show Himself strong. The prophet asked the widow to give him water and bread. The widow told him she only had enough food for herself and her son to have one last meal.
This story begins to reveal the refining faith of the widow. Under Jewish tradition, The prophet like the priest was always entitled to the first portion. The widow not only gave the prophet his portion, she gave all she had to the prophet, her meal and her sons meal.
This story reminds me of the story of the widow's offering. Jesus told his disciples that the widow gave more that the wealthiest donors because she gave all she had, two pennies. Luke 21: 2. The widow of Zarephath could have just given the prophet her bread and saved some for her son but she instead, gave all she had. God rewarded her faith by giving her provision for her and her household for the next 7 years during a time of famine.
I am reminded of God's promise to His people in Deuteronomy 11. That if we obey God. God promises provision and not just enough but more than enough. If you are going through some tough times right now I want to encourage with the Word of God. God will provide if we remain faithful like the widow of Zarephath. God gives us permission to test Him on His provision for us.
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty.