04/17/16 Sovereignty

READING: 1 Kings 15-17

Sometimes it’s hard to understand God’s plan. 

Surely that was the case for the widow at Zarephath in today’s reading. She and her son had only a little olive oil and flour left during a time of severe drought, and she was sure that they were facing impending death. Elijah the prophet approached her, asked for some food from her, and then assured her that God would provide for her and her son: “For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land’” (1 Kings 17:14). And, as Elijah said, God provided them daily food. 

Some time later, though, the son became ill and died. What a surprise that must have been to the mother — who consequently assumed that Elijah really only brought the judgment of God on her. Why else would God have saved her son from hunger but then allow him to die? The man of God seemingly brought great tragedy. 

The rest of the story is more miraculous. Elijah prayed over the son, and God raised him from the dead. The prophet even carried the boy to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” (1 Kings 17:23).  

We know, of course, that God does not always resurrect the dead like He did in this story. In fact, sometimes He works one miracle (like feeding the mother and son), but then later on chooses not to intervene. Escape from one tragedy is no guarantee of escape from every tragedy.  The God who is so clearly present today might seem distant tomorrow. What we must trust, though, is that God is sovereign in all cases — including those cases that make little sense to us. 

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Spend some time reviewing the passion of Elijah as he prayed for the son. Perhaps you know someone for whom you need to intercede with the same kind of passion. 
  • If you’re having a difficult time trusting God, ask Him to give you faith to trust His sovereign hand. He really is in control.   

PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your sovereignty, even when I may not understand all that happens. Grant me faith to trust You today, regardless of what I face.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  1 Kings 18-20