In This Issue  
Home    |    About Us    |    Meet Debbie    |    Meet Friends    |    Prayer    |    Contact Us
Share Print this page Print Email to a friendEmail

< Back to Money

Provision in a Season of Lack: Part III

“And the word of the LORD came to him saying, ‘ Go away.. and hide yourself by the brook Cherith,…. And it shall be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.’  So he went and did according to the word of the LORD…. And it happened after a while, that the brook dried up, … Then the word of the LORD came to him saying, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath,… behold I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.’  So he arose and went to Zarephath…”

(1 Kings 17:2-5;7-10a NASB)

     Previously in our exploration of 1 Kings 17, we discovered several principles.

  • There is natural and supernatural provision.
  • Provision was associated with a designated place.
  • Obedience to God’s directives was required to experience the provision, therefore it was imperative to be sensitive to His voice or promptings.
  • What we may consider a “season of lack” in truth is an opportunity for God’s provision.
  • God commanded the provision before the need was realized.

     One day while cleaning up my kitchen, I was meditating on what followed in 1 Kings 17 when the natural provision (the brook) dried up.  That’s when God revealed another aspect of this lesson.  It  is the foundation of all of the previously mentioned observations.  It is all summed up in this – recognizing the difference between the “source” of provision and the “means” of provision.  Understanding the scope and qualities of each of these will eliminate a lot of anxiety and enable one to have peace and expectancy in times of need.

Source and Means Described

     The word “means” can be used in various ways, however, in regards to provision it is the method that is used to meet the need.  It is simply a vehicle.  When the brook dried up, God directed Elijah to the new “means” of provision - a widow in Zarephath.  This “means” was illogical and unconventional.  It defied reason and religion.  It defied reason because a widow at that time was the poorest of the poor if she had no sons old enough to care for her.  It defied religion because the Law was against the Jews joining with Gentiles lest they begin to serve the Gentile’s gods.  The Jews were to be set apart.  Elijah knew he heard God so he set aside reason and religion and did what God said.

     The word “source” indicates the place where something originates.  It is also the place from which things flow such as rivers which flow from oceans or bays.  In 1Kings 17 there were various “means” of provision both natural and supernatural but they all flowed from one “source.”  The “Source” was the One Who directed Elijah to the natural provision (which He created) and commanded the supernatural provision.  The “Source” was, is and will always be God Himself.

Source and Means – Their Nature and Qualities

     Let’s observe the nature and qualities of each as portrayed in 1 Kings 17.  The “means” of provision were subject to circumstances.  The brook and the availability of the flour and oil were impacted by the lack of rain over the course of six months. Since the “means” is subject to circumstances or outside influences there is always a chance that it may come to an end.   It is temporal and limited.

     In contrast, the “Source” of provision in 1Kings 17 is full of options.  The “Source” is not influenced by anything but influences all things.  As in the case with the widow of Zarephath, God can even take a limited supply and make it unlimited (Phil. 4:19).

     The disciples experienced this on two occasions while fishing.  After fishing all night and catching nothing, at Jesus’ word they get the biggest catch of their life.  All it took was their obedience to the word of Jesus for God was their “source” (Luke 5:4-7; John 21:5,6).  There is also the example of the feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand (John 6:1-14; Matthew 15:32-38).  The disciples at Jesus’ word were able to feed the multitudes with a few fish and a little bread.  In all of these situations, people were facing lack and potential loss.  God gave them a directive that when obeyed released their provision.  This leads us to the component that is present in all of these examples that enables one to receive from the “Source.”  That component is “faith.” 

     Faith is not just a belief system.  It is something that has its manifestation in our actions (James 2:17).  Luke 5:17-26 records that when the four men lowered their lame friend through the roof to be healed by Jesus, Jesus saw their faith and healed the man.  How was their faith seen?  It was seen through their determination and perseverance to get their friend to Jesus.  This expression of faith elicited the desired response from Jesus.  He healed their friend.  Faith is the currency of heaven.  Hebrews 11:6 states that “without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.”  In 1 Kings 17:8-16, both Elijah and the widow were required to express faith.  Elijah had to go to Zarephath and approach a widow.  The widow had to make the prophet a cake first.  Both actions were in response to a word from God.  A directive from God requires a faith response.  Faith has its expression in obedience to His directives.


     Do you have a need today?  Has your “brook dried up?”  Know that those clients, that income, that scholarship, that sponsor, that job or that relationship was never your “source.”  It was simply the means by which God chose to provide for your need.  He has always been your “source” and always will be.  He is the God Who sees ahead and provides (Jehovah Jireh).  Be still. Listen for His voice and do what He says.  He has already commanded the provision.  Position yourself to receive His directions through worship, prayer, meditation on the Scriptures and even fasting.  After you’ve heard, obey even if it moves you out of your comfort zone and receive His provision.  Let’s pray.


     Dear Lord, I confess that I have looked to the temporal things of this earth as my “source” of provision.  I have put my trust in the gift rather than the Giver.  I now acknowledge You as my “Source” of provision and even life itself (2 Peter 2:3a).  I position myself to hear from You.  Help me Holy Spirit to obey the word of the Lord even if it takes me out of my comfort zone.  Thank You for the provision You have already commanded for me.  I trust You and I love You.   In Jesus’ name, Amen

Copyright © 2008-2015 Shermaine Jones

Reader Comments...
2011-09-12 16:18:45
"The difference between source and means is truly the key! Thank you for your wonderful insights my sister! Love ya, Regina"
        - Regina

Post Your Comment...

First Name
Last Name
e-mail   (We will not re-distribute your e-mail.)

Share on Facebook Share
Print this page Print This Page
Email to a friendEmail Article to a Friend

< Back to Money

More Great Articles

My Friend Debbie - Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh AirHome & Hospitality

Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh Air
My Friend Debbie - Chicken and Rice CasseroleKitchen Keeper Recipes

Chicken and Rice Casserole
My Friend Debbie - Corolla, NC with GirlfriendsTravel

Corolla, NC with Girlfriends