A dark moment in Israel's history occurred during the reign of king Ahab. A long drought and famine threatened the Israelites. During this time, God arranged for a widow to supply the prophet Elijah with food. Some may wonder: why did not God move a wealthy man to do this task? Why a lowly widow? Although the widow had only a handful of flour and a little oil, this was sufficient to feed Elijah and her own household until rain once again poured down upon Israel.
Sometimes we emphasize money as one of the essentials for the prosperity of a church. We constantly urge fellow believers who are gainfully employed to "earn for the Lord." "Give more offerings," we think. "We need more funds to build up the church." But the miracle God performed at Zarephath points in another direction. We should once again re-examine the issue at hand.
It is true that the church needs money to forward the gospel of salvation, especially for worldwide evangelism. But we should not lose sight that the funds the church needs is always abundantly provided for by the Lord. If God can move one simple widow, perhaps one of the lowest members of the social ladder, to supply the needs of a mighty prophet of God, God can also accomplish His will through the seemingly poor "widows" of our church today.
Earning money for the Lord is definitely wiser than storing up money for yourself. Giving to the Lord is our duty, and the means by which we help the church in her ministry. However, God does not want us to devote ourselves totally to money-making just for the sake of giving more, because in so doing we may often lose sight of the original intention. Our relationship with the Lord may become distanced. God requires us to serve him wholeheartedly, and not to devote all our time and energy to earning money.
Oftentimes, we entertain a plan with self-confidence: we try to store up enough wealth and security before we begin to work for God and his household. We often act as though God's ability to secure us is limited. The miracle at Zarephath reminds us to undertake the urgent task of fulfilling God's will first. Unexpected grace from God will then follow. This is not an issue of risk, but of faith. Let us deeply consider the issues so that we may live a meaningful life and build up the household of God.