Wednesday, June 17, 2009
God and His Crazy Commands
1 Kings 17:8 - 9 (KJV) 8And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 9Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
What’s a girl to do? Her husband is dead. There is a severe drought in the land. Apparently there is not much food left to provide for her and her son. Perhaps this is what led the widow woman at Zaraphath to call on the Lord. We don’t know much about what she said to God, but we see clearly what God said to her: God commanded her to provide for the prophet.
Certainly God can be trusted, but who can fault the widow woman from doubting her answer from heaven? We don’t know how much time had passed; but from the time God spoke until the time the Prophet Elijah showed up at her house, she had reevaluated her options. No offence God, but I think I’m going to do it my way this time.
1 Kings 17:10 - 12 (KJV) 10So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
It is noteworthy that her solution outside of God’s command did not buy her much time. Even though God’s idea was outrageous, her own plans were incredibly limited under the circumstances. It is also significant to me that the prophet only asked her to follow through on the instructions she had already received from the Lord.
If you fast-forward to the end of the story you discover that God’s command was right on the mark (as usual). No matter how crazy it sounded, obeying God was the best option in spite of the circumstances.
Wow! Some things don’t change. Some people still balk at the crazy commands we find in God’s word. However, God doesn’t change. His ways still work regardless of the uncertainties we face in our generation.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 - 14 (KJV) 13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
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