The prophet Elijah was told by God to prophesy that a famine was coming on the land. That is not a ministry that will make you very popular but Elijah was obedient to the Lord. The Lord protected him and sent him to a place beside a brook called Cherith. This is a beautiful name for a brook, although we do not know if it was as beautiful as it sounds. But nevertheless, after a while the brook dried up (see 1 Kings 17:3-7). Everyone can go a considerable amount of time without eating but after a few short days without water, life cannot be sustained. So I imagine Elijah became concerned when his water supply dried up.
The word of the LORD came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath . . . I have commanded a widow there to feed you” (verses 8-9). Elijah, who seemed to have very little provision, trusted and obeyed God yet he was being sent to a poor widow. “So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks” (verse 10).
Elijah asked her for a jar of water and a morsel of bread and she responded, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug” (verse 12).
This widow was responding to him out of her hurt. She and her son were starving and Elijah had come and said, “God sent me here to have you feed me.” She is looking at her resources and thinking, “This is impossible!” And then she said to him, “Now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die” (verse 12).
Elijah’s response was rather strange: “Do not fear; go and do as you have said” (verse 13).
Why would he say that? Because he knew that God was not going to abandon this woman and her child. He knew that as she obeyed God and blessed others through the little bit that she had, she would become blessed herself. The more she gave away, the more God increased what she had (see verses 14-16).
Obey God and you will see the windows of heaven open. God will not withhold His hand from you. He longs to pour out His blessings on you, to show you His favor.