Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Provider and Provision 6/12/10
Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today and always! That is the way to start off a letter is it not, to be reminded that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ as the result of being gifted with faith from God, which then gives us access unto His throne of grace where we are able to find help in every time of need.
We then live in hope of the future, knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in His Son Jesus. Perhaps a happening of many years ago will bring us some encouragement and direction in our lives today.

ESV 1 Kings 17:1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."
2 And the word of the LORD came to him,
3 "Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.
4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there."
5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

Elijah went in obedience to the Word of the Lord into the very country into which he had pronounced the coming of the drought. He did not go to some place where he would have simply watched the effects of the drought on people, but he identified with them in the coming famine. He was provided for by God's feeding program, which was through the coming of the raven twice a day and the water from the bubbling brook. Putting ourselves in the place of Elijah, we can imagine that he must have regularly watched the water level in the brook and as it dropped, perhaps he felt the pressure of worry even as we do when outwardly things do not look so good. But we note that he did not leave the brook until God spoke to him, telling him to go to Zarephath, in verses 8-9. I love this story because Our Father brought this so close to me during the time that He was exercising us in the matter of faith and trust as he pointed us more directly to the work here in Kingston, in 2004 or so. I preached on this text during the heat of it all, and after I got done a man told me, "You must really like that story!" I told him how it applied to me so well, in that when we were still logging full bore while yet living in the west, there was a period of time in the late 90's that a raven would regularly come to look for sandwiches and food scraps. It happened for a period of time that was noticeable, so I have always looked upon it as a word from the Lord of His promise to provide all that we need. I do not remember if I shared of the current struggles with what I was dealing with with him, but those who knew what was going on, understood the application of the sermon. I remember specifically while preaching of mentioning of how Elijah trusted in the Lord in the difficult circumstances and did not leave the dried up brook until after the Word of the Lord came to him. That has been a benchmark in my life! Regardless of what our outward circumstances may look like, no matter how bleak it may look, no matter how inviting it may be to just leave it all behind, it will not be good to move on before we hear the Word of the Lord pointing us to a different place or a new direction! It is like I heard his voice when I was preaching, "I am taking care of things ahead of you, don't worry, but don't do anything different until I tell you to."

8 Then the word of the LORD came to him,
9 "Arise, go to which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you."
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks.

Elijah, after hearing the Word of the Lord, went to Zarephath to live there, being told that he would be fed by a widow women there. Basically, he was told to leave and that God would be ahead of him taking care of his needs. Elijah took God as His Word, "I will take care of you. The way I do it is not up to you, but it is up to me. You are my chosen vessel, I own everything in heaven and on earth, therefore there is no lack of my capacity to provide for you. Leave this dried up brook now, go to this town and look for a little old lady who is going around gathering up sticks. She is the one who is going to take care of you." Elijah, "Well, okay, Lord....a little old lady is going to feed me????.....But...Elijah trusted and obeyed!! When he got to the town and approached the gate, there she was gathering sticks, to make the last meal for herself and her son. (verse 12)

10 And he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink."
11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand."
12 And she said, "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. And 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."
13 And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son.
14 For thus says the LORD the God of Israel, 'The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'"
15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days.
16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.

Elijah's heart must have praised the Lord for his faithfulness to His Word when he saw the women, and he immediately acted by calling for her to bring water and some bread. Her response did not dissuade Elijah, for the answer of the promise of God in his seeing of the women waiting there for him far outweighed what his natural eyes saw before him. For he saw God as the Provider and the woman as the vessel. He perhaps said in his heart and mind, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me to lie down beside the green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters." He remembered that God is able to provide abundantly more than anything that we are able to think or even ask, by the power that works in us: The power of faith, of trust, of total reliance in the One who sees all our need and Who is taking care of our future. Elijah saw that there was a treasure in the earthen vessel of the woman, that the power was of God and not of her. She was a vessel through whom God was going to provide all that is needed. Upon the Word of the Lord being spoken in assurance and trust, the widow trusted and obeyed, and therefore she enjoyed the blessing of the provision of the Lord until the day that rain was sent upon the earth again.

As we think upon this in conclusion to this, we can see that God is able to provide all that we need and then some. He calls us to trust in him in all our most difficult circumstances, waiting it out until such a time that He shows us a different pathway. When we see and go the new way, we can be assured that when it is according to His will and way, there will be affirmations of it even as there was for Elijah when he met the woman at the gate of the city. When God directs our lives, it seems that He is always working from two points, He works in us as well as in those He has prepared and directed to assist us in our lives. It is as if He sends them out to meet us as an affirmation of His faithfulness to provide all that is needed. When we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, He will give us those things that are needed which will sustain us in this life. It will be even as it was in the day of Elijah, that the provision will never run out until such a time as it is not needed anymore.

May the abundant grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today and forever!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 12 Jun 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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John the Voice 12.17.2017
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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