In God We Trust 1 Kings 17.1-16

Dear friend in Christ. May the peace of God be with us all through Jesus Christ this day and always! Amen.

When our dear brother Steve Davison was nearing the end of life, he told his family that he could not hear what they were saying because Jesus’ voice was drowning theirs out. Then he told them: “Faith has become sight,” and left this life.


In the beginning of chapter 11 of the letter to the Hebrews,11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.


Our message today is about trusting God through His Word and we will see how an Old Testament Prophet applied this to his life. He was a man of faith, for He trusted not in things that he could see, but He trusted in the invisible God who has spoken and who yet speaks today.


Elijah spoke for the Lord into his culture, who had left their God for other gods.

KJV 1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.



He was sent into the famine area, was provided for by birds. (the ravens)

We are introduced to Elijah as he is sent to speak the Word of the Lord into the evil culture, praying that it would not rain for 3 .5 years, as a judgment of mercy.  The Word that He spoke was not his own word, but was the Word of the Lord.

Of course, those who were living in idolatry did not see it that way,  as we see from Ahab’s statement to Elijah in the next chapter.

1 Kings 8:17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?

 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.


When it was known that Elijah was the prophet who had prayed for this drought upon the land, he was not popular with the people in that culture. He had spoken the truth, and now the attacks on him came. But he was not left alone by the Lord.


2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.


The Lord spoke to him again, telling him to go into the midst of the drought area, and even if all around him was dried up, he would be provided for by water from the brook and even by ravens, scavengers of meat.

Wow, that must have amazed him and humbled him, that he would be in safety in the wilderness by himself, water would be plentiful, but the ravens bringing him food morning and night?? What couldn’t the Lord do, as He is the Lord and the Creator and the Provider? Lest we doubt how the ravens knew to bring him food morning and night, we go back to verse 4 where it says that the Lord commanded the ravens to bring food to Elijah.


7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.


But after a year (according to Hebrew tradition) the water flow stopped due to the drought. Now what was going to happen? Eljah must have started wondering as to his future, but trusting in the Word of the Lord, he did not leave there in search of water, until..

8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,



He was sent to a poor widow who provided for him, for God had prepared her to serve Elijah.

9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

The Lord spoke to him again, first telling him that he had prepared a poor widow woman to serve him and that he was to go there to be sustained through her. What? A widow who had no husband to support her living and she would be the one to sustain him? He went according to the Word of the Lord.

10 So 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.

11 And 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.

When Elijah got to the city gates, behold, take note, the not a widow woman was there gathering sticks. Did Elijah know that this was the one? Possibly but we don’t know for sure. He asked for water and while she was walking away to get it, he asked for a little bread also.


Here we need to take note of how the Lord was working from both sides. What I mean  is that God not only directed Elijah out of the waterless situation, but he was also working ahead in order to prepare provision for him through an unlikely manner, the widow woman. We need to get this into our minds and our hearts, that we are not left to forge out our future by ourselves, for our Lord is going before us to prepare the way for us for His purposes. We must trust in Him  for all things always, regardless of the situation that might be before us.


This is a lesson we must learn over and over again, at least I must. Allow me to give a personal example to illustrate this. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and these things shall be added unto you,” referring to the needs of life that we all have need of.  It is one thing to speak that promise, but quite another to live it out. That has been and hopefully always will be a guiding verse for my wife and I in our life together, but I have had to continually be brought back to its correct order. For we have a tendency to want to see our future played out before we are comfortable going along with that promise. In other words, Lord, how are things going to be worked out, can you give me a sense of how things will be provided for,  and so on. That is not trust, that is living by sight, and not by faith.


When we were called to leave the timber industry and to enter into the ministry, I struggled with wanting to know how things were going to transition to an entirely different and then I would “seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.”  That did not go well as in my mind and heart there was a struggle going on with the Lord, in the trust area. Finally He showed me that it was all or nothing. Either we trusted him in all aspects of this transition or we were not to make the change.  By God’s grace we are here today…..


12 And 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.


Elijah pointed her away from her lack of provision unto the provision of the Lord. It is also demonstrated that she was not the one whom was going to provide for Elijah, but the one through whom God would provide out of his inexhaustible resources. May we remember this, that In God We Trust, and we do not have to see ahead of time how God is going to provide. Let us remember, He is working not only in us but also before us. Let us believe the Word of the Lord.



13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.


How could this poor woman trust in Elijah’s word unless she knew that he was a man of God? In verse 12 she says, “As the LORD thy God liveth,” which tells us that she understood that he was speaking for the Lord and with that knowledge obeyed that which Elijah had stated, getting his food before getting it for her and her son. That is trust in the Lord, according to His Word.



So what transitions are occurring in your life? In mine? In this congregation? How does this message apply to them?  In answer to that I recall a day in about 2004 during which I was still in the transition of moving from our involvement in the timber industry and serving this congregation full time. For the first few years after 2001 when we initially moved here, I went back and forth between the west and here in order to help with the transition of our timber business to our son, and during one of the times while I was out there I was listening to a sermon being preached this text. I still remember the hillside on which I was running a machine when the revelation came to me through the minister that God is always working from both sides, even as he was with Elijah by preparing his provision through an unlikely manner. That was a major revelation that came to me and which has not left me, for it has helped me immensely through the years and hopefully has helped others as I have passed it on to them. Our congregation is in the process of calling a successor to myself as pastor as it is our plan to retire from full time ministry sometime in the middle of next year.  In light of our message today, can we not trust the Lord is working for that transition? Yes, He is working and he is working from both sides.


In our congregation’s transition, let us heed the instruction of Jesus.

Matthew 9::35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

 36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.


The bringing together of a need and a  provision.

1 Kings 17:9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

10 So 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.

May we hear the Voice of the Lord through His Word so that faith and trust in Him we will seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, knowing that all we have need of will be provided.