A Jar, A Jug and Jehovah

SERIES: Ridiculous Faith

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR WEEK OF MAY 6-12, 2020

INTRODUCTION:

In many cultures, widows are never considered as strong, successful and influential women but God gives great honor to many widows in The Bible as they teach all humanity the deeper lessons of life by their simple acts of faith in God Almighty.

Consider the Bible stories about. . .

  • The widow’s cry because of poverty – 2 kings 4:1-7
  • The widow’s offering – Mark 12:41-44
  • The widow of Nain – Luke 7:11-17 

Just to name a few.

BACKGROUND:

King Ahab sinned against God more than all his predecessors and then had married Jezebel.  Plus he worshiped Baal! God sent Elijah to tell King Ahab that there would be a drought. Then, God stopped the rain in the land and told the prophet to move away and go to a solitary hiding place. Here God commanded the brook to give him water and the ravens to bring him food.  When it was time for Elijah to move on to his next assignment, the brook dried up. Here we see that God was guiding Elijah. God provided the brook and now he dried it up because he no longer needed it.

God stopped his provision in one place and gave it to him in a new place. God didn’t send Elijah to a 5 star hotel with a huge entourage or team of people. God sent Elijah to a solitary place where he could not be disturbed, it would be just him and God, so that he could hear from God.

Point to Ponder: Could it be that some things in your life have come to an end because God is moving you on to the next task?

1 Kings 17:1-6 (NIV)

1     Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

2     Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah:

3     “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.

4     You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”

5     So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there.

6     The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

I. Divine Drought

A. In The Land

  • A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall leading to a shortage of water
  • A prolonged absence of a specific thing
  • Dry spell

B. In our Lives

  • Spiritually – no water
  • Financially – no “bread”
  • A drought is as fierce a test as any of a person’s faith in God.

John 4:13-14 (NIV)13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Matthew 4:4 (NIV) – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

John 6:35 (NIV) – Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

1 Kings 17:7-13 (NIV)

7     Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.

8     Then the word of the Lord came to him:

9     “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.”

10   So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?”

11   As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

12   “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 

13   Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.

II. Divine Direction

Elijah. . .

  • The brook dried up 
  • God sent him to Zarephath – sent to a place
  1. Unsafe
  2. Unappealing
  3. Undesirable

Widow. . .

  • Death of her spouse
  • Drought in the land 
  • Down to last meal 
  • Divine directions calls for her faith in an unknown God to be. . .
  1. Tested
  2. Tried
  3. Tossed

Point to Ponder: You have so little, what would your response be if told to give your “little” to a stranger?  Particularly to a race of people who are known to hate you?

Point to Ponder:  You are a Gentile, a pagan – why would you, how could you, or can you exhibit “Ridiculous Faith” in a God you don’t know? After all. . .He doesn’t have a “track record” in your life!

  • Don’t Fear (v. 13)
  • He will give you what you need

Matthew 6:31-32 (NIV)31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

  • He will be protection all around us

2 Kings 6:16 (NIV) – “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

  • He will be our strength in weakness

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  • He will be our companion in trial

Isaiah 43:1-2 (NIV)1 But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

  • He will give us overshadowing care

Matthew 10:30-31 (NIV)30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

1 Kings 17:14-16 (NIV)

14   For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”

15   She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.

16   For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

III. Divine Deliverance

  • Jar of flour   –  Bread         –      Provision
  • Jug of oil      –   Blessings   –      Promises
  • Jehovah       –   Benefactor –     Provider

Point to Ponder: Giving to “the man of God” first can be symbolic of what???

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                     Thank God for the provisions, promises and the fact that some things get delayed or removed from our lives for our good.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:       There are people that need to know what God can do without you saying anything but just showing God’s power through your actions; represent Him well.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:            Share with others the provisions Christ made by dying on the cross and being raised to live.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:            Giving shows our obedience and our gratitude.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:            When in doubt about what God is capable of doing, remember how God has been a protector, made provisions and has been a promise keeper to you and those around you.

NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: At Wit’s End

SERIES:          Ridiculous Faith

NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT:  1 Kings 17:18-24; Numbers 32:23; Job 11:6; Jeremiah 16:17; Luke 15:26-30; Habakkuk 1:1-3; Luke 1:18-20; Luke 1:34-35; Psalm 34:6; Matthew 6:6; Jeremiah 29:13; Isaiah 65:24; Hebrews 11:6

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