1 Kings 17:12
She put her faith into action by giving everything, not withholding anything at all. This is the kind of faith that we can emulate.
“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.” (1 Kings 17:12)
When we talk about faith, what comes naturally to mind are those great people of faith whom we know by name – heroes who parted the Red Sea, conquered kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, and defeated foreign armies respectively (Hebrews 11)
When we talk about faith, what comes naturally to mind are those great people of faith whom we know by name – heroes who parted the Red Sea, conquered kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, and defeated foreign armies respectively (Hebrews 11). We envy the great faith of these extraordinary people; we also reckon that we can never attain their kind of faith since we are just ordinary people. Truly, we should acknowledge that we cannot attain great faith and do great things on our own. However, there is a Chinese saying that goes: “The beauty of peony is enhanced by its green foliage”, that is, without the support of ordinary people (who often times are neglected yet play an important role), great people may not be able to accomplish anything by themselves.
During the period of Northern Kingdom of Israel, the word of God came to the prophet Elijah, that there will be famine and no rain in the next three and a half years (1 Kings 17). After a period of famine, God commanded Elijah to go and seek refuge with a nameless widow and her son. He had instructed the widow to provide for Elijah beforehand. When Elijah arrived, the widow spoke the words in the above verses. Eventually, Elijah survived the famine and fulfilled the task that God had entrusted to him.
Often, we marvel at Elijah’s deeds, but pay little attention to the widow’s great faith – faith even to the point of death. Widows are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, they do not have husbands to protect them when things happen. At that time, there was a famine going on, life was very hard, and all that the widow had was perhaps barely sufficient food for the day. Furthermore, she had to take care of her only son, and God had not promised her anything in return. Yet she aid out everything she had, as God had commanded her to do. She performed no miracle, but she put her faith into action by giving everything, not withholding anything at all. This is the kind of faith that we can emulate.
By the time you read this, my wife and I are already in Liu Village, a mountain village located in northern Thailand, where majority of the villagers are Christians. During our visit, we will share God’s word with them. Next week, I will share with you a story of how the faith of a woman had led the people of Liu Village to Christ.
By Rev Herman Kan