“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. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.”1 Kings 17:14-15
I have been blessed to have a job for most of my life. I started with grass cutting, and then moved on to ironing clothes and then washing dishes. In my teen years, I learned about a dishwasher job from the classified ads in the newspaper and went to apply. They gave me a simple 3×5 card to fill out and one of the questions they asked me was, “why should we hire you?” I wrote my answer in bold letters, “I am eager to work.” I got the job, and my boss later told me that my answer to this question is why he hired me. I have been blessed to have a job for most of my adult life and the longest I have been unemployed was about two months. The two months seemed like forever, but I am grateful to God who, in His mercy, has always met my needs and above that.
I was taught at a young age to give my tithe to God and honor Him with my giving. I did not quite understand when I was young why this is important, but as I grew older, I learned that all I have is God’s, and He is the source of my income. I may have an employer, but that is the employer He has given me to make a living, and He allows me to keep 90% of all that He has provided for me. He has given me the skill, knowledge, wisdom and opportunity at my job, and He blessed and favored me beyond comprehension. I no longer give much thought to giving to God what is already His, and I am glad and grateful to be able to give it. God is faithful to take care of His children, and we must trust Him in all things, even when it means our cash flow is short and we fear the unknown.
We are facing higher gas prices, higher food prices, and higher cost of living. We hear reports of inflation being at a 40-year high, and our 401(k) statements a decrease in our retirement savings. We sometimes worry if Social Security will be around when we retire or even if our savings will be worth anything when we need it. We are tempted to hold back the tithe meant for God, and I have even heard people say that they cannot afford to tithe. Malachi 3:8, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein (in what way) have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” We sometimes fail to trust God, especially when it comes to our bank account.
The prophet Elijah asked a widow woman to feed him, even though there was a famine in the land and she was down to her final scrap of food. She was going to enjoy a last meal with her son and then she was going to die. Elijah shared with her the promise of God that the bin of flour would not be empty and the cruse of oil would not run dry. She took him at his word and prepared for him her last meal. True to His word through Elijah, God miraculously kept the flour and oil from running out and the widow woman, her son, and Elijah continued to eat many days. The famine did not wipe them out as God knew their needs and He met them. I imagine that a famine is worse than the inflation we currently face, and the God who showed Himself to the widow woman is the same God who is in control now. He is the God of the famine, and He is the God of inflation. Our faith should not be in the stock market or supply chains, but our trust should be placed firmly in our God.
Do you grow worried listening to the news or looking at your savings and retirement accounts? Do you believe that God is able to meet your needs? Do you know of any greater resource than God? Have you come to realize He is the owner of the universe and all things are under His hand? May we take Him at His word, and may we rest that God takes great care of His children. Psalm 37:25 reminds us, I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.