Tuesday, 21st September 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-7 God’s Word in the Nature
Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead. He was not a local there and his origin as the Tishbite was not well respected in Gilead. Elijah reminded us about Moses, who was also a slave in Egypt, someone who was looked down by others, but was lifted by God to stand up and speak to the people in reign during that time. How do we see ourselves? Do we see ourselves as slaves and foreigners? Or do we see ourselves as the servants of God? Elijah was not afraid of death and went to speak to king Ahab. It was just like how Moses and Aaron were not afraid of death when they went to talk to Pharaoh. Elijah didn’t see Ahab bigger than God; he was not afraid of Ahab. Do we see others bigger than God? Do we see our family, our work, our finance, our health more than we sees God?
God wants us to walk in the path of faith, He wants us to see that His Word is full of blessings. It’s not when we see the blessings then follow, God wants us to follow His Word and blessings will definitely come! God told Elijah to talk to Ahab, but He didn’t tell Elijah what the next step was. Only until they finished talking then God told Elijah to leave Gilead and go hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. When Elijah went to where God asked him to go, the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and in the evening; and he drank from the brook. God wants us to receive His blessings for us in the nature, do we give thanks to the land God gives to us? Everything we have in life is from God, but very often when we stay in one place, we are thinking about somewhere else.
God let the ravens brining bread and meat to Elijah. Ravens are often seen as bad luck for people, but God used ravens to supply for Elijah. God allows the land, the rain, the trees, etc. to bless us, but do we see God’s blessings with us? We are prideful and rebellious; we often don’t see the lives we have are full of blessings from God.
Section Two V8-16 God’s Word in the World
God wanted Elijah to experience the blessings of His Word, He asked Elijah to go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there. God also told him that He had commanded a widow there to provide for Elijah. When the widow said she had nothing to offer to Elijah, Elijah still spoke by faith and asked her to give him food first. Do we see our lacking or do we have the fear for God? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Do not focus on what we don’t have but believe God gives and takes away, when we walk in the path of God, He will provide for us. God asked Elijah to speak to Ahab even though he didn’t know what was going to happen; God let Elijah stay in the wild even though he didn’t know how he would survive; and God told Elijah to talk to the widow even though the widow already told him she had no food.
Do we have the faith like Elijah? Do we also receive the Word from God through the word of His servant? Elijah knew God’s Word is alive, he knew that God would provide for him and for the widow. Therefore, he said, “The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.” God gave us different gifts and we must learn to humble ourselves to see our own bin of flour and jar of oil. When God gave them to us, we must believe that we will lack nothing. The widow humbled herself, by faith she did what Elijah told her to do, and the flour and the jar sustained her household for many days.
God did not tell Elijah what to do in advance, but when Elijah spoke, God gave him the words to speak. We must learn to be humble, do not challenge our authority, and do not see our lacking. When God asks us to do something, take the step of faith and make a start, God will surely provide us with all that we need.
Section Three V17-24 God’s Word in the Mouth of His Servant
After many days, the bin of flour was not used up, the shall the jar of oil did not run dry, but did the widow really see God? When her son was sick, she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God?” We can never satisfy the physical needs of people, so often we asked for something from God, when it was fulfilled, we asked for more. We are so easy to focus on what we don’t have, instead of what God has provided for us. The world told us to work seven days a week, to gain more achievement and to earn more money, but then we don’t have time to spend with God. Elijah did so much for the widow, because of Elijah, the widow’s family was able to survive, but when her son was sick, she wanted nothing to do with Elijah.
Elijah said to the woman, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. Elijah took the son to his room, which was a place of worship. Elijah as the servant of God, day and night he prayed to God, and he experienced God. Do we also experience God in our room and on our bed? Have we encountered with God in our sleep? Jacob saw the golden ladder in his sleep, and Elijah also had encounters with God in his sleep. Let our lives be connected with God, in the day and at night.
Elijah prayed three times, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.” In the original Scripture, it says to let the child’s breath come back to him, the ‘breath’ represents the life God breathed into Adam in the Creation. And the widow’s son lived then the widow believed. For a long time, the widow experienced the miracles of the flour and the oil, but she didn’t really believe. So, through Elijah’s Word, the widow witnessed the presence of God. Every morning when we come to morning devotion, God breathes His life into us, renew us, restore us, and revive us. Can we see how real the Word of God is? Do we really know what blessings God has brought us with His Word?
Worship: 住在你裡面 Dwell in You https://youtu.be/F6LFd0l9ADQ
Prayer & Pursuit
What do we lack in our lives and in our belief? Through today’s chapter, God is speaking to us that no matter if it’s in the nature, in the world and in the mouth of His servant, His Word is with us. Let us ask God to take away our disbelief, and know that God is always with us, He has already blessed us with His Word!
V1a 以利亚是“寄居”在基列的提斯比人，不属于那地，但他是属神的人。“提斯比人”是俘虏，所以在当时被人看不起，被当成“次等人”。然而神拣选他去对以色列王亚哈说话。以利亚对亚哈“指着所侍奉永生耶和华以色列的神起誓”- 我们华人很容易有崇洋媚外的情节，看到金发碧眼讲英文的人就更尊重他们，但是以利亚看自己有正确的价值观。我们如今身在移民国家，如何看待自己？我们是否只看自己是次等的人？以利亚面对邪恶的以色列一国之君亚哈反而不怕死，颇有当年摩西面对埃及法老王时勇敢要求带领奴隶以色列人离开一样。以利亚没有看亚哈大过神，他信靠神时，神就为他预备。我们是否看所惧怕的人、所担心的事大过我们的神？我们如何看待，就如何受祝福 – 因为神比一切受造物都大！
V8-9 当雨水干的时候，神没有让以利亚回去，反而让他去到外邦“西顿的撒勒法”- 就是拜巴力的耶洗别的家乡。神说他已经在那里吩咐了一个寡妇来供养以利亚，“供养”的意思就是维持、支持、供给。
V10 以利亚按照神的指示，到了撒勒法之后就遇到一个妇人 – 这个情景仿佛当年亚伯拉罕的老仆人在井边向所遇到的利百加要水喝，其实是试试看被问的人会不会按照神所讲的那样给他取水喝。
V15-16 妇人的回应正是“谦卑顺服、舍己利他”，于是他们家“吃了许多日子”- 原文指“耶和华的日子”。耶和华神一开始没有跟以利亚说“坛内的面必不减少，瓶里的油必不缺短…”但神借着以利亚的信心成就以利亚所说的话。我们要学习像这个妇人一样，当我们的权柄教导的时候，我们不要顶撞，要谦卑领受, 不要只看自己的缺乏，要有信心踏出那一步回应神的呼召，知道神必会为我们负责。