The story from 1 Kings 17:7-16 seen through the eyes of a child.
Let me share with you this week’s labor of love. The story in Spanish with all its components is ready to be launched into cyber space. Pray with me that God will use it for his glory to inspire and encourage. Here is the English version.
We don’t know the name of the child mentioned in this story from the Bible. So let’s just give him the name Joel. Joel lived hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth, in a city north of Israel called Zarephath. Now there was a very serious problem in the city of Zarephath. It had not rained for a long time! Since there was no rain, no crops grew and there was no food.
Joel’s problem was worse than the other children in his neighborhood. His friends had dads, but Joel had no father. Their dads brought home bread for the family. But Joel only had his mom and it was not easy for a widow to get work. Sometimes Joel went to bed hungry. Oh, how his stomach hurt when it was empty! But Joel didn’t complain, because he knew his mother was hungry too.
One day he was more worried than ever before. His mother had a jar in which she kept flour to make bread. She also had a jar of oil. Joel watched his mom as she shook the jar, but only a handful of flour came out. It was empty! There was no more! Then he saw her shake the jar with oil. Only a few drops came out of that also!
“Son, there is no more,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I’m going to collect firewood to make one last loaf of bread. Would you like to come with me?”
Joel could have stayed and played with his friends but when he saw that his mother was so sad, he wanted to go with her. He would help her collect firewood so she wouldn’t get so tired. Sadly they walked towards the outskirts of the city to look for firewood. They had gathered enough to cook with and were on their way back when they saw a stranger.
They didn’t know it, but it was God’s prophet Elijah.
“Please bring me a little water in a cup,” Elijah said.
Do you think Joel thought that was weird? No! In those days it was customary to offer food and lodging to travelers. There were no hotels as there are now.
NO MORE BREAD
“Come, Son,” Mom said to Joel. “Let’s get some water for this stranger.”
When she and Joel went to get the water, Elijah said, “Bring me some bread also.”
“Oh, no!” Joel thought. “There goes my lunch!”
“I’m sorry, Sir,” said the widow. “I have only a handful of flour and a little oil in a jug. My son and I were gathering wood to cook one last meal. After eating it, we’ll starve, for it is the last of our food.”
“Don’t be afraid,” said the prophet. “Before you make the bread for you and your son, first make a small loaf for me.”
FIRST FOR THE STRANGER
“What? First prepare bread for the stranger?” Joel was surprised, since there would be nothing left for him and his mother! But then the prophet said something even more strange…
“The God of Israel has said to me that the flour and the oil will not run out, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth. But you must first bring ME some bread.”
Joel couldn’t see how that could happen! He knew that there was only a handful of flour and a few drops of oil. After they used it to make bread for Elijah, how could it possibly not be used up?
MORE THAN ENOUGH
Joel’s mom did just as Elijah said. She took flour and oil and made a small loaf of bread for Elijah. But then there was more flour in the bowl! Joel saw it with his own eyes! Joel went with his mom when she took the freshly baked bread to the traveler who stood beside the city gate. And Joel heard her when she invited him to stay with them.
Since that day, Joel watched his mom each time she made bread. Every time she would get flour and oil to make bread, there was enough! It was the most amazing thing that Joel had ever seen! Every time he saw it, his eyes got bigger!
The widow and her young son ate the tastiest bread in Zarephath. Why? Because it was miracle bread! Joel saw the miracle every day, and they shared their bread with Elijah.
JESUS, THE BREAD OF LIFE
God is the same today as He was back then. He has not changed. He still does miracles. But do you know what is the greatest miracle of all? The miracle that Jesus, the Bread of Life, can change your heart!
When you eat the kind of bread that Joel and his mom ate, it enriches your body. But when you receive Jesus, the Bread of Life, into your life, He enriches your spirit and gives you eternal life!