The Mother Who Put God First
1 Kings 17:8-16
As we celebrate our mothers today, we want to learn some lessons from a mother who decided to put God first, resulting in God’s miraculous provision for her and her family, and restoration of her dead son back to life. God has always used mothers to fulfill His purposes in this world. Mothers conceive and bring forth children, nurture and nourish them to grow to become divine instruments who impact many lives as pastors, teachers, presidents, and business leaders.
The mother in our passage was a widow, known for their poverty in ancient times. She was not a Jew, but a Gentile from Zarephath. Yet God chose her to serve His prophet, and to receive His blessings. No matter where we come from, our social and economic status, God can bless and empower us to bless others, if we put Him first. The widow demonstrated this virtue in four ways:
1. When Elijah first asked her for water, a difficult request because of the drought, she stepped out of her suffering to serve him.
2. She received God’s Word with faith. When Elijah followed up with a more difficult request for bread, she responded that she just had a little for herself and her son to eat, after which they would die. But Elijah told her not to fear but serve him first, because God promised that they would never lack food. She believed.
3. She demonstrated her faith in God’s Word by serving Elijah first. After that she never lacked food. When we put our faith in God’s Word and show that faith through obedience, we make His command our priority, and He fulfills His promises in our lives.
4. She showed hospitality by hosting Elijah in her home. After receiving our miracles, we should make room for God, spending time with Him, caring for what He cares for, obeying, worshipping, serving Him, and putting Him first in all we do. This is important because we live in a fallen world, and our miracles do not end all our troubles. Suddenly, the widow’s son, her only hope for the future, was struck with a terminal illness and was dying. Yet because Elijah was in the house, he prayed for him. God heard his cry and raised up the dead son. When we walk in the presence of God, living for Him, and serving Him, we can commit every problem we face into His hands and He will turn things around for us.
Many times we miss God’s blessings because we do not put Him first. The devil, who does not want us to enjoy the blessed life, can make you feel like you’re making a mistake by putting God first. You could give the little time, money, energy, or resources you have to your spouse, children, or family. But when you use them to fulfill God’s responsibility to His servants and His church, God pays you back by miraculously multiplying what you gave, so you can be an even greater blessing to your family.
May all your sacrifices and investments in God’s house bring you health and healing, divine provision and protection, and restoration of life to anything that is dead in your life. May you never lack, not just because you gave to God, but because you gave to Him first. We serve the God of Elijah who is still blessing abundantly those who put Him first. Shalom!