28th March 2017

God Uses Ordinary Folk

“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”
I Kings 17:9 (NKJV)

For some time, God’s prophet Elijah drank from a brook and had been fed by ravens as he camped in a ravine, east of Jordan (I Kings 17:2-6). And although that arrangement could have continued, God allowed the water supply to dry up and the birds to fly elsewhere. God then issued some more instructions. As the title scripture shows, a widow had been instructed to help this man of God. Elijah, being a faithful man, followed the direction to go to Zarephath and locate the woman concerned.

But the widow pointed out a problem. She hardly had enough food for herself and her son, let alone a dinner guest. She was really down–and it would have been easy for her to turn around and say, “Can’t you see what my situation is? I’m going to die in a few hours – find someone else.”

And if she had done so, that would probably have been the last we hear about her. But she did respond, and despite this lady’s desperate plight, she did what was necessary to support, what was at that moment, the work of God.

The point of this account is to show that God uses very ordinary people to support His work on earth. The work of God, Jesus says is “that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29). There is a huge world out there that needs to come to that knowledge. And for some reason, God uses ordinary folk–like you and me-in that task.

The widow served in the way she had been instructed. She had no great wealth, but supported God’s ‘work’ with what little she had. Some reading this study may have limited physical resources. But there is still the opportunity to pray for those who have a calling to carry the good news (for that is what the word gospel means) of Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension.

We should never think that we are not sufficiently clever, are not rich enough, or do not have any means at our disposal to be of use to God. Yes, He controls the universe and has powers far beyond our comprehension to carry out His purpose. Yet, as the story of the widow of Zarephath well illustrates, God uses very ordinary people in His work.

Father, we know all power resides with You, and yet You chose very ordinary people to be part of Your work of telling this world about the mission of Your Son. Please show us all how best to serve Your purpose on earth. It is in Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Philip Stevens


About the Author:
Philip Stevens attends the Great Baddow Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK (near Chelmsford).

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Great Baddow
United Reformed Church
High Street
Great Baddow

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508-498165
Email: tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk

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