In 1 Kings 17, there is a story about the prophet Elijah being kept alive during a severe drought by a widow. 1 Kings 17:9 records that God told Elijah, “Get up, go to Zeraphath that belongs to Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a woman who is a widow to provide for you there.” Have you ever considered how specific God was? In one verse God tells Elijah the name of the region, the town and the person to whom Elijah is to go. Why would God do that?
- God knew where she was.
We can easily imagine there were thousands of widows affected by this drought. God could have sent Elijah to Judah or Israel, but He didn’t. God sent His prophet to Sidon. Sidon was an enemy of Israel and Judah. Sidon was the center of pagan idol worship. Isn’t it just like God to send His prophet to the most pagan and blasphemous place on earth? The purpose, however, wasn’t to rain fire and brimstone on the place. God’s purpose was to keep three people alive: Elijah, the widow and her son.
- God knew who she was.
This woman had a fine resume: penniless, widow, Sidonian, idol worshipper. She wasn’t among the powerbrokers of her day. In the eyes of most God-fearing people of her day, this woman didn’t deserve mercy. But God wasn’t afraid of her past or present.
- God knew what resources she had.
The drought was continuing longer than anyone expected, and her resources where dwindling. She saw the effect of this drought on her one and only son. In fact, the story begins on the last day. She had only one last cup of flour and one last drop of oil.
At the beginning of the drought she may have started calling out to her god, but he wasn’t showing up. I wonder if the day came when she thought to herself, “I heard that the God of Israel divided the Red Sea long ago,” or “I have heard about their king defeating our giant.” Her prayers may have been weak and laced with doubts, but God heard her.
We are on God’s radar
The truth is God knows where you are. There is not a place you can go that God does not know. (Psalm 139, Job 31:4, Hebrews 4:13)
God knows who you are. God knows your heart. God knows how close or how far from Him you are. (Proverbs 17:3, Ephesians 2:1-10, Jeremiah 17:9)
God knows what resources you have. What can we bring before God that God does not already have? How do you need God to show up big time in your life? (Romans 3:23, John 3:16-21,1 John 4:7-12)
Like the widow so long ago, you may feel forgotten or alone or unimportant. The truth is, you can say with confidence, “I am on God’s radar!”