Trust God In Times of Need
1 Kings 17:1-4, 7-24
LifeWay's Explore the Book Lesson for May 04,  2003
NASU17:1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."   2 The word of the LORD came to him, saying,   3 "Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.   4 "It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there."


7 It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you." 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, "Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink." 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand." 12 But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die." 13 Then Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. 14 "For thus says the LORD God of Israel, "The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.'" 15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah.

Introduction
How do you learn to trust God in times of need?  You trust Him in all your ways, and at all times.  Many hold Proverbs 3:5 & 6 as their favorite verses,  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.   Do you see the emphasis on "all your ways?"   Most of us have those verses as a goal, but many times fail to obey them completely.  The text guides us in how to trust God.
 

1.    Trust God In Times of Need To Give A . . Prophet.
    At 17 years of age Billy Graham heard his father and some other men praying for revival, and that God would raise up a preacher to call America back to God.   He said "why owe need another preacher?"   God called him to be that preacher, and He significantly use Billy.  God called Elijah to stand before Him, the disobedient, and also the pagans to demonstrate His power, and interest in His people.   He submitted to the direction, defense, drink, and discretion of the Lord.  He trusted God in all his ways.  He serves as a great example.

A.    A Prophet Who Stands.  v 1a
       v 1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand,

       1. Elijah Stood Before the Lord.

       2. Elijah Stood For the Lord.

B.    A Prophet Who . . Serves.  vs 1b-2
       ". . . surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."   2 The word of the LORD came to him, saying,

       1.    Serves In Telling the Word of the Lord.
       2.    Serves In Hearing the Word of the Lord.

C.    A Prophet Who . . Submits..  vs 3-4
       3 "Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is East of the Jordan.   4 "It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there."

       1. Submits to the . . Direction of from the Lord.   v 3a

       2. Submits to the . . Defense of the Lord.   v 3b

       3. Submits to the . . Drink of the Lord.  v 4a

       4. Submits to the . . Discretion of the Lord.   v 4b
 

2.    Trust God In Times of Need To Give A . . Plan.
       When we are perplexed and do not know what to do God knows.  God plans for His children, and even before we know a problem exist He knows the solution.  God plans for His prophet, and others that are involved.   Elijah and the widow were in God's plan.  Recently I spent some time with a friend of 45 years.  We talked about how God had worked so many people, and events in our life to cause a multitude of blessings in  ministries.  God blessed us, and others through His plans. Many give a similar testimony.  We need to trust God's planning for our lives, and then when needful time come we can see His hand leading us further.

A.    A . . Plan for the . . Prophet.   vs 7-10
       7 It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.  8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,  9 "Arise, go to `` Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you."   10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, "Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink."

B.    A . . Plan for the . . Widow.   vs 11-13
       11 As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand."  12 But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die."   G
 

3.    Trust God In Times of Need To Give A. . Promise.
       Most of the time in times of need we can remember a promise of God.  His promises cause us to claim them and act upon them.  God told the widow, "The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty,. . . " what a promise.   She accepted the promise.  How do we know that?  She acted on the promise.  I hear people say "oh I believe that," but their actions say they are lying.   We need to accept the telling, and the timing of the Lord.   If God said it we should believe it, and patiently wait for the plan to unfold.   God did exactly what He promised to do, and His faithful ones rejoiced.

       14 "For thus says the LORD God of Israel, "The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.'"  15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days.   16 The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah.

A.    A Promise to . . Accept.  v 14
       14 "For thus says the LORD God of Israel, "The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.'"

       1.    Accept the . . telling of the Lord. v 14 a
       2.    Accept the . . timing of the Lord. v 14 b

B.    A Promise to . . Acting On.   v 15
       15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days.

       1. The . . Exactness of the Plan.  v 15 a
       2. The . . Enjoyment of the Plan.   v 15 b