Now I know that the word of God is truth.
1 Kings 15:25-17:24 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
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.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook. 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.
17 Now it came about after these things that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick; and his sickness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance and to put my son to death!” 19 He said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her bosom and carried him up to the upper room where he was living, and laid him on his own bed. 20 He called to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought calamity to the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and called to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray You, let this child’s life return to him.” 22 The Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived. 23 Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, “See, your son is alive.” 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
Throughout the New Testament accounts of the early church, we read about signs and wonders, miracles taking place at the hands of believers, so that the testimony of Christ and the word of God would be confirmed, believed as true by those who saw and heard of the miracles. In today’s text, Elijah, nearly 1000 years before Christ, raises a woman’s son from death. The woman’s response is: “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” Even before Jesus was born, even before the Holy Spirit was given to people, God’s miraculous power was displayed that people would know He is God and what He says is true. Over and over in Exodus, God speaks of delivering Israel from captivity in Egypt through signs and wonders. In Exodus 7:5 He says: "The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst."
The Bible is full of accounts of signs and wonders, miracles performed by God, for and through His people. There are healings, deliverances from both natural enemies and spiritual bondage. There are accounts of miraculous provision, like God providing manna in the wilderness for forty years, or as in today’s text where it says: …“Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 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.” 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. 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.’” So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 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.
If God has performed signs and wonders throughout history, why would we think that He no longer does it in our day? In part it may have to do with the knowledge man has attained. Human wisdom will try to explain many of the miracles of God through science. Some have tried to discredit the miracles of the past using theories and scientific explanations. The problem with man’s knowledge and wisdom is that when it cannot explain something, it resorts to making up an explanation, calling it a theory, even when there is little or no evidence to back it. If we rely on God’s wisdom, believing by faith that what He says is true, over and over He will prove that He is God and His word is true. In Acts 1:8 Jesus says: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” We are to be witnesses for Christ testifying to the world that He is God and His word is true. In Mark 16:17-18 Jesus says: “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” It may seem like a great responsibility and even a heavy burden that we are to prove to the world that Jesus is the Christ. We though are not responsible for what they choose, nor is it by our own strength or abilities that miracles are performed. Romans 1:19-20 says: That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. It is ironic that people will say it is unfair that God would ordain things as He has, yet they would deny the evidence that is before them, choosing to believe unfounded theories which are not even supported by their own facts than the evidence of God’s miraculous creation.
We are not responsible for what people do or believe. We are only to be witnesses for Christ, sharing the gospel of the kingdom of God. We are to be lights in and to the darkness of the world. Like Moses, like Elijah, like Peter, John and Paul, like all those throughout history who have been faithful to the word of God, we are to be His servants, His messengers, faithfully doing and saying what He tells us. Some will choose to stand and believe the explanations of man others though, like the woman in today’s text will say: “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You that You are eternal and unchanging, that what You have said and done from the beginning, You continue today. Your word is true. I was created in Your image and likeness as You said. I am redeemed, reconciled and restored through Your love and grace and the finished work of the cross. Thank You that while I am not responsible for the choice others make, You have called me to be Your witness, given me the privilege of working with You. I pray that many will say: that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” Amen.