The Secret of Abundance
Jan 8, 2023 197
Would you like to discover the secret of abundance? There is a story in the Bible that teaches us the secret to abundance. It’s a really dramatic story, too!
The prophet Elijah had prophesied to wicked King Ahab that drought would come upon the land, which is what happened. The King wasn’t too happy with Elijah, and was hunting for him to kill him, so God told him to hid for a time in a ravine, where God provided food for him, and he was able to drink from a brook. But eventually, because of the drought, the brook dried up.
Then the Lord told Elijah to go to a town in the region of the Philistines, because there was a widow them who would supply him with food. So Elijah went, and outside the town, he found a widow there who was gathering sticks, and he asked her for some water and a piece of bread. She replied,
“As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” (1 Kings 17:23.)
Abundance in a material sense means having enough for your needs.
You might have thought that Elijah would have walked away, but instead,
Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
That was a bizarre request to make:
“I can see that you and your son are about to die of hunger. Just cook a meal for me, and then food isn’t going to run out.”
It’s not a request that many of us would normally agree to. However, the lady did precisely what Elijah had asked her to do. Even though she and her son expected to die of hunger, she went home and used the very last of her flour and oil to make a small piece of bread. Then she gave it to Elijah and she and her hungry son watched as he ate it.
I can imagine Elijah saying to the woman, “Thank you, that was delicious. Now, go on, make some bread for you and your son!”
I can imagine her giving Elijah a strange look. However, after more prompting from Elijah she goes to the jar of flour and finds that it still contains flour and she looks in the jug of oil and there is still oil in it!
She scoops out the flour and pours out the oil to make the bread and checks, and it is incredible! There is still the same amount of flour and oil in the jar and jug as before! In fact, for over three years, until the rain came and the drought lifted,
…the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah (1 Kings 17:7–16.)
There are several really important lessons here that challenge how we understand abundance in society, and even often in the church. And in this story we discover the secret of abundance.
We see here that abundance in a material sense means having enough for your needs. It doesn’t mean having more than we need, or necessarily having more than others.
We can also see that true abundance comes when we prioritise God in our life. It was when she put God first, even above her own needs, and those of her son, that the miracle happened.
We can be sure that this woman had done all that she could do to provide for her needs and for those and her son. And it is important that we do so. However, ultimately, this story shows us that abundance ultimately doesn’t come through our own efforts, but it comes as we trust in God and have faith in him.
Our society tells us that you will have abundance if you save your money and keep it for yourself. But this story tells us the opposite. Jesus teaches us that you will discover the secret of abundance – true abundance- when you are generous with others.
– Eliezer Gonzalez