Pastor (Dr) E. O. Abina
LEARN FROM THESE WIDOWS
Sunday 31st August, 2014.
“So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the city, he saw a widow gathering sticks; and he asked her for a cup of water. As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread” But she said: “I swear by the Lord your God, I haven’t a single piece of bread in the house. And I have a handful of flour left and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jar. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook the last meal and then my son and I must die of starvation. But Elijah said to her: “Don’t be afraid!, Go ahead and cook that last meal, but bake me a little loaf of bread first; and after all there will still be enough food for you and your son. So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat from her supply of flour and oil as long as it was needed. No matter how much they used, there was always left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah”.” …as he stood in the Temple, he was watching the rich tossing their gifts into the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small copper coins. “Really”, he remarked, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them combined. For they have given a little of what they didn’t need, but, poor as she is, has given everything she has”(I Kings 17:10-13,15,16; Luke 21:1-4 The Living Bible).
Obviously, most Christians are familiar with the stories of these two widows. Even non-Christians normally say, they want to give their widow’s mite, but they don’t fully understand what giving one’s widow’s mite actually means. It is high time we had learned the good lessons emanating from the generosity and sacrificial giving of these two widows in different places and at different times. All Christians should learn lessons from the actions of these two widows. In the ancient times, widows were associated with poverty, because no one did care as their late husbands did.
Also, in ancient culture, it was the husband who provided and supplied the need of the family. Once the husband died, the source of the income of the affected family had a suffered livelihood. So was the case of these two widows.
Elijah, the prophet had predicted that there would be drought in the land which resulted to a severe famine in Israel. Elijah was hungry and thirsty, the widow at Zarephath and her son were having a similar experience. While the woman went to gather sticks to prepare the last meal for herself and her son to eat and then to die; Elijah asked her to give him water and a cake, first for his own consumption and afterward that of her own and her son. Difficult? Yes, it took faith and commitment to oblige in that kind of situation. But the poor widow did it, and the result was abundant of supply throughout the famine period. That is what giving to God and His servant can do and much more. The poor widow in Jesus’ days gave all that she had while the rich gave big amount of money even though they were having more than enough in their bank accounts. This widow’s giving was sacrificial, motivated by commitment, dedication, devotion and faith in God. From the actions of the two widows, it is evident that no child of God can be so poor as to have nothing to give.
Giving is one of the attributes and characters of God. Abraham, the friend of God, was a generous and sacrificial giver, so also were David and other Patriarchs. If you claim to be a child of God and find it difficult to give your tithes, offerings and other contributions to God, His work, His servants and the poor, you need to check your relationship with God. That shows how uncommitted you are and that, money has taken the place of God in your life. The Israelites in their wilderness journey gave more than what was needed for the tabernacle. The early Christians sold their landed properties and gave all the proceeds to God’s people and His work. If you allow money to be your master that you cannot give it out for God and His work, you have a big problem. That means, your money first, then God second.
From the stories of the two widows, you have no excuse that you have nothing to contribute. Your problem is lack of faith, commitment and devotion to your God who gave you all good things to enjoy. Change your attitude today. God bless you.