The Joshua Victor Theory

God’s Provision

November 12, 2012

Sermon on 1 Kings 17:8-16 for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, about the Widow at Zarephath, and God's provision in a time of neediness, weakness, or when we are at the "end of our rope."

Sermon Talking Points

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  1. Zarephath was not a Jewish town, and God’s sending Elijah there showed God’s love for the Gentiles as well. How was this an offense to the crowds centuries later when Jesus referred to this story in Luke 4:25-26? How did Jesus show them that God came not only for the Jews?

  1. How was the widow “at the end of her rope?” 1 Kings 17:12. How had things come to such a desperate situation? In what ways are we distant from her circumstances? In what ways might we come to a similar point of desperation, whether financial need or otherwise? Have you ever felt that you were “at the end of your rope?”

  1. What can we learn from the way in which Elijah and the widow with her son, were mutually needy? How were they both positioned to help each other, yet also in need of the other? Why might this position of apparent weakness actually be in service of reaching others with the Gospel, compared to coming from a position of power or superiority? Compare to other Biblical examples: John 4:1-15; Mark 6:8-9; Luke 5:1-3.

  1. How did God bless the widow’s generosity and trust? How is God a refuge for the poor and brokenhearted? Psalm 16; 46:1-3; 34:15-19.

  1. Why can we be confident that God’s provision for us will always be enough? Matthew 6:25-34; Psalm 37:25-26. What does God promise He will provide there? How do we simultaneously face the temptation of expecting or demanding too much?

  1. Why is Jesus the only true refuge when our sins leave us at the end of our rope, and when we are brokenhearted or despairing of all hope? What is the spiritual comfort of knowing who God is and His love for us?

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