Monday, October 3rd, 2016
Suffering (Part 7)
Hunger: The Widow at Zarephath
So he [Elijah] arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, 'Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.' And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, 'Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.'
So she said, 'As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.'
1 Kings 17:10-12 (NKJV)*
The widow of Zarephath and her son were close to death when they met Elijah. As outsiders suffering a famine, they were preparing to eat their last meal. Yet her remarkable unselfishness set them up to receive a miracle. They believed in the God of Elijah, and they never suffered hunger again.*
Few Americans have known real hunger. The closest many of us have gotten is talking about our latest diet. Clearly, we're a nation of abundance. Food surrounds us, everywhere, all the time.
In spite of our overindulgences, we're the most generous people on earth.** I regret our widespread idolatry, although the Lord can transform it for good. But in courage and generosity, I can't name a country with bigger hearts.
As well they should be, and here's the reason: 795 million people in the world suffer in hunger.*** Jesus said we should help them when we can... 'And whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me' (Mark 14:7).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, consider a different hunger: a hunger for love, truth, joy and peace; a void seeking passion and purpose. To this desperate need you are sent. History proves that extravagant civilizations can lose their souls.
Bound by overt materialism, an entertainment-driven culture suffers spiritual starvation. But you're like the media's Peace Corps, sowing into lives by the millions.****
To Be Continued...
* Bible reference: Elijah and the Widow, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+17%3A8-16&version=NKJV
* Excellent narrative in Bible Gateway: Widow of Zarephath, The Woman Who Shared Her Last Morsel, https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Widow-Zarephath
** World Giving Index: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Giving_Index; Note: I am excluding the amazing, small nation of Burma.
*** Stats on hunger: 'Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world's hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished' (Hunger Statistics, World Food Programme, United Nations: https://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats).
**** 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law' (Galatians 5:22-23).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.