lijah's experience illustrates how God can give abundant grace without necessarily bestowing abundant wealth. Sometimes He chooses to show grace through the most extreme kind of poverty. And that is why when Elijah's brook dried up, God moved Elijah to a widow's home in Zarephath, where by most standards, things were even worse for him. He was living in a hostile, pagan land; he was utterly dependent on the hospitality of one poverty-stricken widow; and there were never enough provisions on hand for more than one meal. At Cherith he at least had regular delivery of food by the ravenshere it was just the paltry remnants of a poor widow's dwindling supply of oil and flour.
The very name of the town, Zarephath, gives a hint about what kind of experience this was for Elijah. "Zarephath" means "smelting furnace" or "cauldron"the place where precious metal is heated to a white-hot temperature in order to remove impurities. This was part of the painful sanctifying process that would make Elijah fit for his future days of ministry.
To the human eye, it seemed things were getting worse for him, not better. But God gives sufficient grace, just enough to keep us dependent on Him. And the grace that keeps us trusting on a daily basis is a greater grace than an outpouring of material things that might make us forget how dependent we are on God's provision. As we noted in one of those previous posts about Elijah, that's why our Lord teaches us to trust Him for daily breadnot for a surplus of comforts and commodities.
Proverbs 30:8-9 says, "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
Don't ever get the idea that wealth and material prosperity are signs of the Lord's blessing. The truth is sometimes just the opposite.