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Trust in God part 1

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LESSON TWO

Trust in God

Text
1 Kings 17:1–16 KJV 1900
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 2 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, 3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 5 So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, 9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
Overview
Lesson Two—Trust in God
Lesson Goals
At the conclusion of this lesson, students should:
1. Identify areas in their lives where God is developing their trust in Him.
2. Understand that our trust is displayed by our obedience.
3. Be able to apply specific promises from God to their areas of need.
Teaching Outline
I. The Trust of Elijah
A. To Go to Cherith
B. To Go to Zarephath
II. The Test of the Widow
A. Her Residence
B. Her Resources
C. Her Reasoning
III. The Triumph of Faith
A. The Request from the Prophet
B. The Response of the Widow
C. The Resource Supplied
LESSON TWO

Trust in God

1 KINGS 17:1-16

Introduction
Everyone possesses trust. It is the object of our trust that makes the difference when it is put to the test. It is at a time of trial that the source of our trust will be revealed.
As someone once said, "A faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted."
In this study, we discover how to develop a faith that can be trusted.
1 Kings 17- the prophet Elijah and a widow in Zarephath, see how their trust was tested, although in different ways. Both passed the test and experienced the incredible provision of God.
Sermon Goals
1. Identify areas in their lives where God is developing their trust in Him.
2. Understand that our trust is displayed by our obedience.
3. Be able to apply specific promises from God to their areas of need.
Long before builders erect walls or install windows or place a roof on a physical building, they start with a process most people never see once the building is completed—the foundation. Huge machinery rolls onto the property, digging up the dirt. Men with hard hats pour over paperwork and specs. Small colored flags are meticulously placed around the property. Appointments are scheduled to have inspectors visit the construction site, giving their stamp of approval for the seemingly most minor details.
All of this and more takes place before a building even begins to take shape. To the unlearned observer, one might think this is ridiculous. "Let's get this building under way!" But the builder knows an important truth—a structure without a firm foundation is useless, even disastrous. The most vital part to a structure rests on the investment into its foundation.
There is a similar truth in the Christian life. Without a solid foundation to the Christian activities or ministries in which we may take part, our lives will eventually crumble.
In this series, we are investigating God's Word for the elements of a solid foundation.
There isn't a more important element than that of trust. In this lesson, we look at building trust toward God in our lives.
Illustration
Alaska and California are the two states that experience the most earthquakes.' Because of this, building codes have been put into place to ensure safety for residents in the event of an earthquake. Many beautiful buildings have crumbled to the ground because they could not withstand an earthquake.
Building according to the earthquake codes is costly in time and resources. It's often frustrating as the timeline for building completion drags out. But it provides safety and protects the investment made in the rest of the building.
Challenges and tests in our lives are like earthquakes. They can shake us to the core and have the potential to destroy us. They also reveal the strength of our spiritual foundation. It is at these times when we can see where we have placed our trust.
First Kings 17 gives us an example of two people—a prophet and a widow—who both trusted God during one of the most difficult times in their lives. In this passage, we learn from them how we can build trust in our lives.
The setting of this story is similar to that of our culture today. The country of Israel had forgotten the ways of God. Their king and queen—Ahab and Jezebel—had no interest in God's laws or the consequences that would befall Israel by rejecting them. Just as we see prevailing in our world today, there was a flagrant rejection of the one true God and an acceptance of pluralism and idolatry.
In response to Ahab and Jezebel's disobedient idolatry, God sent Elijah to proclaim His judgment. Many years earlier, God had already made clear to His people the consequence that would befall their land if they rejected Him.
Deuteronomy 11:13–17 KJV 1900
13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. 15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. 16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 17 And then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.
Elijah's proclamation of the coming drought was not just a crazy prophet trying to scare Ahab into submission to God. He was proclaiming the truth of God's Word.
�1 KINGS 17:1
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
As always, God's Word came to pass. God sent a drought to the land. As we can imagine, this became a season of incredible testing in Elijah's life. It was also a time of testing for a widow and her son, who are introduced to us in this passage. During this time of extreme difficulty, their lives were shaken, and their faith was tested. Through their responses, the foundation of their trust was exposed.

I. The Trust of Elijah

Because Elijah preached the Word of the Lord to Ahab, he became the special target of Ahab and Jezebel's anger. It's likely that the people of the land were angry with him as well.
1 KINGS 17:2-5
2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
Now more than ever, Elijah had to trust God for everything. God told Elijah to go, and Elijah "went and did according unto the word of the LORD." His obedience was proof of his trust in God.

A. To Go to Cherith- Vs. 3

1 KINGS 17:3
3 ... hide thyself by the brook Cherith...
Because Elijah trusted God's direction, he saw God's provision.
1 KINGS 17:5-6
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
Where God guides, He always provides. This account of God using ravens to sustain Elijah is miraculous. But if Elijah would not have trusted God's direction, he would have missed out on seeing His provision.
And so it is with us. Our human tendency runs contrary to trust. We like to analyze our options and then determine our direction. Far too many Christians, however, miss out on experiencing great acts of God's provision because they refuse to trust Him for their direction.
God promises to guide those willing to trust Him.
Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV 1900
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
Psalm 18:30 KJV 1900
30 As for God, his way is perfect: The word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
Our growth in the Lord is based on faith.
Romans 14:23 KJV 1900
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
HEBREWS 11:1, 6
I Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him...
Trusting God is a lifelong privilege. Growing in our Christian walk will require our constant surrender to follow God's direction.
And the moment we reject it, we will begin to digress in our Christian walk. There is nothing more important than each of us staying in the center of God's will. That means we must keep trusting God—even when He directs us to places, like Cherith, that seem unlikely and insignificant.
Cherith became Elijah's haven of protection from King Ahab. But a day came when this refuge could no longer provide for Elijah's needs. At this point, the Lord sent him to an even more unlikely location.

B. To Go to Zarephath- vs. 9-10

1 Kings 17:9–10 KJV 1900
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
If you were to look at a map of Israel during that time, you would see that going to Zarephath was not the logical choice of where to send Elijah.
Zarephath was a Mediterranean town, seven miles south of Zidon. This was also the hometown of Jezebel's father. Going to Zarephath would be equivalent to an American moving into the heart of a terrorist city. God's direction would not have made sense to Elijah, yet he obeyed.
Not only did God send Elijah to an unlikely location, but He sent him to an unlikely person—a widow.
1 Kings 17:9 KJV 1900
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
Elijah must have had plenty of questions for God regarding this manner of provision. The food service via ravens, while surprising at first, seemed to be working out just fine. Why must he now turn to a poor widow mother, expecting her to feed him? Aside from being extremely humbling for Elijah, there was surely a measure of feeling inconsiderate toward this woman. Yet, with simple trust in God, Elijah obeyed.
As the story unfolds, we see God taking care of Elijah and the widow and her son. He was answering this mother's prayers, blessing her faith in God, and all the while feeding Elijah. This unlikely plan was not God trying to create a difficult test for Elijah, although we often assume this to be the case in our lives when God's direction does not make sense.
Perhaps you're in a season right now when, like Elijah, you cannot see the full picture. Ask yourself, "Am I fully trusting God and obeying Him in every area? Is there anything I am holding back because I do not see the full picture?"
Over and over, God assures us of His love and care for us even when we can't see how He is working behind the scenes.
Isaiah 55:8 KJV 1900
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11 KJV 1900
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Luke 12:27–31 KJV 1900
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Elijah's test of faith was severe, but his trust shows us that God is trustworthy. Even when it made no human sense, Elijah followed God's direction, and through it, God revealed His power.
But Elijah was not the only one in this story who was experiencing difficulty. The widow to whom God sent him was also experiencing a test.

II. The Test of the Widow-vs. 10-12

We can only imagine how difficult the life of a widow with a child to support must have been during a time of drought. Although the Bible does not record her name, God certainly saw and cared for her needs.
1 Kings 17:10–12 KJV 1900
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
Elijah must have had a measure of uneasiness as he drew near to this pagan city. But God providentially placed the woman right there at the city's gate. Although we don't know a lot of details about her, let's take a look at what we do know.

A. Her Residence- vs. 10

As we saw a moment ago, the town of Zarephath was a pagan city. The people worshipped the false idol Baal. A follower of Jehovah God would not have fit in at all. Yet, as we often see throughout the Bible, God uses unlikely places to carry forth His will.
Illustration
Consider these Bible examples of God using unlikely environments to carry out His ways:
Joseph was a slave in Egypt and rose to leadership. God used him to rescue his family from the famine in Canaan. (See Genesis 37-50.)
The little town of Bethlehem became the birthplace of Christ. (See Luke 2.)
The Apostle Paul was imprisoned many times. Yet he recognized that the gospel was being spread through his imprisonment. (See Philippians 1:12-14.)
Although this widow lived among Baal worshipers and not in a location anyone, including Elijah, would have thought of as a place where God would bless, God saw her and cared for her needs.

B. Her Resources- vs. 12

This poor lady didn't even have enough to keep herself and her son alive. Scripture tells us that she had "but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and ... two sticks" (verse 12). We may ask, "What could God do with such meager elements?"
The question at hand is never about what we have that God could use. It is how tightly we are holding onto it.
In John 6, we find a throng of people following Jesus. It was getting into the evening hours, and Jesus knew that the people were hungry. He told the disciples that He wanted to feed this massive crowd, but they couldn't figure out how He intended to do it.
But God is never limited by meager resources.
John 6:8–13 KJV 1900
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
It is amazing what God can do when we simply give all we have to Him.

C. Her Reasoning- vs. 12

This widow had surely endured much through the drought. But her reasoning was not accurate.
1 Kings 17:12 KJV 1900
12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
She told Elijah that her intention was to gather two sticks, prepare the meager bits she had, and then die. Although this might have been accurate reasoning without God, it lacked for two reasons:
First, her reasoning was without faith.
Perhaps it was weariness of her daily battle to keep herself and her son alive that had distracted her from trusting in the Lord. But even though she couldn't see what God was going to do, He did have provision ready for her.
Second, her reasoning was without vision.
Her current state of poverty had also robbed this widow from seeing life beyond the next meal. Though her reasoning was faulty, it was natural. But that is why trusting God is supernatural. And that is why He tells us to trust Him without leaning on our own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV 1900
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
Each of us will experience our human nature pulling us away from trusting God. Thankfully, when Elijah proposed a better way, this dear lady did not yield to the beckoning of her reason, but rather obeyed her God.
Far too many of us do not reject our human reasoning when we are at a crossroad decision of trust.
Can you look back at a time when you faced a choice to trust God or to yield to your own reasoning?The Bible tells us that, while our way may seem right to us, it doesn't lead to a right end.
Proverbs 14:12 KJV 1900
12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.
Through the stories of both Elijah and the widow, we learn that God tests our faith. For both of these people, their confidence in God held little value until it endured a test.
Many Christians—in fact, most Christians—claim that they trust God. But it is only when the storms of life arise that we really know if our trust is in word only or real, at the very foundation of our hearts.
The story does not end here. As both Elijah and the widow exercised their trust in God, an amazing miracle transpired.

III. The Triumph of Faith-vs. 13-16

1 Kings 17:13–16 KJV 1900
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
Sometimes we read this story and think primarily of the widow's need for faith. But remember that Elijah was in a humbling position as well, as God had instructed him to ask for provision from, of all people, a starving widow.

A. The Request from the Prophet-vs. 13

Not only did Elijah request provision, but he requested his provision first.
1 Kings 17:13 KJV 1900
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
Following God's instruction in this must have been a test of faith for Elijah. But Elijah personally knew God and His ability to care for His servants' needs in the most unlikely ways. He had just spent several months being fed by a raven's delivery service.
A sub theme to this passage is an example of the principle of tithing and giving. Many Christians are happy to give God any leftovers they may have. But that is not what Scripture commands us to do, and it certainly is not an indication of faith in God.
God calls for our first fruits.
Proverbs 3:9–10 KJV 1900
9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
The reality is that all we have comes from Him and is already His. But our willingness to give back to Him first is a statement of our trust in Him.
Malachi 3:10 KJV 1900
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Thus, Elijah asked the widow to feed him first and indicated that God would provide for her and her son.

B. The Response of the Widow-vs. 15

1 Kings 17:15 KJV 1900
15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
In an act of great trust and against human logic, the widow simply obeyed. And God brought deliverance.
Job 36:15 KJV 1900
15 He delivereth the poor in his affliction, And openeth their ears in oppression.
Although we never feel like it at the time, being in a place where our faith is tested is a good position to be in.
It was at this crossroads where the widow triumphed by faith. Although her barrel was nearly empty, she gave her one final scoop to God. And, as God promised, He took care of her.
PSALM 37:25
25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

C. The Resource Supplied-vs. 15-16

1 Kings 17:15–16 KJV 1900
15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
For the length of the drought, these three—Elijah, the widow, and her son—never went without food. Surrounding them was a people group whom God was judging with a drought. But because of their trust in God they were safe from the agony of starvation. God had provided! God protected His own.
God's resources have not dwindled for us today. But He still calls us to trust Him.
Luke 6:38 KJV 1900
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Philippians 4:19 KJV 1900
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Conclusion

Is your faith being tested? God's promises are true, and He is trustworthy.
Through the example of a prophet in need and an obscure widow from an unlikely place, we learn that God honors faith.
The storms of life will surely come. They will be different for each of us, but they will always expose the foundation of our trust. May we hold fast to God's promises and anchor our souls in His unchanging nature so we build trust below the baseline.
�Study Questions
1. When Elijah told the Israelites that God would send a drought as judgment because they turned to other gods, from where did he receive that message? Deuteronomy 11:13-17
2. In what ways did Elijah display his trust in God?
He obeyed what God told him to do and went where God
told him to go.
3. What does Proverbs 14:12 tell us about taking the path
that makes sense by our reasoning?
That the way that seems right to us is the way of death.
4. What are some scriptures (perhaps even in this lesson) that encourage us to trust God with our direction and provision?
Answers will vary but could include Isaiah 55:8, Jeremiah 29:11, Luke 12:27-31, and Proverbs 3:5-6.
5. In what ways was the widow woman's reasoning faulty? How did relying on her reasoning almost cause her to miss God's provision?
Her reasoning was without faith and without vision. She almost said "no" to Elijah and would have missed the miraculous provision of God.
6. Has there been a time when God has directed you to do something that did not make sense to you? How did He show you His power when you trusted and obeyed? Answers will vary.
7. 📷In Philippians 4:19 God promises to meet our needs. What does this verse say is the source from which He meets them? Can this source ever run dry?
His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. No.
8. One of the best ways to encourage our faith is to remember how God has provided in the past. What are some ways in your life that God has provided for you in a time of need?
Answers will vary.
Memory Verses
PROVERBS 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto
thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
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