Studies

Gideon’s Signs of the Fleece and Dew

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For Our Admonition Part 16

“Gathering at Jezreel and the Signs of the Fleece”

Key Verses:  Jdg 6:25 – 6:40

The story of Gideon among other lessons is teaching us that God’s people do not become warriors for the Lord in a ten-second sinners prayer.  A mighty man of valor “in the making”, Gideon, remains needy for signs and confirmation from the Lord.  Such is the state of immaturity where our faith is weak and needs to be propped up.  We ended our last study with Gideon being sent on his first conquest to cut down Baal’s altar and grove with instructions to then built an altar to the Lord in its place.

Jdg 6:25  And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: 

Jdg 6:26  And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. 

Jdg 6:27  Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

 Coming into the faith requires us to lay down our life and follow the Lord.  This is the symbolism of offering the young bullock of seven years as we now begin to confront the lies and false doctrines that lead us to worship the dragon and Baal (Rev 13:4).   Our following of the carnal thoughts and doctrines (who are the innumerable Midianites) is being replaced as we battle and begin to judge the land in obedience.  The cutting down of the woody grove is what hewers and fellers of trees, the meaning of Gideon is doing when we obey the Lord’s commandments.   When the new man (aka the “ax man”) goes into action, judgment is arriving at the house of God, which house we are as His elect (1Co 3:16).

Mat 3:10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood (the Midianites within and without ourselves), and it shall devour them.

Young in the faith, Gideon takes along ten men which is “his own flesh” in Spirit in performing the Lord’s commands.  The symbolism of the number ten represents the perfection of flesh which is never good enough to enter the Kingdom of God (1Co 15:50) and which shows that the true law of faith has not yet been given.  Gideon fears his father household meaning he fears men and is a respecter of people contrary to faith in God.

Pro 29:25  The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Deu 1:17  Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it

When we fear men, we do our godly deeds in the dark for fear of reprisal.  But the day comes when Gideon and we are able to step up in faith and fear only the Lord.  With faith comes increased comfort in the reproaches, persecution, and hatred from those outside the covenant of faith of Jesus Christ.  Gideon’s first act in judging the land immediately manifests the enmity and hatred (in type) against the Lord and His Chosen Christ.

Jdg 6:28  And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. 

Jdg 6:29  And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. 

Jdg 6:30  Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. 

Jdg 6:31  And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. 

Jdg 6:32  Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar. 

Jdg 6:33  Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. 

Before we can successfully take on the Midianites, we need alignment and to be of one mind with Christ.  The lies and worship of Baal are first to go.   Our inward enemies, the Midianites and Amalekites and the children of the east (i.e. all our fleshly and carnal thoughts); are aroused when the new man stands up and begins tearing down the altars of Baal.  The nations of this world within us get angry at God’s ax men that are beginning to deliver Israel.

Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged …

These enemies then gather in a place called Jezreel for the coming war against the Lord and His Christ.  It is in this fruitful valley that God will begin to sow the seeds of righteousness and the carnal nations within us are being put to death.

H3157, yizre‛ê’l, yiz-reh-ale’

From H2232 and H410; God will sow; Jizreel, the name of two places in Palestine and of two Israelites: – Jezreel.

Jezreel is where God sows new life through the death of the old man.  Jezreel is infamous for bloodshed and death in the Bible.  Those stories and events foretell of the blessing to the new man as the old man is killed off via judgment.  The rejected first King Saul (1Sa 31:8), the evil Jezebel (2Ki 9:36) and all the descendant’s  of the evil King Ahab’s (2Ki 10:7), among others all died in the area of Jezreel.  We come together as ONE with the mind of Christ in the day of Jezreel.  This is that day, the day (process) of judgment as the old man decreases (dies) and the new man increases.

Hos 1:11  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. 

The valley of Jezreel is also known as the valley of Megiddon or Megiddo.  The Greek word for Armageddon comes from Megiddo H4023. What this means is that spiritually speaking, the decisive end battle against our flesh takes place in the same valley where Gideon is smiting the Midianites and freeing Israel for a season.

Rev 16:16  And he gathered them (the Midianites)  together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Rev 16:17  And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

The Spirit of the Lord is already moving on Gideon and Israel is called together for war.  The men of God from Abiezer (meaning the fiery sons of God) who are the Israel and armies of God are gathered with Gideon.

Jdg 6:34  But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him. 

Jdg 6:35  And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. 

The Spirit of the Lord moves Gideon to blow the trumpet and gather Israel in preparing for war.  Blowing trumpets is speaking warning of pending war and judgment of God.  The sound of the trumpets are words of fire to the heathen within and without ourselves that put God’s enemies to flight (Rev 4:1).

Num 10:8  And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance forever throughout your generations.

Num 10:9  And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy (Midianites) that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

Joe 2:1  Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants (Midianites) of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

We will see later in the actual battle with the Midianites the importance that every man and warrior in battle carry and blow their trumpets (Jdg 7:16-18).

Despite all of this, Gideon reveals his weak in the faith and fearing of men status by asking the Lord for signs and confirmation of what has already been declared. Gideon is becoming that “mighty man of valor” declared when he was chosen and met the Angel but he is only begining to get there (Rom 4:17). Gideon makes the so-called “Bible hall of faith” that Paul wrote in Hebrews 11!  It is through great faith that the kingdoms of this earth, within and without will be subdued.

Heb 11:32  And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:

Heb 11:33  who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Heb 11:34  quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Gideon, like all carnal men that walked before him and after him (doubting Thomas’s), will be seeking after signs in our unbelief.  Yet the Lord knows this and as the Potter set it up this way.

Joh 4:48  Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 

Gideon waited for the gathering of his own people to ask the Lord for the signs of the fleece.  The Lord gives the immature signs to counter unbelief of being chosen of God to do the seemingly impossible.  The Lord helped Moses out with the same challenge in unbelief taking place while dwelling with many Midianites.

Exo 4:4  And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

Exo 4:5  That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

The Lord even gave Moses a second sign of the hand with leprosy being healed.  But as was later seen in Exodus, these signs convert nobody in a lasting way.  It takes the death of the firstborn (the first Adam) to convert the carnal mind and eliminate our doubts.  The real sign and our conversion process comes about little by little, by the process of maturity that is symbolized in the number three.

Mat 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

Seeking and inquiring about God’s will is a good thing and we should be going to the source that is the Word which is the lamp unto our feet (Psa 119:105).  It is even commanded that we seek wisdom from the Lord which includes confirmation from the Lord and His multitude of counselors.

1Ch 14:10  And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.

Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

We see the same admonishment from the Lord to ask and the promise that it shall be given (Jas 1:5).

Mat 7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

With Israel’s forces now gathered together, Gideon asks the Lord to confirm his calling.

Jdg 6:36  And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, 

Jdg 6:37  Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. 

Jdg 6:38  And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. 

Jdg 6:39  And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. 

Jdg 6:40  And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. 

Asking God for signs to prove something He has already told us, is missing the mark of the higher calling and as such it is sin.  But even our sins (Isa 63:17) and our immaturity (Ecc 3:1) is all the Lord’s work in us (Isa 64:8).  We are given these experiences of Gideon and all the Patriarchs to teach us how we should walk and to learn about the process (1Co 10:11) of our salvation.

Rom 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

2Co 5:7  For we walk by faith, not by sight (By fleeces)

Gideon, like all of God’s people, is full of hypocrisy and inequity when first called of God.  But here is the best news that reminds us that salvation and our victory is not up to us but it is up to the Lord.

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

Let’s now look at the symbols of the signs of the fleece and then we can know what Gideon was really asking for because all of these words are signified.  The truth is hidden in symbols and parables.  The Scriptures mean what they mean not what they literally say.

Hos 12:10  I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

Mar 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 

Fleece:  Fleece is the cutting (shearing) of wool from a sheep (or a goat) that represent our own works.  We are the sheep of His pasture and our own works are what keeps us warm and covering our sin (nakedness) until it is all exposed in our baptism with fire (Rev 3:18).  In the positive (Heb 4:11), fleece is our covering, when we are young and immature which protects us from the elements of the earth.  In the negative, this wool represents the self-righteousness of the law and carnal thinking that we are saving ourselves.  This covering will make us (the priests of God) to sweat versus resting in Christ and wearing His clothes.

Eze 44:17  And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.

Eze 44:18  They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat. 

As we progress from being young to mature, we cease being double minded and conflicted and mixing and matching our spiritual clothing.

Deu 22:11  Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

Gideon asking God to make the fleece wet with dew is asking for confirmation that the works of our hands in doing His service will be blessed.  A good request albeit an immature mindset.  Applying the spiriutal significance of dew makes this clearer.

The Dew:  In the positive dew signifies the blessings of God that water the earth and bring Israel abundance and fertility (Gen 27:28; Deu 33:13,  Zec 8:12).  Dew is the Word that waters the earth in our youth (immaturity) when our heavens are still shaded in darkness before we are given the former and latter rains.

Gen 2:5  And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Gen 2:6  But there went up a mist (dew) from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

Dew in the negative reflects immaturity as dew cannot remain in the heat of the day, meaning the heavy trials that come with our baptism by fire.

Hos 13:3  Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney

Dew in the physical world is water gathering from condensation mostly at night.   Condensation occurs when the surface radiates its heat and the water droplets accumulate faster than they are evaporated in the cooler air.  Applying the lesson of Romans 1:20, spiritual dew is a blessing, as water is needed to bring life.  The accumulation of water signifies us growing and standing in faith, in our trials and is the favor of God given a very precious few.

Deu 32:2  My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

Pro 19:12  The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.

The absence of Dew or Dry:  The absence of God’s dew or rain on a surface reflects a cursed condition.  A land without dew or rain is a dry land which is a place of famine and where nothing will grow or increase in the Lord (Amo 8:11, Hag 1:10, Deu 28:24).  Confronting the enemies of God begins by the withholding of the moisture (dew and rain) that is needed to sustain life.

1Ki 17:1  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.

When it’s hot and when the sun is on the land no dew will be found.  The symbolism of a dry earth is a land (the old man, the rejected King Saul) that is under judgment where the heat and fiery sun of God’s Word is beating down.  The curse of the old man is the blessing for the new man and the other side of the two-edged sword.

Rev 16:9  And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

2Sa 1:21  “O mountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew nor rain upon you, Nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there! The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

The Ground/Earth:  The land or earth referenced here is the threshing floor (Jdg 6:11) which is where we create spiritual food out of the crops the Lord is giving us.  That food nourishing the new man, is the dying body of the old man (Num 14:9) as we begin to judge the land.  Christ increases, and the old man is decreased and consumed.

Joh 6:54  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

A land without dew is a land under judgment bearing God’s wrath which is exactly what is needed to cleanse of the innumerable Midianites.  Lest there be any confusion, it is a good thing for judgment to be on the land within us, that is the process that is saving us (Exo 6:6, Isa 26:9, Rev 15:8, etc).

Isa 1:27  Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

Asking for our works (the fleece) to be blessed is asking our earth (Jer 22:9) to be cursed and the dew withheld.  That is the way of salvation and how the Midianites are being cleared from the promised land.  The second sign flips this as in the end God’s moisture that is His Word must cover the earth for green things to grow and ultimately the more mature fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).

We are all Gideon that first need assurance that the Lord has truly chosen us to work in His Kingdom. Such is the objective of the first sign of the fleece. Will God bless our works in His service and bring what is needed to deliver us (Israel) of the Midianites?   The Lord answers these petitions in bringing us blessings to confirm His Word in us as we begin to get small victories (Zec 4:10) on the road to overcoming the Midianites.

Luk 10:17  And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils (lying spirits) are subject unto us through thy name.

Secondly, those chosen of the Lord need assurance the fruit of our work for Him is being blessed.  Asking the ground to be wet with dew and the fleece (our own works) to be dry is the better and more mature request.  It is the inward works and fruit that is most important and where the Lord looks for righteousness.   Asking for the reverse sign of the dew (blessing), is Gideon asking for a blessing for the promised land that is Israel.  This is a good prayer as our obedience, ruling over sin, brings forth the blessings to the land.

Deu 28:8  The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

The Lord is always working good through evil (Gen 50:20).  Seeking assurances that the Lord is blessing the land with the dew, shows us the purpose of spiritual warfare (judgment) that “is, was and will be” necessary to sanctify the land within and without in the appointed times. Gideon does not know any of this yet, but his story is written to minister to us (1Pe 1:9-12).

Mat 10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Mat 24:6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Amazingly enough, Gideon is still not done needing signs from the Lord to bolster his faith.   When it comes time to actually fight by faith, Gideon becomes fearful again and a man is sent by the Lord to reveal a dream (a sign) that turned his fear (Jdg 7:9-15).  We are blessed for believing without seeing because our trust in the Lord with all of ourselves is rewarded.  It is commanded that we NOT prove or try the Lord. However,  there is one exception where the Lord wants us to try Him and to prove Him.  He wants to pour more blessings out upon us as He rewards those who seek Him in faith.

Mal 3:10  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.

Luk 6:38  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.

Now being given the two signs of the fleece, Gideon, is strengthened and blows the trumpet and prepares Israel for battle (Judges 7).  Next, the Lord will have more lessons for us in the life of Gideon including the parable of reducing the assembled 32,000 strong army down to just 300 men.   That story and parable has great spiritual significance and has been the subject of many detailed studies and FAQ on the various Body of Christ websites.  We will bring that to our remembrance and look further into Gideon which is teaching us about our experience in living by every word.

Sincere questions and comments are always welcome. You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

Studies

The Widow of Zarephath

NOTE: Sorry but the audio was again of very poor quality without a WIFI connection.  I hope to rerecord at some point but for now there is no audio.

For Our Admonition Part 4

The Widow of Zarephath

Key Verses:  1Ki 17:8 – 17:16

We continue in the new series “For Our Admonition” that is focused on drawing out spiritual lessons and reminders of the Lord’s plan and process regarding His Elect.  The Lord moves Elijah onward from hiding out from King Ahab, the most wicked king Israel ever had (1Ki 16:30).  There are greater works to be done and Elijah is commanded to go to Zarephath and be nourished by a widow.

 1Ki 17:8  And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 

1Ki 17:9  Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 

1Ki 17:10  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. 

1Ki 17:11  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. 

1Ki 17:12  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. 

1Ki 17:13  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. 

1Ki 17:14  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. 

1Ki 17:15  And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 

1Ki 17:16  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. 

The Lord makes a way for His people. Only He can always provide and put His people together to do the greater works of Christ (Joh 14:12).  Elijah is sent to teach (feed the flock) and be taught (fed by the flock) and that is why the Lord makes us needy and incapable of surviving cutoff from the Living Christ.

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

When our Lord’s ministry began, His words were rejected by His own people as will our words.  He then cited this Elijah story (parable) to indicate that He and His elect are only to go to the true Jews (Rom 2:28-29), the few chosen (Mat 22:14) who are also the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Luk 4:24  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

Luk 4:25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

Luk 4:26  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta (Zarephath), a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

This widow is a physical Gentile and is a type and shadow of the Lord’s prophets leaving their own who reject them and going to the Gentiles who are the true Jews prepared of the Lord.

Act 18:6  And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. 

Mat 10:6  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The lost sheep of the House of Israel are scattered all over this world and from all nations, tribes and tongues, even unto spiritual Zidon.  A second witness to this truth is the parable of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was vexed by a demon who showed great faith and by example that she was of the true house of Israel. The Lord and His Christ go into Zidon to find and feed the lost sheep.

Mat 15:21  Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

Mat 15:22  And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Our reasonable service (losing our life) to the Lord is practicing pure religion.  This has us ministering to the spiritual widows and orphans who do not yet know the Lord in Spirit and in truth to whom the Lord sends us.

Jas 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

A widow is someone whose husband has died.  When we come out of Orthodoxy (the other Jesus), our former husband that bound us to the self-righteous law for the lawless is dead.  Our old way of life is perishing, and we are no longer bound by the law (Moses and Gentiles) that kept us bound for our entire life.  The hearing of the Word releases us from the law as that husband is now (is, was and will be) dead.

Rom 7:1  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Rom 7:2  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Yet we still must come to know the true Jesus before we can be made ready and get married again.  The truth of the Word, we are now hearing, makes us into spiritual widows.  The fact is we need to be made ready and that only by enduring the wrath of God that clothes us in the proper garments.  We will remain a widow hearing only until we are made ready when grace appears.  The marriage to Christ comes after we have been made ready.

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 

Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

There is great spiritual significance to the names and places in Scripture.

Zarephath Zarephath comes from the root word H6884 “tsaraph” which means refinement and is associated with metal works in a foundry’s furnace.

H6884, tsâraph – Total KJV Occurrences: 33

tried/try,  13

founder, 5

goldsmith, 5

pure, 2

melt, 2

Here are some uses of the root word for the name of Zarephath where we as a widow are approached by the prophets of the Lord.  It is in the Body where we are refined and purified in the Lord’s fiery furnace.

Psa 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Isa 48:10  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Zarephath is where we are when faith first comes to us by way of a prophet sent by the Lord.  Zarephath is the wilderness, in the land of Canaan that is also Babylon.  The promised land given to Israel includes the land of Canaan which represents the gain seeking ways of flesh.

Oba 1:20  And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

Zarephath is a type of spiritual Babylon within us and represents the place or process of being refined through the interaction of the Word, the Lord’s prophets and our unbelieving widow mindset.

ZidonZarephath is also part of Zidon [H6721] which is known as Sidon and Tsidon in the NT and which traces back to the first born of Canaan (1Ch 1:13).  Sidon symbolizes fishing and where prey is hunted and caught in the nets of our carnal mindedness.  It represents a wealthy and merchandising city of the world (Rev 18:11) and a place of increased of goods as is Babylon (Rev 3:17).

Arguably the most famous Sidonian was Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab (1Ki 16:31), who seduced the king and brought fornication and Baal worship into Israel and who pursued the Lord’s prophets including Elijah.  Judgment comes in due time to the land of Zidon to burn out the Canaanite spirit in the temple and kingdom of God within us (Luk 17:21).  Spiritually speaking when we leave orthodoxy, we go into Canaan.  That is where the father of faith Abram (type of Christ) was sent and later received prophets and ate bread with them.

Gen 12:5  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 

We find the widow and we ourselves are found by the prophet in our spiritual Zarephath.  It is here within the kingdom of God that the land begins to be refined by the fiery Word we are given to eat and drink.  Let’s reread the next verses as we look deeper into the story.

1Ki 17:10  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. 

1Ki 17:11  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. 

1Ki 17:12  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. 

When the Word of God meets the widow, we as that widow, are busy doing carnally minded things (gathering sticks of wood) to feed ourselves and sustain ourselves in the Spirit.  The woman had no hope, which defines the status of those separated from the gift of faith.

Isa 38:18  For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

The widow needs to hear the Word from the sent preacher (Rom 10:17) to grow in faith.

Psa 130:5  I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Gal 5:5  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

If one has faith and a lively hope, then provision is being made by the Lord’s precious promises.

Joh 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Mat 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 

We are this woman who has no husband, caught in between the works of the law which has died in us and waiting on the coming of Christ with truth and grace.  We are then asked of the Lord by the prophet to give to all who ask of us and especially water, food and clothing.

Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Luk 6:30  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

Luk 6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Before the prophet comes with the word and boldness of a lion, we are this widow gathering sticks outside of faith.  This represents an immature mindset, when we are still under the influences and lies of the harlot being carnally minded and caught between the two mindsets of flesh and spirit.  Instead of sacrificing ourselves and losing our life, we are yet gathering wooden sticks, representing our outward self-righteous works of the law to sustain and save ourselves.  Fire must be spoken to ears that hear that will burn up this wood and bring forth a renewed mindset (Rom 12:2).

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Making these two sticks into one stick is the promise of the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16) that will come to us more and more as we abide in the fire when chastening grace (Heb 12:6) appears.

Eze 37:16  Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

Eze 37:17  And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Elijah brings comfort and trust through the Word to the widow that is acted upon in faith.

1Ki 17:13  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. 

1Ki 17:14  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. 

1Ki 17:15  And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 

1Ki 17:16  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. 

The story of the widow acting in faith and giving ALL she had in giving her “two mites” is a similar parable to this widow’s story.  Both gave all they had in their poverty which is the epitome of faith in action and giving of their very life.

Luk 21:3  And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

Luk 21:4  For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

The widow of Zarephath comes to see that it is by giving all we have and trusting in the Lord by which we will be sustained.  She is taught this by the prophet and trusts that the meal will not waste and will indeed feed them for many days. A mature Solomon came to see this way of the Lord.

Ecc 11:1  Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

These stories teach us to give which requires trusting in the Lord and remembering we are just stewards of what the Lord has given to us.  It is the Lord through His prophets that the meal and oil is multiplied and the fire spreads.

Heb 6:13  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

Heb 6:14  Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

A dear brother added a great point I have now added into this study.  He pointed out that these  multiplied blessings from the Lord only come after we deny ourselves for His namesakes, as this widow has to make a cake for Elijah first and only after doing that she can make a meal for herself and her son.

1Ki 17:13  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.

A NT witness to this same truth were these words of Jesus Christ.

Mat 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

I have seen firsthand how the Lord does this.  When we cast our bread onto the waters of mankind, to those few the Lord brings or sends to us; that bread is then found later multiplied and used to feed us back.  When we are being used to bring others into the true faith of Christ, we are casting our bread upon the waters and that work, and Word shall not return void (Isa 55:11) and will sustain us through the four seasons of life.

This story is mostly about the blessings of giving and trusting in the Lord to provide and not hoarding for ourselves the things the Lord has given to us.  This is true whether those things be physical or spiritual, the valuable things of life are to be poured out on the Body.  This is contrary to carnal thinking that does not know that Jesus Christ is come in His flesh (Eph 5:30).

Mat 26:7  There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

Mat 26:8  But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

Mat 26:9  For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

Mat 26:11  For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

Mat 26:12  For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial (death to flesh)

Mat 26:13  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

The memory or memorial of this lesson is this:  It is better to give than to receive!

Act 20:35  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 

 A key lesson to receiving the blessing of the Lord (understanding, healing of false doctrines, etc.) is to become a giver, which is the true fast the Lord desires from His people.

 Isa 58:7  Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Isa 58:8  Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. 

2Co 9:6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully

We cannot serve God and mammon and the Lord tries and rewards us when we act according to faith.  To those who is given much, even more shall be given when they honour God.

Luk 16:10  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

The Lord blesses us when we give in faith of His promises as this widow gave to Elijah.  The meal never ran out and the oil never failed just as Elijah had spoken.  We can only give what the Lord has given to us even if that is two mites or a thimble of meal.  None of us have anything to do with our possessions of anything be it physical or spiritual valuables.  It is all of the Lord!

1Co 4:7  For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

The Word of the Lord will not fail. The Word is the meal and the oil is the anointing via God’s Spirit.  This is the sustenance we spiritually live on in every phase of our walk and maturity.  It comes through God’s prophets and angels (messengers), i.e. His elect and is also known as rivers of living waters.

Joh 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

There is always food found in the gathering of the saints.  This Holy City is where the rivers of life flow endlessly with food for all seasons.

Eze 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

Even a poor destitute widow is needed in the Body and by acting in faith is able to give back and fulfill the needs of Jesus Christ and feed the flock of God as a shepherd herself (Joh 10:2).

 1Co 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant

1Co 12:24  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

Elijah is a man of faith, one sent to preach the Word that feed and sustain us in the wilderness.  This is an example of how we are to help the spiritual widows we find on whom the grace of God has not yet fallen.  We are the instruments to prepare them for what lies ahead, impart faith and hope by feeding them the pure word of God.

Mat 14:15  And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.

Mat 14:16  But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

 The Lord knows how to nourish His children throughout all the stages of their growing up.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 

The woman did not die as she thought in her initial unbelief.  Eating meal made with oil brings life through the death (Joh 12:24) that life being the new  man increasing as the old man dies.

Joh 6:58  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Job 5:20  In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.

This story of the widow and her son is two-part parable of how the Lord saves us.  Going to Zarephath coincides with our going into spiritual Babylon where we hear the truth and grow in faith.  Yet Christ must come the second time with fire (grace) to save us and deliver us from our sins.  That as we all know comes by going through judgment in this age.  First comes the faith by hearing and that is followed by the grace that saves us by killing the man of sin.  The Lord prepares us for the greater trials to come only giving us what we can bear.

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation (trial) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Lord willing, we will cover the grace part of the story next time that will focus on the death and resurrection of the widow’s son.

1Ki 17:21  And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.

1Ki 17:22  And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

Part two of this parable and the raising of the widow’s son to life is covered in the next study (part 5 – Raising the Dead to New Life)  in the series.  Click Here to read that now.

 

Sincere questions and comments are welcome.  You can also email  me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.