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Enemies Left in the Promised Land

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For Our Admonition #11

“Enemies Left in the Promised Land”

Key Verses:  Judges Chapter 2 and Jdg 3:1 – 3:11

In this study, we take our first but not last entry into the Book of Judges. This Book in the letter is a chronological history of Israel’s early days in the promised land.  Even a “Babylonian” website nails the physical history lesson in their summation of the Book of Judges.

The book of Judges describes a cycle that repeated itself multiple times during the reign of the judges. Because the Israelites failed to remove wicked influences from the promised land, they became entangled in sin and were conquered and afflicted by their enemies. After the Israelites cried unto the Lord for help, He sent judges to deliver them from their enemies. However, they soon returned to their sins, and the cycle repeated.

They are blind to the fact that these verses were written down by the prophets of old to minister and teach us, the true Israel of God.  Those stories happened to teach us the things we need to know about the Lord’s work in the kingdom of God.

1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

These events in Judges show the continued cycle of Israel falling away into evil, crying out to the Lord and then being saved out of those troubles.  Such is the ongoing cycle of many tribulations (Act 14:22) by which the true Israel (the Body of Christ) is being saved in this age.  Before we get to the specific story in Judges of the first appointed judge, let’s review some foundational truths about what these events portray in the kingdom of God.

The Promised Land

The land of Canaan in Scripture represents the promised land.  The land promise to Israel is the land within us that represents the Kingdom of God.  This is where Christ appears in the hearts and minds of His Chosen people to take back the kingdom for the Lord.  (Luk 17:20-21).  While the land is given to Israel (us) as a possession, the land must be overcome and be cleansed of the heathen nations and giants (besetting sins) that occupy it.  In Genesis the land promise is described as including the territories occupied by ten nations.  It only awaits the times appointed the Lord for this to be fulfilled.

Gen 15:18  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Gen 15:19  The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

Gen 15:20  And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

Gen 15:21  And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

All ten of these people/nations are types for our flesh (and associated false doctrines) that are naturally at enmity with our new man and the ways of the Lord.   The land of Canaan will be humbled, it will bow the knee to Jesus Christ in the appointed time. The root word for Canaan [H3667] is Strong’s H3665 which very clearly shows the Lord’s masterpiece in declaring the end of all things from the very beginning (Isa 46:10).

H3665, kâna‛

kaw-nah’

A primitive root; properly to bend the knee; hence to humiliate, vanquish: – bring down (low), into subjection, under, humble (self), subdue.

Canaan is the son of Ham and was cursed by the Lord for Ham’s disobedience (Gen 9:25).  This all part of the Lord’s plan to save all mankind by remaking in its entirety the marred vessels of clay (Jer 18:4, Rev 21:5).  The first man Adam, his mindset and fleshly body was not designed to inherit the kingdom of God nor can it.  The Lord is changing the true Israel now in this age by bringing judgment upon the house of God.

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

The law of Moses gave us a shadow of the true law of faith.  But the principles work the same.  With obedience comes blessings and more power is given to us.  With disobedience, come curses and wrath and we are given over to our enemies to turn our hearts back to the Lord.

Blessing:  Deu 28:7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that revolt against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way and flee before thee seven ways.

Curse:  Deu 28:48  And thou shalt serve thine enemies, which the Lord will send forth against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in the want of all things; and thou shalt wear upon thy neck a yoke of iron until he shall have destroyed thee.

This land promised is traced back to Canaan’s lineage which is spiritually synonymous with the land of the Philistines (Palestine) that is always at war with Israel.   Yet it will be possessed by the Lord’s shepherd’s and flocks and sin will be ruled over in due time.

Zep 2:5  Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.

Zep 2:6  And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.

Our walk of maturity is taking over this land little by little as the Lord gives us the victory.

Num 34:2  Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:)

Salvation is a process of being saved and overcoming our enemies.  The Canaanite nations that occupy the promised land is our own flesh and the lusts thereof (1Jo 2:16).  These are the enemies of Israel whom we are overcoming and fighting every day of our life in these flesh bodies.  This land is being possessed slowly but surely in our day of the Lord which is the judgment now on the House of the Lord (1Pe 4:17).   It is an often-repeated theme that the Lord purposefully leaves the enemies (our own flesh) to later try and prove our faith.

Jdg 1:28  And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out. 

The Canaanites paying tribute to Israel illustrates the partial victory and partial dominion we have over our flesh when young and immature and doing battle in the promised land.  The Lord has plans for our enemies will use them to teach us righteousness by bringing trials and chastening.  Look at just some of the failures of the tribes of Israel in overcoming the enemies.

Jdg 1:29  Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.

Jdg 1:30  Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.

Jdg 1:31  Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:

Jdg 1:32  But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.

There is indeed a method to the Lord’s strange ways and all of it is being used for our good (Rom 8:28, 2Co 4:15).

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

Mat 10:36  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household (think within) 

The fact is our flesh and deep-rooted beastly nature will always be with us. We must always stay vigilant in the fight of faith and never think we have arrived and put our guard down.

Jos 15:63  As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day. 

Rev 17:8  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Another new testament witness of this same “always on” battle with flesh are these verses.

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17  For the flesh (Canaanites) lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The Lord uses our enemies to ensnare us in bondage, so our hearts and minds will look to Him only (repent) for all things beginning with our deliverance. This methodology is a good work and wonderful work of the Lord to the children of men in destroying our false peace (1Th 5:3) and exposing our being at ease in Zion as we walk out our faith (Amo 6:1).  We reap what we sow and that applies to our disobedience and evil deeds.

Jdg 2:13  And they (Israel, you and me) forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

Jdg 2:14  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.

Jdg 2:15  Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.  (coming to our wits end – Psa 107:27)

Jdg 2:21  I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:

Jdg 2:22  That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.

There is indeed a time and purpose for every season under heaven (Ecc 3:1), even being in captivity to our enemies.  The Lord always works evil for good in the end (Gen 50:20) and that begins by seeing our sin and thereby beginning to know (learn) the right ways.

Jer 2:19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Our captivity to our enemies will itself be taken captive as Christ takes His seat on His throne in our hearts (Eph 4:7-8) and we are placed into the Body of Christ (The Judges).  The Book of Judges is symbolizing our being ruled and judged now in the House of God.

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

We WILL fall, yet we Lord willing will get right back up.  That is the “seven times” pattern of Pro 24:16 that we see in Judges and the early history of Israel in the land.

Jdg 2:16  Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.

Jdg 2:17  And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.

Jdg 2:18  And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.

Jdg 2:19  And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

When the judge within us is not on the job, we are eating and drinking unworthily.  The result is we sleep and are spiritually dead (1Co 11:29-30).  This is how we are learning diligence, vigilance and even patience by our mistakes that are 100% caused by the Lord (Isa 63:17, Joh 15:5).  We now come to the appointment of the first judge in Israel.

Jdg 3:1  Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; 

Jdg 3:2  Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; 

Jdg 3:3  Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. 

Jdg 3:4  And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. 

Jdg 3:5  And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: 

Jdg 3:6  And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. 

Jdg 3:7  And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. 

Jdg 3:8  Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. 

Jdg 3:9  And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 

Jdg 3:10  And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. 

Jdg 3:11  And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died. 

In type, this appointed judge Othniel is our new man.  This judge is a younger brother (the brethren) of Caleb.  We all learn the truth and the fire spreads from one another and especially those angels of the Lord who have walked before us shown us these things (Rev 19:10).  It is those in the true Body of Christ who are His Elect of God and are the Lord’s angels that show us truth that is judging Spiritual Israel now and all men in the ages to come (1Co 6:2-3).

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Caleb and Othniel are from the tribe of Judah and Caleb is best remembered in the Scriptures as the only man besides Joshua not afraid to engage the enemies of Israel.

Num 13:30  And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it (subdue the land).

Num 13:31  But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

When the occasion has come to smite our enemies, the Lord raises up a deliverer who is also a judge.  Being delivered is being saved, they are the same thing.  The KJC for the Hebrew word “Yasha” demonstrates this clearly.

H3467, yâsha‛

Total KJV Occurrences: 207

save, 105

saved, 35

saviour, 13

help, 10

delivered, 8

Jdg_2:16, Jdg_2:18, Jdg_3:9, Jdg_3:31, Jdg_8:22, Jdg_10:12, Jdg_12:2-3 (2)

saveth, 7

preserved, 4

deliver, 3

salvation, 3

savest, 3

deliverer, 2      Jdg_3:9, Jdg_3:15

saviours, 2       Neh_9:27, Oba_1:21

The name Othniel means “force for God” and as the offspring of Kenaz [H7073] a word which means to hunt.  Babylon has its hunters in Nimrod (Gen 10) and the true Israel are spiritual hunters in seeking out and destroying the inward enemies of Israel.  Anointed of the Lord, we are sent to make war with our enemies.

Jdg 3:10  And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

Judging Israel and going to war with our enemies are one in the same thing.  It is through judgment and our judging righteously that the land is sanctified and brought into submission.

Isa 59:18  According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.

Isa 59:19  So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard (THE WORD) against him.

There are two men and two witnesses in Scripture and as God’s people we are those men and those witnesses (old and new man).  Our old man of sin is this heathen King of Mesopotamia.  This King links back to Cush, another son of Ham and Canaan’s brother.  This king is a symbol of our idolatry in fornicating with the gods of this world which our flesh naturally loves to do.

Jer 5:30  A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;

Jer 5:31  The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Our idolatry is wonderful only in the sense it gives the Lord the occasion to bring judgment and pour out the grace and chastening we need. It is horrible because our wicked deeds of the flesh are an abomination to the Lord.  It was not surprising to see the meaning of the name of this king and enemy of Israel.

H3573, kûshan rish‛âthayim

koo-shan’ rish-aw-thah’-yim

Apparently from H3572 and the dual of H7564; Cushan of double wickedness; Cushan-Rishathajim, a Mesopotamian king: – Chushan-rishathayim.

Double wickedness is other side of the two-edged sword that is the double blessing to the new man we receive in due time.  To spoil our old man and expose our decrepit spiritual condition both our heavens (mind) and our earth (deeds, actions) will be made wicked by the Potter to bring us low and to a place where repentance can be granted.

Jas 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

When both our minds and deeds are sold into captivity of King Chushanrishathaim, we are being caused to err from the Lord’s ways and our every step is ordered of the Lord.  The word “good” is not in the Hebrew and original Scripture, it was added by carnal men to support their false doctrine that the Lord is not sovereign over all things.

Psa 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Jer 10:23  O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

The fact is we only come to know the Lord in the whirlwind of our judgment.  The Lord leaves the enemies in the land to give Him plenty of opportunities to chasten us and thereby teach us.

Jdg 3:1  Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;

Jdg 3:2  Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;

To learn war, one needs practice and experience.  This is why the enemies are left in the land.  Interesting to note there are FIVE Canaanite/Philistine lords which links these heathen nations never totally removed from the land to the chastening grace of God that is symbolized by the number 5 and its various multiples (Click for Number 5 Study).

We serve the Mesopotamian King in bondage for eight years. This timeline has great spiritual significance also as we are so blessed to know (Click for Number 8 Study).  These eight years are the time and experiences needed to be circumcised by the hand of God and have our new man increase to the detriment of the old man (Joh 3:30).   It takes eight days (years) to accomplish the circumcision of Jesus Christ, who we are if we are His people and of His flesh and bones in the Body of Christ (Eph 5:30).

Luk 2:21  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Rev 17:11  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

The Lord is always seeking an occasion to bring what is necessary to save us.  What is necessary is judgement (fire in our heavens and earth) and it is that process that is delivering us.

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

1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (the word judging us in the last day Joh 12:48)

When we are caused to sin (Pro 16:9, Amo 3:6) and fornicate with our flesh and the heathen nations (the world); it gives our Father the occasion for judgment and to bring the best teacher of righteousness known to man.  The Lord is seeking His will to bring all men to repentance and that is done by seeking an occasion to pour out grace that is what saves us (Eph 2:8) and teaching us righteousness.

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Tit 2:12  Teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

 

Isa 26:9  With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

 

Psa 66:3  Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

Psa 66:4  All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

It is by our learning thru our suffering under these cruel inward heathen kings that obedience comes to the land and the enemies are brought into submission.

Exo 23:22  But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

Heb 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 

To mature more judgment and more trials are ALWAYS needed and exactly what the Lord dials up for each of us (1Pe 4:13, Heb 5:14).

Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Our many failures in driving out the Canaanites is used to humble us and remove all confidence in our flesh.  Only then are can we be justified by faith alone and then we are being circumcised by the hands of God alone (Col 2:11).

Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 

Exo 23:30  By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

After the victory by Othniel, the land has rest for forty years.  We know this rest at this stage of our walk is only temporary as the very verses makes clear.

Jdg 3:12  And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.

We must endure to the end to be saved as we are being saved now via the process.  We have more things to learn always about righteousness.  The Lord gives us times of trials, but He also gives us times of relative peace and prosperity to consolidate our learning.

Joh 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

These peaceful intervals in between the major war battles with our flesh are in type a kind of Millennium we live out now.  Our flesh is being ruled by a rod of Iron but has not yet been totally destroyed and will rise up again to confront and defy the Israel of God.  The IS, WAS and WILL BE nature of the Word applies to this ongoing battle and cycle of warfare with our flesh.  We are living out Judges (Mat 3:11) now as the Lord has raised up Judges via The Christ and The Word that lives in us.  The Lord via His Word is always winnowing down the old man to bring forth the new man.  There is always something more to be discovered and burned out while we live in flesh bodies.  The message to the churches is a message to us His Church and these words never pass away and the Lord always has some more work to be done to rid us of fornication with worldly nations and gods.

Rev 2:19  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Rev 2:20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Rev 2:21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Blessed is the man that can read, hear and live out the words of judgment in the Book of Revelation (Rev 1:3).  In the same way, blessed are the men and woman of God that are being tried in the fire and given many battles with the enemies that the Lord has put and keeps in the Promised Land.

Jas 1:12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

There comes a time to move on to greater maturity.  The Judge Othniel dies and the cycle of Israel’s (our) learning continues through the entire foundation of these twelve judges.

Your 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.