I have commanded

“The word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.”

SUPERFICIALLY read, we should conclude from this that a message had been sent to the widow woman on the subject of supporting Elijah. It transpires, however, that nothing of the sort had taken place. When Elijah went to Zarephath, he found the woman in the depth of want from the famine, and arranging for a last meal with her son (1 Kings 17:12). How comes it then that Jehovah should say, “I have commanded a widow woman to sustain thee”, when in the ordinary sense He had not done so? Because of another sense, more powerful than the ordinary sense. The ordinary sense is to give orders by word of mouth … But with God there is another mode, which is as high above the human mode as heaven is high above the earth. Speaking of the creation, David says, “He spake and it was done: He commanded, and it stood fast”. If we ask, how? we are informed, “By His Spirit”. What He wills, He accomplishes by His Spirit. For this reason, the fiat of His will executing itself by the Spirit is described as His word – His command. What God wills or appoints, He can say, “I have commanded”. He had arranged that this widow of Zarephath should sustain Elijah. Therefore, in divine language, He commanded her.

ROBERT ROBERTS, The Ways of Providence, pages 226,227.