I Kings 17:2-3 “Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.’”
“Leave here… and hide.” Elijah had just proclaimed that there would be no more rain in Israel until the Lord said so. The Lord wanted to protect Elijah from Ahab’s anger. It took a lot of faith and courage to confront the King of Israel with such bold and direct words and the Lord had a lot more for Elijah to do. So the Lord is saying, “Just keep away from him. Hide. Don’t let him find you.”
I Kings 17:4-6 “’You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.’ So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”
We all start out like this as new believers. Life is great and God is good when we first get saved. Everything comes easy. Prayers get answered immediately. God’s word is new and fresh and exciting. It doesn’t take long to get comfortable by that brook and start taking the grace and the blessings of God for granted.
But while we’re drinking that living water and eating the bread and meat of God’s word, the world around us is hungry for the truth and thirsty for something that satisfies and lasts. It’s so easy to become comfortable when the Lord is supplying all our needs and forget that the Lord has put us here to take care of the needs of the world around us.
I Kings 17:7 “Some time later THE BROOK DRIED UP because there had been no rain in the land.”
His life changed when Elijah told King Ahab that it wouldn’t rain until the Lord said so. Everything changed again for Elijah when that brook dried up. Elijah had gotten pretty comfortable and content by that brook. That cool, refreshing water was always right there, just as much as he needed whenever he needed or wanted it. He was never thirsty. He was never really hungry and he didn’t really have to work very hard for it either. The ravens would bring it to him and drop it at his feet twice a day. But one day he reaches down for a refreshing scoop of cool water and he comes up with a handful of sand. “The brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.”
Repentant believers are not exempt, we are not shielded from the problems the rest of the world is suffering. We may not be “of” this world, but we still have to live “in” this world. If we focus on our own needs, if we refuse to look out or reach out or move out beyond ourselves to a lost and dying world, the Lord will find a way to wake us up. He’ll shake us up so He can move us on. The Lord will dry up our brook. The safe, comfortable, self-centered little world we’ve gotten used to living in will suddenly come to an end. Whenever the Lord is working, things are constantly changing.
I Kings 17:8-9 “Then the word of the Lord came to him, ‘Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.’”
I’ll still supply all your needs, Elijah but I’ll be doing it in a different way.
I Kings 17:10-11 “So he went up to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, ‘Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?’ As she was going to get it, he called, ‘And bring me, please, a piece of bread.’”
His food and water aren’t automatically being brought to him anymore. Now he has to ask for it. He has to depend on someone else to give it to him. The Lord has a way of putting us with people we’d never choose to associate with on our own. But we’re placed together by the Lord to learn something from each other about Him.
Elijah needed to learn to ask and receive and the widow needed to learn to give and let go. Elijah needed to learn to work with others and the widow needed faith in God. Lord willing, we’ll pick this up again next Tuesday. Thanks for getting in God’s word with Pastor Buj.