“And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” (1 Kings 17:1)
Elijah, one of the greatest and most powerful prophets in the Old Testament, was God’s answer to Israel’s worst king.
It is interesting to think about the amazing miracles God accomplished through Elijah. More importantly, take a look at the relationship they shared. All that happened in Elijah’s life began with the same miracle that is available to those in Christ. Elijah responded to the miracle of knowing God.
For example, God worked an incredible miracle through Elijah in defeating the prophets of Baal. Queen Jezebel then retaliated by threatening Elijah’s life. And Elijah ran. He felt afraid, depressed, and abandoned. Despite God’s provision of food and shelter in the desert, Elijah wanted to throw in the towel and just die. So God presented Elijah with an “audio-visual display” and a message he needed to hear. Elijah experienced a windstorm, an earthquake, and fire. Yet, God displayed His presence in a gentle whisper.
Just like you and me, Elijah struggled with his feelings even after this comforting message from God. So God confronted Elijah’s emotions and called him to action. God told Elijah what to do next and informed him that he was not alone. There remained 7,000 faithful others in Israel.
God speaks. Are you listening?
What I see here is that God often speaks through the gentle and obvious rather than the spectacular and unusual. God has work for us to do even when we are fearful and feeling defeated, depressed and deflated.
One thing I am discovering is that God always has more resources and people available than I know about. And yes, though I want to do things for God, I have to remind myself daily that I need to focus on my relationship with God. The real miracle of Elijah’s life was his personal relationship with God. And that miracle is available today.
There are two other points worthy of consideration.
First, it is sometimes easy to reject God’s blessing because I don’t agree with the package it comes in.
Israel was required to care for its prophets. God turned to ravens (unclean birds) and a widow (a foreigner from Jezebel’s home territory) to care for Elijah. God has help where I least expect it. He provides in ways that go far beyond my narrow definitions and expectations. No matter how bitter my trials or how hopeless my situation appears to be, I have to look for God’s provision. I often times discover His providence comes in unusual packages and from strange places.
Next, God sometimes dries up the stream before I will move on. Remember, Elijah sat down at the brook and made it home. I can imagine Elijah just sitting there beneath a shade tree enjoying his favorite beverage. But God had another mission for him. After a while the brook dried up. Sometimes I become so complacent in my current situation that God has to “dry up” my provision before I will move out and up.
Has your stream dried up? Don’t blame God. Look for God’s direction. Like Elijah, God may use you to bring life into a dead situation. “The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived” (1 Kings 17:22).
Read 1 Kings 17:1-24