Scripture: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 1 Kings 17:3-4 ESV
Observation: Ahab (who ruled over the ten northern tribes of Israel) did many evil things during his twenty-two-year reign, including marrying a foreign princess (Jezebel) in violation of the Mosaic law. Having adopted her abominable worship practices to the deity Baal, Ahab was now leading Yahweh’s people further astray from the Lord (16:29-34). Hence, God sent the prophet Elijah to King Ahab to pronounce judgment that bears the consequence of an impending drought (17:1). As this story develops, we will learn that Jezebel ruthlessly rules the nest, and she will stop at nothing to shut up Elijah. So God, who sees all of history without time constraint, commands Elijah to seek refuge in an isolated locale—promising provision (above verse). In verse 6, the author adds that the ravens brought bread and meat to Elijah in the mornings and evenings.
Takeaway: When God leads us into enemy territory, he will meet all our needs, including nourishment and a sanctuary for rest. The historical accounts of Jesus, his disciples, and the apostle Paul (as recorded in the Gospels and Acts) confirm this same caregiving attribute of our loving Father. Indeed, one of the names of God adopted by his people is Jehovah-Jireh: God provides (taken from the story of God providing Abraham with a substitute sacrifice of a ram caught in the thickets, Genesis 22). Still, whether in times of conflict or peace, our Lord will not indulge us in excesses that would cause us to drift from him and diminish our spiritual well-being. Instead, our gracious Lord will provide all our needs for our present circumstances, and this is why Jesus taught his disciples to pray for their “daily bread.” His provisions are sufficient for the day.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for your loving care of all our needs, including safety and sustenance. Like Elijah, would you please help us entrust ourselves to you for our “daily bread” so that we might boldly live out our faith for your glory? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling