July 12, 2016
1 Kings 17
But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.
1 Kings 17:7
LET IT GLOW
When God sends us to camp at a brook and no rain comes, what do we do? When there is no harvest, no wheat for flour, what do we eat? Does our faith expect ravens to come feed us and a brook to keep flowing during a drought? Elijah experienced these things in today's reading.
Whenever the nation fell into sin and idolatry, God sent prophets to call it back to the true faith. The prophet was not simply a "foreteller"; he was also a "forth-teller" who announced God's judgment and exposed the sins of the people. (Wiersbe)
In Israel King Ahab had married Jezebel, who worshiped the pagan god Baal. Baal was worshiped as the god who provided rains and bountiful harvests. Ahab built a temple and an altar for her god in order to please her (16:32) So idolatry was promoted, thus leading the entire nation into sin. There were few priest from the tribe of Levi left in Israel, for they had gone to Judah. Those appointed by Ahab were corrupt and ineffective. Israel was without a godly king or priests to bring God's Word to the people. Israel was in a sad state spiritually and morally.
Hang on though, for God is preparing to send on the scene a prophet named Elijah. Who is this Elijah?
His name Elijah means the LORD is God, Jehovah is God, Hebrew.
- He was living in Tishbe in Gilead, so it is possible that he was a non-Hebrew settler, since a Hebrew was typically described in terms of his tribe and family. (Holman)
- Elijah's rustic appearance set him apart as someone different.
- God sent Elijah to King Ahab, unannounced, with a message-there would be no dew or rain for (3) years according to His Word. (verse 1)
- He proclaims himself as God's servant as he delivered a divine pronouncement. (Falwell)
Although Ahab had a strong military defense, he could not could not help stop the drought. The priests of Baal could not bring rain. God was about to show Himself more powerful than any pagan idol.
LET IT GROW
God told Elijah exactly what to do and where to go. We see his private ministry and three challenges Elijah encountered.
- The dry brook (verses 2-7) Elijah was sent to a specific brook to drink from, and ravens with bread and meat twice a day, as God provided.
- The depleted barrel (verses 8-16)
- The dead boy (verses 17-24) (Wiersbe)
Looking at the first one, we see that God sent His servant and prophet Elijah to a specific place, the Brook of Cherith. God's miraculous and amazing provisions of food and water happened during a time when God had cut it off from Israel. There was no rainfall anywhere in the land, so the brook dried up. (verse 7)
If you are in a hopeless situation or encountering a bitter trial, friend, look to God's caring touch. He my provide from an unusual source.
Are we open to go where He leads? Where You go, I'll go; where You stay, I'll stay; I will trust in You, Jesus.
LET IT GO
Be of courage and encouragement to others.
Realize that God is still on the throne. His resources are never ending.