ALL THREEBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead said unto Ahab, ‘As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, ‘Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.’And it shall be that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is before the Jordon. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after awhile that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the Lord came to 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.’So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, ‘Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel that I may drink.’ And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her and said, ‘Bring me I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.’1 Kings 17:1-11------Elijah was appointed a prophet to Israel during the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.This wicked “duo” robbed God’s people of internal and eternal blessing by attempting to snuff out all that was good and godly and replace it with idolatry and every form of evil.The drought and famine predicted by Elijah, over the land, for an extended period of time (3 ½ years according to James 5:17,) was a severe consequence given by God to chasten and correct an ungodly nation.In the meantime, the godly prophet, Elijah, is forced to face the consequence of articulating an unpopular and undesirable message and King Ahab and Queen Jezebel have imposed the death penalty on him.He’s a man on the run … not having fun;Life is painful and difficult for Elijah for a season, all because he was obedient.-----Consider the extraordinary unique blessings provided by God to Elijah, in his desperate but obedient state, and allow it to bolster your own faith as you walk with God, and entrust to God, the consequences of your obedience. You may find yourself very surprised by the methods He secures for "you" and provisions He supplies to you, in your time of need.Consider ...-Provision #1: The Brook CherithThe word Cherith means “cutting or ditch.” Little is known about the brook except that it was in a remote and obscure area.Consider how Elijah went from standing before a King to standing before a remote little brook out in the wilderness.And yet God provided and utilized this unlikely little brook as both a haven for hiding and source of drink for Elijah’s physical and spiritual well-being.We never know what little "brook" we may be brought to and what special provision may spring from it.------Provision #2: The RavenThe raven, which brings Elijah bread and flesh in the morning and evening, is of noteworthy significance.Why?Because in Leviticus 11 we find the raven listed as an abominable and unclean fowl … yet God chooses and uses this unlikely and unclean source as His means of provision to secure a godly and law-abiding prophet with the sustenance of bread and meat.This is fascinating, original, and breathtakingly beautiful and speaks to the vast supply of resources at God’s disposal and His unique approach to personalizing Himself to each of us … as we are obedient.God works in mysterious ways and many times “outside of the box.”The “ravens” He provides us with just might surprise us.------Provision #3: The Gentile WidowA man of God did not receive provision from a widow, and most certainly he didn’t seek a “lone” one out in the wilderness, as his reference and stopping point for his chosen haven.A Gentile widow would have been considered outlandish, extremist, and ungodly on all accounts, not to mention that it might have been in the “prophet’s manual” of things “not to do” while traveling alone.This is simply an unspeakable act that would have run contrary to the law at every point.*Note also that the city of Zidon was Jezebel’s stomping ground and where her father reigned as King.Yet, in this literal God-forsaken place, Elijah is secured refuge, safety, and full provision of God.-----All three of these provisions seem so risky, strange, and unusual when viewed against the backdrop of God’s word and His holy character.To get enough of this story … I cannot.On all accounts and in every arena God desires to display to us His sufficiency, glory, and personalness ... with total disregard for the "box" we attempt to place Him in and with committed love to us in response to our obedience to Him.The same God that provided for Elijah will provide for you and me.May we drink from the brook Cherith, be fed by the raven, and dwell securely in whatever Zidon God should place us.Amen.