HE'LL BOUNCE OUTBy: 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------Miracles are mysterious and head-scratching wonderments performed by God.Be careful that you don't box Him in ...He'll bounce out!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 prophesied by Elijah, over the land, for an extended period of time (three plus years according to James 5:17,) was a severe consequence given by God to chasten and correct an ungodly people and cause them to return to Him.In the meantime, the godly prophet, Elijah, is forced to face the consequence of articulating an unpopular and undesirable message. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel now want him dead. He’s a man on the run and life ain't fun.Life is painful and difficult for Elijah for a season, yet mingled with a mysterious supply of miracles.-----Consider the extraordinary, unique miracles 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 consequence of true obedience:MIRACLE #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.-----MIRACLE #2: The RavenThe raven which brings Elijah bread and flesh in the morning 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 you with just might surprise you.-----MIRACLE #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 a reference and stopping point for a hiding place. 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.To get enough of this story … I cannot. God desires and delights in displaying the glory of His miracles in highly original and "questionable" ways, and He doesn't seek man's approval or permission in His chosen manifestations.He makes no revisions to His provisions. He makes no apologies for His decisions.Mmmm ...The same God that provided for Elijah desires to provide for you and me.May we drink from the brook Cherith, be fed by the ravens, and dwell securely in whatever mysterious Zidon He places us in.-----Three Study Considerations:1) Read through today's passages and record insights about the miraculous provisions God selected. What do these "miracles" mean to you?------2) Consider the unusual resources and peoples God has used in your life during difficult seasons. What does this suggest to you about God? ------3) Which provisionary method utilized for Elijah surprises you most? Why? What does it say to you about God's character?*Be careful not to put God in a box ...He'll bounce out.------
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