19
Oct
15

Our Protector And Provider

1 Kings 17:1-6 (NIV)
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”

So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

 

Israel had become a nation of idolatry.  They had forsaken the worship of Almighty God for the worship of Baal.  King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, were notoriously evil.  Ahab has been described as the most wicked king Israel ever had.  He married the pagan princess, Jezebel who attempted to make the worship of Baal the official religion of Israel.  Ahab built a temple and altar to Baal in the capital of Israel.  Because of Ahab’s wickedness, God raised up a prophet to bring punishment upon Ahab and Israel for their idolatry.

Elijah’s story begins in 1 Kings 17 as he declares that there will be a drought in the land for “the next few years.”  In the New Testament, James talks about the drought Elijah brought upon Israel as a reminder that we should pray earnestly (James 5:17).  Sure enough, the rain did not fall on Israel for quite some time.  Then, Elijah fled to a ravine east of the Jordan River.  Why would Elijah flee?  Was it because Ahab and Jezebel would try to kill him because of the severe drought?  Or was it because they would beg and plead with him to try and get God to relent and bring the rain.  Without rain there would be no food.  People and animals would starve and die of thirst.

God leads Elijah to a brook in the ravine that would not dry up during this drought.  He provides for Elijah’s needs of food as he was fed by ravens.  They brought him meat and food (the Hebrew word means more than just bread.  It can also mean food in general).  What is interesting is that it was ravens that brought the meat to Elijah.  Ravens ate dead animals.  Ravens were unclean animals and would have most likely brought unclean food to Elijah to sustain him.  The point isn’t what Elijah ate.  The point is that God provided for Elijah, just as He provides for us.  Sometimes God provides in unlikely ways that we don’t understand, but He is our provider and protector.

Just as Elijah stood up against the wickedness of his day, so we must also stand up for truth and righteousness and against wickedness in our day.  Rather than going with the crowds and following what may be popular, we need to read God’s Word and stand on it, even if we stand alone.

PRAYER: Lord God, help me to be like Elijah today and to be bold and committed to you.  We are surrounded by wickedness in our day, just as Elijah was.  Give me the strength to stand up and be counted for Jesus Christ.  I pray that You will protect me and provide for me, even as the days grow dark.  In Jesus’ name I ask these things, amen.

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