1Kings 17:5-9 NKJV So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. (6) The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. (7) And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. (8) Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, (9) “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”
When I read about Elijah here I can’t help but to think about Psalm 37:23, “The LORD guides us in the way we should go…(GNB)” The Lord leads His people. The Lord led Elijah and the Lord leads us. After the Lord had Elijah, prophecy a drought throughout the land, He led him to a peaceful brook and provided for Elijah there. Elijah drank from the waters of the brook and the Lord had ravens bring him food every morning and every night. The only problem is that droughts mean water supplies dry up. Still, Elijah stayed by that brook adhering to the Word of the Lord.
The first few weeks were probably very refreshing and glorious as Elijah thought about the way God used him and then led him to this beautiful spot and was supernaturally providing for him. Then after a few weeks, Elijah began to notice that the water line was receding, the nearby foliage that had been lush and green had begun to whither and brown. If he had not thought about it before, now he is wondering about his dwindling water source. Day upon day, week upon week passes, each leaving this precious source and place of provision that God had led him to even more rapidly depleting, yet the ravens came with bread and meat. I don’t know what was going through Elijah’s mind, but most of us would be thinking, “Lord, I sure would like to know the next phase of the plan, because this phase can’t continue too much longer.” Some may even begin to question, “Did I hear from God? Did God really lead me here in the first place?” As the anxiety and fear of the imminent end of our provision source continued to draw nearer every day, we’d begin to cry out, “Lord, help! What’s next?! I can’t go on out here much longer. This last provision you gave me is running out and if you don’t do something soon I will surely die.” As the water slowly dried up, God never spoke one Word. The temptation to leave and try to find the answer oneself would have been nearly unbearable. Then that fateful day came, the brook dried up. Just then, long after the fear and panic would have set and many would have already been driven from that place by their fear, the Word of the Lord came with the next phase of His plan for Elijah’s provision.
As a Christian, I’ve had many personal opportunities and as a part of the pastoral ministry in a local church I’ve talk with many others who have found themselves earnestly wanting to follow the voice and leading of God, yet find themselves in situations like Elijah at the drying brook. Places of service, actions of obedience, plans of provision that once were glorious and refreshing, but now appear to be closing in on you. The opportunities are dwindling and it looks like the brook is drying up. It is easy to laps over into fear there and wonder if God has left you, if He’s done with you, or if He never spoke to you to begin with. What would have happened if Elijah lapsed over to fear and left early? I don’t know, he probably would have died. But we don’t see any indication that Elijah entertained any of those thoughts. I believe that is because Elijah focused daily on the bread and meat that the ravens continued to bring. Every day there was bread, meat and water, even though the amount of water that flowed by was drying up, there was plenty to not only sustain but to fill Elijah. God did the same thing for His people as He led them in the wilderness with the manna, the quail, and the rock that poured water. He also is doing the same for us today. God did not lead Elijah by the brook to perish, but He led him there to be provided for. God did not lead you to your church, your service position, your job, etc… to perish but He led you there to be provided for. As long as, he has you there your provision is coming. Keep your eye on the Bread of Life your manna and Word from God. Daily partake of His faithfulness through the meat of the Word and be refreshed by His water of life. Don’t panic, but stay a tuned to His voice and listen for His leading. He does not want you to perish, but to prosper and He will lead you into the next phase. Don’t allow fear to get you to move too soon. Focus on His Word and His faithfulness. Stay steady, fear not, and listen for His voice. The Word of the Lord will come.