Summary: Message 2 in our study of the life and ministry of Elijah. This message explores the lessons he learned isolated by the brook Cherith.
Chico Alliance Church
“Lessons by the Brook”
Last Sunday we began a study in the life of a most significant man of God. Observing God’s interaction with Elijah and Elijah’s spiritual journey in his day provides insight and principles for us in our day which is not unlike what Elijah faced. God called Elijah to confront a widespread defection by the Jews from pure allegiance to Yahweh. All of the Kings ruling the Northern tribes of Israel after the split followed after the sins of the initial king Jeroboam. In fact, the God evaluated each king as to whether they followed after God like King David or embraced the ways of Jeroboam who established worship of other god’s. Some were worse than others, but none of them served the one true God. It was said that Omri, Ahab’s father, was worse that all before him and Ahab surpassed his evil.
In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 1 Kings 16:29-33
Baal was considered the storm god. Elijah set out to prove that Yahweh not Baal was in charge of the rain.
Even though we know very little concerning the background of Elijah, we track his journey as God’s special instrument; chosen at a specific time for a specific purpose. We monitor his movements from complete anonymity and obscurity, into the throne room of a hostile king Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel. We observe his isolation and obscurity in wilderness wanderings and wonderings. We notice his obedience to God’s direction to reside in a remote city where he ministers to an unknown widow and her young son. We join the throngs of people at the summit of Mount Carmel to watch him boldly confront the gods of the age followed by a period of despair and depression. We stand in awe of this man of like passion learning to hear and follow His God. We celebrate a powerful intercessor. We sympathize as he wrestles with profound feelings of insecurity, loneliness and failure. And in it all, we come to realize that it is not the power of the man himself but the power of His God demonstrated through a frail but willing vessel. It reminds me of Paul’s assertion that God’s power is displayed in our weakness.
I will try to discover and display the timeless spiritual principles in play as we follow Elijah’s journey from place to place by God’s specific direction.
Most of those periods in Elijah’s life follow a definite instruction from the Lord.
“And the word of the Lord came to Elijah”
I. Lessons from the Palace where Elijah boldly announced God’s judgment for sin. 1 Kings 17:1
A. Elijah came from an unknown obscure background
Possible timeless principle #1 from the Palace.
God is more interested in backbone than background.
B. Elijah spoke FOR God
God speaks to and through people.
C. Elijah knew his God.
Possible timeless lesson #3 from the palace.
Know your God
D. Elijah knew his standing with God
Possible timeless lesson #4
Know your standing with God.
E. Elijah understood and pursued his purpose with boldness.
Possible timeless lesson from the palace #5
Know your purpose in life
F. Elijah prayed fervently.
Possible timeless lesson from the palace #6
Earnest prayer is inseparable from all aspects of God’s work.
II. Lessons from the brook where Elijah learned to trust God in obscurity and isolation. 1 King 17:2-7
And the word of the LORD came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 1 Kings 17:2-7