Summary: Difficulties in life often does not mean we are out of the will of God, merely that God is at work.
I Kings 17:1-7 -- 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 Jordan. 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 a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
l. INTRODUCTION -- ELIJAH, THE TISHBITE
-Elijah, the prophet of fire. The man who was invincible. The man who struck fear in the heart of Ahab and of Jezebeel. The man who towered above the prophets of Baal. The man whose prayers brought fire streaming from heaven.
-The background of Elijah is not really known. He just kind of shows up on the scene. He was not the ordinary type of prophet. He was a man of volcanic force. He was a man who had granite strength.
-Elijah was one of those men who periodically show up in history and have the ability to lift themselves above the common levels of humanity yet in doing this they are made solitary and lonely by their very size.
-He was a man who had such a tremendous spiritual force within him that he could outdistance the King’s chariot and horses in a wild race before the storm to Jezreel.
-He was a man who could confront King Ahab in the courtyards of the stolen vineyard of Naboth and pronounce doom on him.
-He was a man who had such magnificent strength, such noble courage, and character traits that we should desire to uphold.
ll. THE BROOK
-Cherith. The brook that God sent Elijah to. It was one of the little tributaries of the Jordan River. Somewhere in the uplands of the south portion of the land of Palestine, it chattered quietly with the teeming life that characterizes the small streams.
-Cherith means “separated” and that generally is God’s pattern with his greatest men. He takes them aside and sets them apart for a while and then places them in the direction that they need to go.
* Moses had his Midian.
* Joshua had his time of servitude in the Exodus.
* Paul had his Arabian desert experience.
* Jesus Christ had his wilderness.
-Cherith. The place where God draws His men aside. It will always be that way. A place to stretch, a place to be challenged, and place to be developed. To pull men away from the bustles of life is to commune with Him.
A. The Brooks and Waters in the Word of God
-Every man has his own brook. Regardless of that man’s status in the Kingdom of God, he will have a brook that he will be sent to on a directive of God.
-The Bible is full of examples of places where water filled reservoirs such as creeks, brooks, pools, and rivers.
* Waters of Marah, the waters of bitterness -- Exodus 15:23.
* Waters of Meribah, the waters of strife and contention -- Dt. 35:21; Psalm 81:7
* Waters of Enshemesh, the fountain of the sun -- Josh. 15:7-9
-There are other waters in the Word of God that are generally spoken of:
* Waters of purifying -- Numbers 8:7
* Waters of separation -- Numbers 19:9; 19:13
* Waters of affliction -- l Kings 22:27; ll Chron. 18:26; l Sam. 30:20
* Waters of gall -- Jeremiah 8:14; 9:15; 23:15
* Water of life -- Rev. 21:16; 22:1; 22:17
-So it was that Elijah was sent to the brook Cherith by the express commandment of God. It was no doubt a very strange twist of fate to him when the brook began to shrivel and finally to taper out. It was going to be a staggering thing to his faith when his brook began to fail.
-You must understand that every man will have a brook but it is also true that the brook with fail. It will dry up, it will give out.
* If Elijah had been a sinner.
* If Elijah would have been a fugitive running from the hand of God.
* If Elijah would have been a rebellious man resisting the purpose of God.