Summary: Boot camp is an experience one never forgets. It is a time of brutal discipline, unending work, regimented training, cold fear and acute loneliness. Yet, it is in boot camp that real soldiers are born.
Dry Brook University
Text: I Kings 17:2-7
Introduction: Boot camp is an experience one never forgets. It is a time of brutal discipline, unending work, regimented training, cold fear and acute loneliness. Yet, it is in boot camp that real soldiers are born. A soldier would never be able to serve on the battlefield without having first been through the rigors of boot camp. In boot camp, soldiers have their self-will striped away. They lose any rebellion that may be in their heart. They learn to follow every order from a superior without question. They learn to follow their leader, even to death, if necessary.
Of course, the positive side of all the training, the discipline and the pressure is that the soldier grows stronger, more disciplined and more mature. He is transformed from a common man into a battle ready soldier. You might say that boot camp is much like enrolling in a compressed university program. The soldier learns much in a very short time. Everything he learns in boot camp is essential to his survival on the battlefield.
God has a place that each of His children must pass through. He has a university, a training experience, for those He intends to use. Elijah is about to experience this university in these verses under consideration today. When we think of Elijah, there are two main events that seem to characterize his life. The first is the fact that he was carried away to heaven in a chariot of fire. The second has to do with his great victory on top of Mount Carmel. I think we need to be reminded that before we can be trusted to stand on Carmel, we must first pass by the dry brook. What I want you to understand today through all this is that before God can use you as His servant, He will have to put you through times of intense training and preparation. Before He can use us greatly before other men, God must first break us before Himself.
Surely, everyone of you wants to be used by the Lord. However, before that can happen, we must first pass through God’s training ground - His university. There are lessons to be learned. There are courses that we must go through. Before God can place us on the battlefield as a soldier of the cross, He must first send us through His boot camp. This isn’t a truth we enjoy thinking about, but it stands to reason that before God can really use us, He must first remove from us all that hinders His will from being done.
Therefore, let’s join Elijah as he enrolls at Dry Brook University. His experience contains several elements of truth that we need to explore together. These things will help you endure when God decides to put you through Dry Brook University.
The journey begins as we find ourselves being taken into:
1. God’s Place
- vv. 2-3 - "Then a revelation from the LORD came to him: Leave here, turn eastward, and hide yourself at the Wadi Cherith where it enters the Jordan."
A. Verse 1 finds Elijah standing before King Ahab delivering God’s message of immediate judgement. He proclaims:
"As the LORD God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!"
B. Verse 2 finds God sending Elijah into God’s place of hiding.
Application: It would seem that God would want to keep Elijah right in the face of Ahab as His judgement falls. But God has a different plan. Elijah wasn’t ready for the showdown that was yet to come. God now had to transform Elijah the Tishbite into Elijah the Man of God. To accomplish this, Elijah was heading back to school.
C. God’s place is an important place for you and I to find ourselves in. God’s place is that place where confidence and trust is built. God’s place is that place where we loose ourselves in order to truly discover God.
D. Let’s observe some important features of God’s place:
1.There is a Name for this Place -
a. Cherith - means "to cut off, to cut down".
b. God must cut Elijah off from public view so that He might cut him down to size.
Application: One of the hardest lessons the child of God will ever learn is that God must send you to Cherith before He can use you for His glory. He must hide you away and cut you down so that His image may be more clearly revealed in you. Just as the silversmith heats the silver and skims off the dross until he can see his image in the silver, so God will work in our lives, as we allow Him to, in order to bring us to that place where His image is seen in us.