Summary: 2nd in a series of messages on the life and traing of teh Prophet Elijah
Sermon by: Dr. Todd Morris
Text: I Kings 17:2-7
Title: Dry Brook University (#2 Elijah)
Date: March 7, 2004
Introduction: Those who have served in the military well remember Boot Camp. For many it was the first time they were away from home. It was a time of brutal discipline, unending work, regimented training, cold fear and acute loneliness. Yet is in Boot Camp that soldiers are made. A soldier would never be able to serve on the battlefield unless he had first been through the training 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 officer without question. They learn to follow their leader, even to death if necessary.
Of course the positive side to all this training and discipline 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 like enrolling in a compressed university program. The soldier learns much in his short time there, but what he learns is essential to his survival on the battlefield.
God has a place that each of His children must go through. He has a university, a training experience, for each person that He intends to use. In the verses that we will consider this morning, Elijah is about to enroll in this university. When we consider Elijah, there are usually two events that characterize his life. The first is the fact that he was carried away to Heaven in a fiery chariot. The second is his great victory on Mt. Carmel. I think we need to be reminded that before we can be trusted to stand on Mt. Carmel, we must first pass by the dry brook. Before God can use His servants, he must first train them. Before He can use us before man He must break us before Himself.
No doubt that every true child of God wants to be used by God. However, before that can happen we must first pass through God’s university or boot camp. There are lesson that we must learn. There are courses that we must take. Before God can place us on the battlefield as a soldier f the cross, He must first send us to boot camp. This isn’t a truth that we enjoy thinking about, but it is a fact that before God can use us, He must first remove from us all that hinders His will from being done.
So, let’s join Elijah this morning as he enrolls at Dry Brook University. His experience will contain several elements of truth that we need to explore today. These things will help us when our time comes to enroll in Dry Brook U.
I THE PLACE GOD ORDAINED (2-4)
Elijah was just returned from standing before the King and delivering a message of judgment. Now the next word from God is to tell him to hide away. God is in the process of transforming Elijah the Tishbite into Elijah the Man of God, but to accomplish this Elijah has to go to school.
A. The Name of the Place (2-3) – Cherith – “to cut off or to cut down.”
1. God had to cut Elijah off from public view in order to cut him down to size.
B. The Nature of the Place (3) – It is a hidden place.
1. God cannot do in us what He wants to until He gets us alone.
C. The Necessity of the Place (4) – Notice the use of the word “there.” Cherith is a specific place. It was the only place Elijah could be and be right with God. Had he been any where else he would have starved to death.
II THE PROMISE GOD OFFERED (4-6)
Elijah was sent to the middle of nowhere to hide. He was sent there for two purposes for protection and training.
A. Involved Advanced Planning (4) – Before the need arose God already had the place provided. When He formed the world He placed that little brook there for Elijah. There was no panic in Heaven.
B. Involved Amazing Provision (6) – God used a bubbling brook and some ravens to care for His Prophet. This is amazing because ravens are scavengers. They feed off the flesh of the dead, yet God used them to bring sustaining life to His prophet.
C. Involved Abundant Peace (5) – “So he went and did according to the Word of God.” When God called, Elijah simply obeyed.
III THE PLAN GOD ORDERED (5-6)
A. It Was A Sovereign Plan – Notice that God was in absolute control.
1. The ravens did as commanded
2. The brook continued to supply water