Summary: BEFORE GOD CAN MOLD US INTO WHAT HE HAS CREATED US TO BE HE MUST FIRST MELT US.
Intro: When I was about 5 or 6 years old I went through a mid childhood crises. I was the youngest of 4 children and by the time I was 5 years old I was tired of being referred to as the baby. One of my favorite things was to go to the grocery store with my mother. My two main stops at the grocery store where the cereal isle and the candy isle. It was there at the candy isle that I decided I could prove to my mother that was and independent young man at the ripe old age of 5. My thinking was that if I could take a bag of candy out of the store with out paying for it I was smarter than the store manager, stock boys, and cashers. So when the cost was clear I put the bag of candy into my pocket and played it cool until my mother and me where safely in the car on our way out of the parking lot and then with swelling pride I pulled the candy out of my pocket. I remember smiling with pride and scanning my mother’s face anticipating an outburst of joy and pride in her boy genius. To my surprise I found a look of total horror and shock as my mother began to explain to me that what I had done was dishonest, that I had stolen, I was a thief. In my own little 5-year-old way I tried to take matters into my own hands and prove my independence and it backfired on me. Don’t we as adults do the same thing sometimes? We take matters out of God’s hands and try and manipulate circumstances out to meet our fleshly desires and it backfires on us.
In our text today God has already taken Elijah and cut away much of his self-dependence, but now He’s going to melt away all Elijah’s pride and prepare him to deliver one of the greatest revivals of all time.
BEFORE GOD CAN MOLD US INTO WHAT HE HAS CREATED US TO BE HE MUST FIRST MELT US.
v. 8-11 A NEW PATH
Don’t Get Too Comfortable!
When the Kerith ravine dried up on Elijah this must have been a terrible feeling for the man of God who was in the perfect will of God. One of the worst feelings in life is the feeling that we’ve been forgotten. It must have seemed to Elijah that God had forgotten him, there by the ravine for about two years, depending on God for survival and protection then the brook dries up. God allows our brooks to dry up in life to move us along in His will because we get too comfortable sometimes. I realize the Kerith ravine wasn’t Elijah’s home and food brought by ravens wasn’t exactly home cooking but for two years this was all Elijah knew. It’s like the alcoholic who tries to get help through Alcoholics Anonymous and finally starts making some headway only to come home and discover his wife has bought him a six-pack of beer. She doesn’t want him to get better because it will change the dynamics of their relationship, and even though her marriage isn’t the best it’s all she knows and she’s comfortable in the co-dependant relationship. We must be willing to leave our comfort zone and depend fully on God before He can mold us into the people He has created us to be.
Be Willing To Face Your Fears!
The fact that God sent Elijah to Zarephath is very significant. First because it was Jezebel’s hometown. Elijah was in hiding from Ahab and Jezebel for his life. To be sent to Jezebel’s back yard seems to be a dangerous path. It is a wicked place filled with wicked people. Yet, that is exactly where the Lord sends His prophet!
To top it off, to get to Zarephath from Cherith will force Elijah to march over 100 miles through territory ruled over by king Ahab, who is looking for Elijah everywhere. I have often wondered what that 100 mile track must have been like for Elijah. I would assume he saw more funerals than weddings because of the great drought brought about “at his word”. I wonder if he saw them burring babies and families that had starved to death because of the lack of rain. It seems like this command of the Lord makes no sense at all! Of course, one of the reasons for sending Elijah to Zarephath was to vividly illustrate the impotence of Jezebel’s wrath and power!
Often, the life of faith will lead through difficult pathways. God never promised that this way would be an easy way. In fact, just the opposite is true! God has promised us that life will be filled with trials and troubles, Job 14:1; Job 5:7; John 16:33. Yet, that is the path of faith! Yet, even when the command of God makes no sense, faith simply obeys God without regard for the consequences, v. 10! You can see this truth displayed throughout the Bible.