Summary: We never get what we expect or deserve, we get what we need for spiritual growth, and we recieve grace and mercy.
Wouldn’t it have been easier if God just would’ve have simply killed Ahab and Jezebel and replaced them with a Godly king and queen? If I was advising Elijah on these matters that’s what I would have advised him to pray for. I mean a drought is a painful thing, no rain for 3 ½ years is bad. Where talking little children dying, disease running ramped, everyone was affected in a terrible way. This wasn’t just Ahab and Jezebels problem it was everyone’s problem. But God has always allowed evil to exist right along side good and worked out His purpose in spite of the existence of evil. In the midst of terrible circumstance is where God proves Himself most effectively to us here in the world. And through Elijah’s pain and suffering He is going to prove Himself to Elijah and prepare him for a great work.
AN UNEXPECTED COMMAND “Leave here, turn eastward and hide”
This makes me think of the time when God told Abraham to take his only son to the mountain and sacrifice him. This was the promised child that God was going to build his nation from and God told Abraham to kill him. To say this was a surprise is an understatement. In our text Elijah goes in the boldness of the Lord and stands before the king with his proclamation of faith and now God commands him to go hide. I realize that Elijah must be protected, I know that when the drought began to get severe, Ahab would begin to get irritated. But I also know that God could protect Elijah without him hiding. God commands Elijah to hide so He can prove himself to Elijah. To go and hide for Elijah is not exactly a vacation, matter of fact looking at his character hiding was probably the last thing he wanted to do.
UNEXPECTED PROVISIONS “I have ordered the ravens to feed you”
The trials and test never are announced ahead of time are they? Wouldn’t it be good if God gave you a little forewarning before hard times hit? That way you could kind of brace yourself and get mentally prepared for it. And notice what feeding him, the “ravens”. Ravens where scavengers, it would be like having a buzzard feeding you. OK God, this is the thanks I get for obeying your command, buzzards for chefs!
GOD NEVER TEST A MAN WITHOU PROVIDED HIM WITH THE RESOURCES TO PAST THE TEST.
13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
THE WORD OF THE LORD ALWAYS ACCOMPANIES THE WILL OF THE LORD.
God was very specific on how he would provide for him. It wasn’t up to Elijah to go out and pick barriers and stuff, God told Elijah, you just stay put for now and I’ll take care of you. God is still proving Himself to Elijah, preparing Elijah for future greater things. You will never find God’s will for your life in the world, the only way you will know God’s will is through His Word. Where is God’s perfect will for Elijah right now? It’s not at home, it’s not in some comfortable hotel room, it was in obscurity. Elijah didn’t have a TV or a short wave radio to keep him up to date on the latest happening in Samaria. We need to realize he has no one to fellowship with except God, all alone and this is God’s perfect will for Elijah.
God will lead us to places we don’t necessarily want to go, but the great thing is that once we get their we realize it’s the best place to be. During this drought other people where running out of water, but Elijah had plenty. Other people where starving and Elijah had two squares a day. Would Elijah learned as much about God’s faithful ness if Elijah would’ve stayed home?
v. 5-6 UNEXPECTED PROCEDURE
Two very statement in verse five, “he did what the Lord had told him”, and he “stayed there”. Many people find themselves right in the middle of God’s will for their lives, which is out of their comfort zone and they don’t stay there. These are called the CUTTING PLACES IN LIFE. This is where God takes our life and cuts away the parts of us that drain away spiritual life and produce nothing.
2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.