Summary: The greatness of Elijah is found in his obedience. the btook was running dry but Elijah waited on God's command.
I. The Drying Brook:
Elijah had been beside the brook, between 6 months and a year, he had been miraculously fed and cared for by God. Even the brook was a miracle, for it kept furnishing water during a drought. Too often we miss the fact that miracles are all round us. We take them for granted. Just like the brook.
If you or I got up in the morning and found a loaf of bread. If we were certain no human brought it, every day. We’d have no trouble saying God brought it. Yet all of our food is provided by God, although he uses our strength and labors. And yet it is God that keeps us healthy and blesses our labor.
If a loved one has cancer, and it disappears without a trace, we would believe God has cured them. But if a doctor is treating them and it disappears we too often give the doctors credit and not God.
When manna fell from heaven the first few times it was a wonderful work of God.. but after a while, the Israelites looked at it almost as a natural event. At first they glorified God, later they grumble.
This may not be true of Elijah, however, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are.” Jms.5:17, and because of the weakness of the flesh, we all are subject to doubts, and to taking things for granted.
If things never changed we would not have anything to ask God for. God leads us through difficult problems.
“After a while the brook dried up.”
For quite some time the ravens had brought food, he had drank from the brook. Just as God had told him, now he could hardly believe his eyes, the water in the brook was drying up.
Finally it was a dry creek bed, Why? Had God forsaken his prophet? Where is the God of Israel? The prophet must have asked himself. “Have I sinned, that God has forsaken me?”
One of the most frightening trials is when God has placed us in the midst of comfort then removes it.
Could you imagine praying for a job in another state, getting it, and moving your family and all your belongings, getting settled down and feeling secure in the arms of God, then suddenly the company goes bankrupt. When you got the job and moved to where it was you could thank God, now that the company has closed, can you thank God?
You need money disparately, you pray earnestly, then through the providence of God you receive money, you thank God for being a prayer answering God, then before you pay your debt, the money is lost, through theft, neglect or whatever, can you still thank God?
If the stream had been cut off abruptly, it would have been easier to believe it was the hand of God, but the Bible says, “And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” IKing 17:7
It was as if nature had taken over and made void the promise of God.
“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.” IKing 17:3-4
Some in the modern church would say, “the devil has won another victory.”
It is during such trials that we need to cling to the promises of God. When it seems everything is against us, that nature itself has rebelled against our lives, we need to hearken unto the promises of God.
Rom 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Sometimes we are so cold and God seems so far from us, we have no delight in prayer, Bible study has become dry and routine. We cry out, “Where is the happiness I once knew?”
Ps 84:11b “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
He may not do what we want him to in our lives, but he will do what is best for us.
II. Elijah’s Wait and the Lord’s Command:
If it were you and I we would have probably deserted the place where God had put us, when we saw the stream was getting real low.
Isa 28:16, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”
Elijah waited, and God spoke, “Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongs to Zidon, and dwell there: behold I have commanded a widow woman to sustain thee.”