Summary: The passage that we will look at this morning is a passage that gives us a wonderful picture about God’s provision in our lives. 1 Kings 17 describes for us several events in the life of a man named Elijah. Elijah is a prophet of God and some might even
Grounded in Provision
INTRODUCTION... The Clock that had a Nervous Breakdown, C. Swindoll
This new clock was ticking away on the shelf two ticks to the second as any good, self-respecting clock should tick when it began to think about how many times it was going to have to tick. “Two ticks to the second means 120 ticks per minute,” it mused. “That’s 7200 ticks per hour, 172,800 ticks per day, 1,209,600 per week for 52 weeks, and a total of 62,899,200 per year.” Horrors! Straightway the clock had a nervous breakdown.
The clock was taken to a psychiatrist who patched up the mainspring as well as he could then asked, “Clock, what’s your trouble?” “Oh, doctor,” wailed the clock, “I have to tick so much. I have to tick two ticks a second and 120 ticks per minute and 7200 ticks per hour, and.” “Hold it,” the psychiatrist cut in, “How many ticks do you have to tick at a time?” “Oh, I just have to tick one tick at a time,” was the reply. “Then let me make a suggestion,” replied the doctor. “You go home and try ticking one tick at a time. Don’t even think about the next tick until it’s time. Just tick one tick at a time. That you can do.”
Faith is ticking one tick at a time. Knowing that God will give us strength for the next tick. According to I Peter 1:8 we can have a “joy inexpressible.” Yet just like those oppressed and persecuted Christians to whom Peter was writing, we need to remember that this joy will never come through external stimuli, only through our internal mind set—one of faith—one of ticking one tick at a time, knowing that God will give us strength for the next tick.
The passage that we will look at this morning is a passage that gives us a wonderful picture about God’s provision in our lives. 1 Kings 17 describes for us several events in the life of a man named Elijah. Elijah is a prophet of God and some might even say that he is one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. Elijah is mentioned many times in the New Testament. John the Baptist was described as the Elijah who would come and prepare the way for the Messiah. The two men are indeed similar and chapter 17 explains much about God’s provision for him and for us as well.
READ 1 KINGS 17:1-24
I. GOD PROVIDES HIS WORD (V. 1-11)
Elijah is the prophet of God and as such has as part of his job description to point out when things are not going the way they should. 1 Kings 16:29-34 describes a man named Ahab coming to the throne of Israel. Ahab was a man who did not follow God and led the people to worship Baal and even built a temple to Baal in his capitol. Add to this, he married a non-Israelite woman named Jezebel... this man, verse 22 tells us, ’provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger.’ Further chapters in 1 Kings describe these two leaders of Israel killing the prophets of God, stealing land, and murdering for their own gain. 1 Kings 17:1 tells us that Elijah went before the king an explained to the king because of his wickedness there would be a drought and famine in the land.
Elijah lets Ahab know several things:
1) That Jehovah is the God of Israel and nothing else
2) Ahab serves idols that are just physical things
3) Elijah speaks with a message from this living God of Israel
4) God was angered by Ahab’s leadership and idolatry
5) God has leveled a judgement and he and Jezebel are guilty
We find in verse 2 that God is providing for Elijah and provides through His Word. Verse 2 says that the Word of the Lord came to Elijah. I can imagine the reaction of King Ahab, can’t you? The sense we get is that Elijah’s life is in danger because of the message he has given to the king. God provides for Elijah and directs him where to go. God sends Elijah to a ravine east of the Jordan River. Basically, God sends Elijah out into the desert to live. He is to drink from the brook and ravens will bring him food. Verse 6 tells us that the ravens brought him food in the morning and in the evening. I have no doubt that God’s Word not only instructed Elijah but instructed the birds as well. Ravens are predators and scavengers and will not give up food to anything... much less be a delivery service for this man.
While Elijah is in the desert, the drought and famine sweep over the land. In the course of time, verse 7 tells us that the brook dried up. We might think to ourselves that God’s provision is not reliable. God sent Elijah into the desert and now the brook dried up. What is God thinking? Yet we cannot stop reading there, but read on to verse 8. What does verse 8 say? It says again the Word of the Lord came to him and directed him where he should go. That is twice now that Elijah has been in need and God’s Word came to him and directed where to go and what to do.