Summary: If we had God figured out, he wouldn’t be God. If we had God figured out, we would not have to live by faith.
MY GOD OF THE UNLIKELY
MY GOD OF THE UNLIKELY
God’s ways oftentimes seem strange to us. We do not always understand what He is doing. He does not do things the way that we think they should be done. Isaiah 55:8,9 declares "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts".
Man is a great thinker. The world’s libraries attest to that, but God’s ways and dealinghs are beyond all human deductions.
If we had God figured out, he wouldn’t be God.
If we had God figured out, we would not have to live by faith.
I. God can use UNLIKELY SOURCES to HUMBLE us (1-7)
Unlike our weather prognosticators, Elijah absolutely declared what the weather would be and, furthermore, he declared that he would determine when the weather will change. I might have a hard time staying humble if I had just informed the king that it wasn’t going to rain for three years, and then only when I said it would.
However, God used an unclean source to keep him humble.
A. SOURCE of the supply -"ravens to feed thee"
From a human standpoint ravens would certainly not be the most likely or appealing creature to bring one food. They were scavengers, considered an unclean animal in the law of Moses, which meant you could not eat them. A raven has a passion for picking out the eyes of animals. It loves th maul the sick and the dying. It swallows with vulturous gulp, everything it can put its beak on; and yet all the food Elijah gets for months is from the ravens. Ravens are rather robbers than caterers, yet they forgot their own hunger to feed the prophet.
Whoever heard of such instruments being employed - birds of prey bringing food in a time of famine? Could the ravens be depended on? Was it not far more likely that they would devour the food themselves than bring it to the prophet? Elijah’s trust was not to be int he birds, but in the sure word of Him that promised.
God could have sent angels to minister to him. But He chose winged messengers of another kind to shew He can serve his own purposes as effectually, by the meanest creatures as by the mightiest. Ravens neglect their own young, and do not feed them: yet when God pleased , they shall feed his prophet.
God still uses ravens at times to supply the needs of His children. Though the ravens may not be literal birds, but they are sources, which in human thinking, are extremely unlikely to be of any help in meeting the needs of the saints.
God does this often because it keeps our eyes on Him as the primary sources of supply rather than on the means which God uses.
B. STIPULATION of the supply - "there"
THERE is where God’s will is, and it is in God’s will where the promise will be realized.
C. SCHEDULE of supply - "bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening"
The ravens never brought Elijah more than enough for one meal. He was not able to store up food for the future. God often arranges our circumstances and supplies so it requires faith.
II. God can use UNLIKELY STRATEGIES to HELP us (8-16)
After a while the brook dries up, and God gives him a strange command, "Go to Zarephath and you will find a widow woman who will sustain you."
A. Unlikely PLACE
Go to Zarephath, the very place from Jezebel had come from (I Kings 16:31). How strange are the ways of God! The flesh would call this suicidal. God’s providing for his prophet, first, by an unclean bird, and then by a Gentile, whom the Jews esteemed unclean is unlikely to man’s thinking.
Think it not strange if God’s strategies with you are the very opposite of what you had expected.
B. Unlikely PERSON - "a widow woman"
God did not seen him to some wealthy person with great resources, but to a poor widow with little means. Reasoning would have told Elijah that a widow was the last person in the world who could sustain him, and when he got there that reasoning would appear even more justified. Not only was she a widow, but she was i poverty and down to her last meal.
God’s commands do not always appeal to our intellect, though in fact they are the most logical things to do because they are God’s command. We are not asked to understand God’s commands; we are only asked to obey them. We need no other reason to do them than that they are His commands.