Summary: We can depend on God. God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply.
The prophet of God has just pronounced a drought, sent by God although not mentioned.
• The drought will end only at his word – which means at God’s bidding, when God said so.
• We know that it lasted for 3.5 years because of two accounts in NT:
• James 5:17 - Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.
• Jesus mentioned it in Luke 4:25 - I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.
James mentioned that Elijah prayed earnestly that it would not rain. He was praying for an awakening to happen in his own land.
• It was comforting to know that in the midst of all this idolatry, God has His faithful servants praying for the salvation of Israel.
• Not just Elijah, but the Lord says in 19:18 He has 7000 prophets in Israel – “all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose months have not kissed him.”
• God’s light still shines, we can be assured of that. Even so today.
Having wrestled with God, Elijah finally confronted King Ahab.
• 17:1 “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
• It’s a confrontation that would prove WHO is truly God, and He is not Baal.
• The sign would be absolute. There won’t even be dew in the morning - no moisture in the air – until the Lord say so.
This would mean, of course, that Elijah would have to go through the drought too.
• If the Lord SENT him, then He would SUSTAIN him. Read 1 Kings 17:2-6.
2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." 5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
Elijah has to depend on God completely. He would drink from the brook and God would supply him with food.
• God commanded the ravens to bring him the food – the FoodPanda or Deliveroo of that day.
• God used the most unlikely and unexpected means to sustain His servant.
• It is a miracle that the ravens did not eat the meat they carried.
• And they came consistently without fail, every day, in the morning and evening, for as long as the brook had water.
We see this same God feeding Israel in their exodus from Egypt – He is faithful, dependable, and trustworthy.
• When we find ourselves in a ravine like this (or walking through the wilderness like the Israelites), where everything is cut off, then understand this – God provides.
• God is teaching us through such circumstances to depend on Him fully.
• It is in such situations - where we have nothing to depend on except God - that we learn God can be trusted.
• So don’t mourn those moments, because we probably know more of God during those difficult times.
For how long did Elijah stayed at the brook? Let’s read 1 Kings 17:7-11.
7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" 11 As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."
So how long did Elijah stayed at the brook? UNTIL the brook dried up – that is, for as long as there is water.
• When the need arises, God speaks, again! This is our comfort - God speaks when the need arises.
• This is the pattern we see in the Scriptures. God doesn’t speak unnecessarily or without a purpose.
God directed Elijah to move to Zarephath, that’s where he would find food and water.