Summary: We’ve all been in a place where the "brook" dried up and God moved us on to another place. There are many lessons to be learned beside the brook.
“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, ‘As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.’ And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, ‘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.’ So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, ‘Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee’” (1 Kings 17:1-9).
We’ve all been in a place where the “brook” dried up and God moved us on to another place.
B. GOD’S PROVISION AT THE BROOK CHERITH
· The world was suffering a drought because of Elijah’s prayer. “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17).
· Elijah was alone at the brook Cherith. His title “Tishbite” comes from the word “stranger.” He could be called Elijah the Stranger. He always did things alone. He stood alone on Mount Carmel against the prophets of Baal. He stood alone on Mount Sinai when he stood before God.
· Elijah had only bread and meat to eat and water to drink. “And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook” (1 Kings 17:6).
· The Bible scholars teach Elijah enjoyed food and water at Cherith for a year before the brook dried up.
C. LESSONS LEARNED BESIDE THE BROOK
1. When God provides meager resources, we may be better off than the world suffering a drought.
2. God can lead you to the brook before the drought comes, so God can take care of you when hard times come.
3. God provides for us in unusual ways, just as God used ravens to take care of Elijah.
4. Good times are not forever. Elijah didn’t have a care in this world as long as he was by the brook. He had food twice a day.
No thieves to worry about
No checks to bounce
No one to bug him
No telephone salesman
5. Sometimes we cause our brook to dry up. Because Elijah prayed, there was no rain. Eventually Elijah’s source of water dried up.
6. When your brook dries up, listen for the voice of God, “And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, ‘Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee’” (1 Kings 17:7-9).
7. When your brook dries up, God has another place to feed you and use you.
8. God expects you to “eat at His command” and to “move at His command.” We must obey all God’s commands whether we like them or not.
9. When God moves you, it may be that God is planning greater miracles at the next place.
D. GOD’S PROVISION AT ZAREPHATH
1. When your brook dries up, God may send you into the middle of the drought.
· Zarephath means crucible, i.e., the place of testing. Elijah was led from the frying pan into the fire.
· Zarephath was outside the Promise Land, i .e., it’s in the land we call Lebanon. God may lead you away from the Promise Land where His people are located.
· Zarephath was so bad, the widow planned to eat one meal and die. “So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, ‘Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.’ And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, ‘Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.’ And she said, ‘As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die’” (1 Kings 10-12).