Summary: Some times we doubt God’s prvision and promises. Sometimes God’s provision just seems to dry up. What do we do then?
TITLE: When the Creek Dries Up 082503d
C. Scott Ghan
This sermon was inspired by Elmer Towns’ sermon "When the Brook Dries Up". Though very little of his original text is in tact.
TEXT: 1 Kings 17:1-9 (CEV) Elijah was a prophet from Tishbe in Gilead. One day he went to King Ahab and said, "I’m a servant of the living LORD, the God of Israel. And I swear in his name that it won’t rain until I say so. There won’t even be any dew on the ground." 2Later, the LORD said to Elijah, 3"Leave and go across the Jordan River so you can hide near Cherith Creek. 4You can drink water from the creek, and eat the food I’ve told the ravens to bring you." 5Elijah obeyed the LORD and went to live near Cherith Creek. 6Ravens brought him bread and meat twice a day, and he drank water from the creek. 7But after a while, it dried up because there was no rain. 8The LORD told Elijah, 9"Go to the town of Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I’ve told a widow in that town to give you food."
A. We’ve all been there...in the act of doing what we believed God would have us do, worshipping, praying, being obedient, enjoying His presence and provision along the way, when all of the sudden, the creek dries up. "Hey God! What’s going on? Where did you go? Did I do something wrong? What do I do now?"
1. Maybe God blessed you with a great job, then after a time, you get that dreaded notice--your laid off or worse--fired.
2. Maybe you experienced a healing. I received an e-mail this week from someone who had been verifiably healed on Sunday night--then in 3-4 week the symptoms began to return.
3. Maybe your relationship with God had become particularly sweet and precious to you and then one morning you wake up and you can’t sense God’s presence to save your life.
4. Maybe things are going fine in your marriage...at least so you think, when out of the blue your spouse tells you: "I’m sorry, I don’t love you anymore." Earlier in the week, Tom Cassells was asking me about my Sermon for Sunday, when I told him the title, he said, "Oh, you mean like when your wife shuts your water off." Yes Tom, but it’s more than just that.
5. What happened? It sounds like the creek dried up. We?ve all been in a place where the ?creek? dried up. What happens when the creek dries up? This morning I want to consider What the Bible says we should do when--Don’t despair, God will continue to provide--He’s just getting ready to move you to another place.
TS. First, let’s consider how...
I. GOD PROVIDES AT CHERISTH CREEK
A. The world was suffering a drought because of Elijah?s prayer. (James 5:17). Elijah was just as human as we are, and for three and a half years his prayers kept the rain from falling.
1. Consider this, the curse that befell the earth through Elijah’s prayers, also held severe consequences for Elijah. This was much worse than a 21/2 down turn in the economy. It was worse than the great depression. In fact I don’t know if harder times have ever been experienced excluding the great flood.
2. Elijah was a Tishbite. That word comes from the word stranger. And certainly Elijah could be called a stranger for God had led Him to spend a time of solitude alone by a little spot known as Cherith Creek.
3. But he often 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.
4. Elijah had only bread and meat to eat and water to drink. 6Ravens brought him bread and meat twice a day, and he drank water from the creek.
5. We think that Elijah enjoyed food and water at Cherith for a year before the creek dried up. While He was there he learned a thing or two
C. Consider the lessons Elijah learned as he camped out--as he roughed it there beside the creek.
1. When God provides meager resources, we may be better off than the world suffering a drought. His accommodations were not those one might expect to find at the Hilton or the Westin. But God was providing for those who trusted in Him none the less. I pity those who have not faith in God when hard times hit.
2. God can lead you to the creek before the drought comes, so God can take care of you when hard times come. God’s provision for you does not have to be hit and miss.
a. Why even the familiar story where God promised to lead His people to a land flowing with milk and honey was understood by the ancients to mean even steady provision throughout the seasons.