Summary: Using experiences from the life of Elijah the prophet, this message seeks to show that the ravens of God’s provision fly in the worst of conditions, and the direst of circumstances.
Where Ravens Fly
Text: 1 Kings 17:4-6
Intro: Elijah, the prophet of God, has excited my imagination since the early days of my biblical recollections. Actually, Elijah has long been one of my Bible heroes. This servant of God was a man’s man. When it came to preaching the truth of God, mousy he was not. One need not guess the deeper or obscure meanings of his messages, for Elijah was plainspoken and straightforward in his delivery. According to the late Dr. William Smith (1813-1893), “His [Elijah’s] one grand object was to awaken Israel to the conviction that Jehovah, Jehovah alone is God.” This was an extremely apropos (“fitting the occasion; relevant”1) ministry, since King Ahab, and his wicked wife, Jezebel, had single-handedly led Israel’s apostasy from Jehovah God to the worship of Baal.
Life was extremely difficult and miserable for Elijah, while living under such a depraved and murderous ruler as King Ahab. The king wanted nothing to hinder the total conversion of Israel to idolatry, and as long as the prophet Elijah was alive, he would be a painful thorn in the side of Ahab, as well as an obstacle to his plan. This situation placed Elijah in almost constant fear of his life. Nevertheless, Elijah’s agonizing circumstances taught the prophet that God was always faithful to watch over him, and to supply his needs in the most dangerous and devastating of times. Elijah learned that neither devilish characters nor desperate crises, in any way, diminished God’s ability to provide. The saints of today would do well to learn these same lessons.
Perhaps one of the most notable demonstrations of God’s power to provide for His faithful prophet, Elijah, is His use of ravens (1 Kings 17:4, 6). Twice a day, for three and a half years, the ravens, at the command of God, dutifully flew care missions to the brook Cherith. If one figures based on 365 days per year, for three and a half years, at two meals a day, that means these birds supplied approximately 2,555 meals. However, if figured based on 360 days per year, which likely was the way the Jews measured a year, 2,520 meals were delivered via “The Royal Raven Rescue Flights.” Others might come up with a different calculation, but this gives us some idea of the magnitude of the miracle involved. Consider also that ravens are not only curious birds, but that they are also selfish carrion eaters as well. The fact that the ravens willingly released the bread and meat, after reaching Elijah’s location, is in itself, a miracle. However, God is not limited to the natural order of things.
I want to use the ravens as somewhat of an analogy of the activity of God’s power to provide our needs. The only thing that can close God’s supply lines is unbelief. The ravens of God’s provision fly in the worst of circumstances. The question however, is do we believe it?
Theme: The ravens of God’s provision fly despite…
I. EVIL DETERMINATIONS
A. Ahab’s Perversity.
1. This man was wickedly brazen.
1 Kings 16:29 “And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years.