Kings 17:2-6 “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 directed the ravens to supply you with food 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.”
Have you ever noticed what the Lord tells us to do makes not a lick of sense?? Ravens feeding someone for months? This intrigues me. A time out to be fed. Ahhh haaa! It is time to be fed by the hand of God! This is not a first; He fed the Israelites for 40 years–manna and quail. It will not be the last: He (Jesus) fed 5,000 on at least two occasions.
Now the Lord is feeding a prophet bread and meat morning and evening. But why? This prophet has just declared a drought on the nation. He is not too popular and the Lord places His prophet in time out to provide him with protection and sustenance until the drought ended.
Ravens of Israel
“Ravens are among the smartest of all birds, gaining a reputation for solving ever more complicated problems invented by ever more creative scientists.” (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
Ravens are known to do well among people and are known to follow after people looking for a quick handout—an easy meal. They are prolific in the middle east. Another interesting fact about these resourceful birds is they are able to mimic not only other bird’s calls but human speech. Makes me wonder if Elisha had them saying “eucharisteo” (thanksgiving). Ravens are members of the crow family: the most intelligent of birds, mate for life, can be entertaining to observe as they are aerial acrobats, and they make great companions. Who knew? Gotta love the internet!
So our loving Heavenly Father, not only provided Elijah with water, bread, and meat; He provided the prophet with a companion while in hiding!!! Ravens in the ravine. Elijah’s water was provided by a brook. The ravine provided protection from the elements and from enemies too. The Kerith Ravine was a hot, lonely, and deserted place no one lived near or traveled past. Yet, he had all he needed.
Being fed by the hand of God happens to us every day if we will take time to notice: Not by ravens but by His hand nonetheless. His word tells us, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25) We also know. “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
While Elijah was hidden away, he was fed literally and spiritually by the hand of Almighty God.
What is the lesson here? One of great importance: Regardless of what the Lord leads us to do, no matter how far fetched or seemingly ridiculous, we need to “just do it!” Whatever He says. If we will, we will see the mighty hand of God move on our behalf. Being a prophet was no easy task. Most did not bring “good news.” Many were warning of impending judgement due to sin. A few brought news of hope for the coming of the Lord. All were God’s spokesperson! Following the Lord is never easy in any capacity. It requires sacrifice. This little news clip from God’s Almanac is a reminder our God is faithful to provide “ all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:9)
Because Elijah did as God instructed, he remained under the Lord’s protection though he was far from home, away from family, and considered national enemy number one. It turned out, Elijah, would remain in seclusion for three years for he had told King Ahab there would be no dew or rain for several years. Three years in the desert is a long time. God remained faithful because Elijah stayed there until told to leave!
During the coming days, God’s people may be asked to warn others of the “great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Malachi 4:5) Be faithful, knowing the Lord will care for you in the most miraculous, unimaginable ways. What our God does may not make sense, but it will be nothing short of incredible! “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness..” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Treading in new mercy,
God Provides by Tamela Mann