A Season of Crisis – Holding onto the One who will NEVER let you go – 1 Kings 17

A Season of Crisis

Holding onto the One who will not let you go

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Going to the Brook of Cherith

 

 

 

1Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of (

A)the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “(B)As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely (C)there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

 2The word of the LORD came to him, saying,

 3“Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.

 4“It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and (

D)I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.”

 5So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.

 6The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.

 7It happened after a while that the brook dried up,

because there was no rain in the land.

 8Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,

 9“Arise, go to (E)Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, (F)I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 1 Kings 17:1-9 NASB (emphasis mine)

I’ve been to the brook Cherith. Have you? No, I haven’t been physically to the place where Elijah sat and received food from the ravens, but I have been to the brook. Let me explain.

Elijah was just coming onto the scene and God speaks to him about going to tell King Ahab that a drought is about to come upon the land. God then tells Elijah to do something unusual. He says,

3″Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.  4″It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and (D)I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there. 5So he went and did according to the word of the LORD ”

Go to the brook Cherith? Drink from the brook and be fed by ravens? It doesn’t sound like the most common thing for God to ask someone to do. Still, Elijah did what all of God’s people ought to do.

5So he went and did according to the word of the LORD.”

He went and did what God said.

Sometimes God has called me to do the unusual too. Leave a good paying job to go and serve Me in the ministry. Lay down your life and your desires to fill your wife. By the way, He often calls His people to do the unusual or unorthodox. Be the kid in school who says no to drinking and to drugs. Choose to be faithful to not to having sex before marriage, even if our society says it is ok. Stand on your principles even when your friends don’t. Start the bible study or youth group. Start the business. Step out of the boat in faith. “Go to the brook Cherith.” Ever been there?

Moreover, when God calls us to go to the brook, something great happens. For Elijah, ravens brought him food and he was provided for in a supernatural way. Wow! Often when we step out in faith for God, things start out well. We start out with some great “ummph”. Like Peter, it seems like we are walking on water. There is an anointing that seems to be just undeniable. God is doing great things and we know it! God is working through us and we are loving it! We are living in the miraculous.

God said Elijah I am inviting you to live a life you couldn’t live without Me. I am inviting you to see things that you could never see happening without Me. I am inviting you to experience things that without Me, you would never experience and calling you to leave your normal average, everyday life, and step into a supernatural place that will blow your mind if you simply do what I am telling you to do. That same invitation that God gives to Elijah, He gives to us today as well. God is inviting us into the supernatural.

After spending some time at the brook, something interesting happens. Remember, living at the brook and having ravens feed Elijah was not the end of the story. We need to notice in the scriptures what happens two verses later, 7It happened after a while that the brook dried up…”.

The brook dried up? Day after day, Elijah was going to the brook and asking God for water, but it kept getting more scarce and more scarce until finally the water was gone. Really? Is that what happened? Why would God let the brook dry up? Why would He allow such a bad thing to happen to Elijah? After all, Elijah was being obedient to Him. Elijah was walking in the will of God. Shouldn’t God have opened up the heavens and given Elijah some supernatural water to drink? Maybe that is how I would have liked the story to go, but it is not.

Then again, as I said earlier, I have been to the brook. There have been times when I am sure that I am being obedient to God’s word, but still my brook dries up. Numbers at youth group diminishes. Small group gets smaller. My business loses money. People in ministry attack you. My friends are mean to me because I don’t share their values. God I started following You and this happened? There are times in life that even if I am obedient to God’s word, I will enter into a season of crisis. Have you ever been in a season of crisis even when you are in the will of God? If you have, then you, like me, like Elijah, have been to the brook Cherith as well.

What lesson does God wants me to learn at the brook Cherith? Here is what I believe He has taught me from my times at the brook.

In seasons of crisis, I need to know that God values my growth on the inside more than He values my having favorable circumstances on the outside.

 

Through my seasons of crisis, God wants me to learn to hold onto the One who will never let me go. He wants me to realize that when I have no one else or nothing else to depend on, I can depend on Him. He wanted to teach Elijah to depend on Him, and not the ravens. I have the tendency to depend on and trust the ravens of the brook that bring the blessings. God says don’t depend on the ravens, depend on the One who will never let you go.

When the brook dried up, it was as if God wanted to make sure that Elijah knew that when all hell seemed to be breaking loose around him, he could still trust God. It is like God was saying, “I know the brook dried up. I allowed the brook to dry up. I made the brook to dry up so that I could lead you to a place of desperation and open you up to receive a greater revelation.”

Sometimes we have to face the impossible before we can really see God moving around us. Someone once said it this way, “It’s not what happens to you, but what happens in you that matters most.” The right thing to do isn’t always the easiest thing to do and that was a lesson Elijah had to learn throughout his life. That is a lesson that God wants me to learn as well. Don’t depend on the blessings of life, depend on the One who gives the blessings in life. I think Max Lucado says it best, “God would rather we have an occasional limp than a perpetual strut.”

Lord Jesus I pray the words of a song I heard awhile ago. You know better than I. You know the way. I’ve let go the need to know why, for You know better than I. Carry me through seasons of crisis and into Your presence. Amen.

 

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