Two weeks out of the pulpit caused me to be a little off rhythm and not as tight as I would have liked with my delivery but the Lord helped me stumble through. We started a four week look into I Kings 17.
4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
I am not smart like most preachers but vs 4 made me shout all day Sunday and still makes me shout now because it explains the will of God, the way of God and the work of God all in one verse. The will of God is found THERE!
I passed over that word all week in studying. THERE. Saturday, while cleaning it hit me, THERE is where God's will is for you. Are you where God wants you? You may ask, Where is that Pastor? There is wherever God tells you to be, for Noah "There" is an ark, For Daniel "There" is a lion's den, for Ruth, "There" is Naomi's God and Boaz' field, for Jesus, "There" is a cross.
The unique thing about "There" is you can't fully realize your provision or your potential until God does some preparation on your life. God can't pour some things into your life until he has cut some things out of your life. Some things block your blessings from showing up so God has to cut some things away in order to make room for the blessings he has for you.
God sends Elijah to Cherith. Cherith means "a cutting place." God had this in store for Elijah. God puts us through those cutting times to prepare us for future service. Cherith comes before the Mt. Carmel's of our life. The cross comes before the crown. Trials come before blessings. At Cherith Brook God will cut off the rough edges of Elijah's life. Cherith was the place of loneliness, uncertainty, waiting, and hardship. God uses these elements to develop our character and knock off our rough edges.
Now that the preparatory work has been done, God can begin to provide and He used a brook and a bird to bless Elijah's life. God used the lowest form of each of these elements to achieve this blessing. God doesn't use an ocean, Sea, lake, pond, river, stream or a creek! HE USES THE LEAST COMMON DENOMINATOR--A BROOK AND A BLACKBIRD!
God doesn't need to use great things in order to accomplish great blessings because whatever He touches and whatever He uses becomes great.
Brooks are nor planned events or intentional phenomenons, they are accidental adventures of the water system. Brooks are the most shallow of water surfaces providing the least amount of water possible from any water source. Because they are accidental offshoots of the overflow from the water system, they are unpredictable to where they will show up and how long they will last.
It shouted me when I realized that Man's or Nature's accident is God's providence. He arranged Elijah to be in the right place at the right time to receive a "purposed, providentially arranged, so-called accidental blessing".
A raven is a naturally selfish animal that won't even provide for its own children, Job 38:41. Ravens were considered bad omens. They were believed to be the messengers of tragedy or death.They are fierce birds, picking out the eyes of men or animals and mauling the sick and dying. Their fierceness fashioned one of our most forceful English words... "ravenous." As fierce as they are, God used these birds to meet Elijah's needs.
It shouted me when I realized the bird that was blessing Elijah should have, by nature, been attacking Elijah. Sitting by the brook, the raven should have looked at Elijah as a potential food source. Ravens attack the sick and injured but God changed the DNA of the Raven and instead of looking at Elijah as a food source, the raven saw Elijah as the person God said to supply.
As you can tell, two weeks out of the pulpit had me too long and not tight enough in flow from idea to idea but one final thought ran through my mind, "If God could use an accidental brook and an adversarial bird, what could he do if we gave him an able body?