Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.’ Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have instructed the ravens to supply you with food there.’ So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
1 Kings 17:1-6
There are definitely some out of the ordinary parts of this scripture passage. “Well yeah, Pastor Donny, the fact that you have a bunch of birds feeding a guy down by the brook for several years might just qualify for being just a bit different don’t you think? There are other things as well though.
The Old Testament law also makes it clear that ravens were considered unclean and Jewish people should be going nowhere near them, let alone being fed by them! This was way outside of Elijah’s comfort zone. This time and space is a world away from the royal palace where he delivered his prophetic word. It’s a solitary place, a period of utter helplessness in which he is totally reliant on God for nourishment and comfort. There are times where we need to be taken into the hiding place of God to be nourished and comforted.
There is something important about hiddenness and much to be learned in it. A baby develops for nine months hidden in the womb. The Olympic gymnast performing a ninety-second floor exercise spends countless hours practicing in the gym without spectators. Then there is the miracle of the Chinese bamboo tree. After the seed for this amazing tree is planted, you see nothing, absolutely nothing, for four years except for a tiny shoot coming out of a bulb. During those four years, all the growth is underground in a massive, fibrous root structure that spreads deep and wide in the earth. But then in the fifth year the Chinese bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet!
We are surrounded by a culture that appears to value prominence, celebrity status, recognition, and public affirmation. In the midst of all of this the Lord in His grace calls to us. He promises to meet with us where deep calls unto deep. Will you meet Him there today? I leave you with this song as the prayer of our hearts today.
You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You
I will trust in You
Let the weak say
I am strong
In the strength of the Lord
I will trust in you.
Notes from the Staff @The Woods