It has now been some time since Solomon's death, right now Ahab is ruling the Israelites and Asa is ruling Judah. "29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. "( 1 Kings 16:29) So now you know the kind of ruler Israel had. However things aren't looking down during this time. The Israelites will see their God show them His power, His love and His concern for them, through one of the most powerful prophet, Elijah.
When we think, everything is going wrong, no one can ever correct this situation, no one serves the Living God anymore.... right in the midst of all that negative, God has His choicest people working for Him. God has His important tools of ministry hidden by the brook. God's timing is amazing. If Elijah lived on planet earth at any other time, it wouldn't have made much impact, like the way it did when he lived during Ahab's reign.
1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe [a] 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."
2 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 ordered the ravens to feed you there."
(1 Kings 17:1,2)
When situations are looking doomed, remember God has placed His army men and women in critical places ready for action when called to do so by the Lord. Even you are one of them!!! God has placed you and me at this time in the nations of the world so that when the time is right, we will be brought out of our " Kerith Ravine" and be sent for our assignments.
- God has us hidden before our real assignment, to learn total dependence on Him- Elijah was hidden in the Kerith Ravine, where he was fed by ravens and drank from the brook. He wasn't doing anything great there, just hiding and being fed. He was all alone.The hebrew word Kerith means "the cutting ". It is the place made by a natural cutting off of the place. This is where Elijah learnt to be totally cut off from people, from society, from earning for living..from family even, being fed by ravens, drinking from the brook. And this episode happened soon after he had made an appearance before the king Ahab and warned him of drought.Cut off means nothing else is there to divert your attention from God and there is no one to provide except God. If we're in a place where we aren't doing much, just waiting, even though our heart so wants to serve the Lord, lets remember, God is teaching us to wait and depend upon Him. We are waiting for the opportune time of assignment, when God would have us face, probably even to chase out, the prophets of baals. You wanna see something ...even Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and nights before He started His mission on this earth. Paul (Saul) was blinded by the power of God and was waiting and praying (Acts 9:10-12 ). After which we all know the tremendous ministry that came out through Paul's (Saul) work and the amazing power that shone through the life of our Lord Jesus. Such kind of immense demonstration of power can come only through lives which have been in the "cutting".
- Waiting on God for our provisions-I was wondering at this next point. Now God had told Elijah that the rain wouldn't come unless by his word, as Elijah had declared to Ahab. Now the brook from which Elijah was drinking dried up. I wonder whether Elijah would have even thought of using the 'power' to make it rain. After all God had given him that word. Yet he did not. For God gave him different directions. He obeyed God and went to Zarephath to an old widow who would give him food and drink. I dont know what distance it was from Kerith Ravine to Zarephath, but Elijah went. We'd have to learn to use the power God gives us at the time that He wants us to use it. This can come only with total dependence on God, even to move.
- Learning to be faithful in few things- Elijah's first encounter with a person after that "cutting" experience is with a widow in Zarephath and his first amazing task is the neverending jar of flour and oil. Wow, I just realised wasn't this the first thing Jesus did too at the wedding!!!.(John 2) and the Word of God says "11This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him."(John 2:11) Elijah didn't start on the very first day calling fire from heaven, but started with the simple miracle of flour and oil. God will teach us to walk in His power little by little. Thats why the Word of God says "Matthew 25:21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" God starts with us little by little so that we will learn to be faithful in the few things He gives us and from there we grow step by step. We cannot handle God's immense power in a split second from the day we were born again, so God teaches us to dwell in His obedience and walk in His Spirit as we learn His ways.
Conclusion: Our God is a wonderful teacher. He is able to guide us to our best potential, when we learn to listen to His every command so that the best in us is brought out. Not of our mind and our plan, but of God's plan and God's work. Only then can we be powerful in God and see God's power work through our lives, to bring healing to bring God's directions, to bring God's Word to His children who are living in these desolate times, like the time Israel was going through under king Ahab. Only then can the people see the great difference there is in the power of God and the power of man. Only then will the distinction be clear and evident to the people of the potential of our Living God and only then can we stand before the 450 prophets of baal and demonstrate how powerful our Living God is.If we haven't been able to show our God's power through our lives to the people around us I think its because we ourselves haven't experienced God's power in our own lives in staying dependent at the cutting place. Lets learn at our the Kerith Ravine where God has placed us, to find spiritual strength(food and water) through our Lord's provisions.