One of the reasons many of us disobey or ignore God’s wishes is because we perceive there are unpleasant—even harrowing—consequences to doing so. We secretly feel that God doesn’t fully understand what lies ahead for us if we do His will. Simply put, we don’t trust our Heavenly Father.
Think back to a time when God asked you to do something that you didn’t want to do. No doubt your reasons for evading God’s instructions were perfectly justifiable. The cost was too high. Your skills were insufficient. Your family would be affected. There wasn’t enough time. It was too dangerous.
Elijah was a man chosen by God to be a messenger. He was sent to confront the most wicked king that Israel had ever seen. King Ahab had abused his authority, turned the nation against God, and performed more crimes against humanity than any king who’d come before him. God wanted Elijah to tell Ahab that He would not tolerate this any longer.
It’s one thing to have to tell an unpleasant truth to someone in power, but it’s quite another to have to tell it to a man who thought nothing of executing people in the most painful ways imaginable. And Elijah’s message wasn’t a gently-worded rebuke cushioned in delicate diplomatic language. Essentially, Elijah had to stand before wicked King Ahab and say, “This country is about to endure a severe drought, and it won’t rain again until I say so.”
It took gumption for Elijah to give King Ahab this ultimatum, but Elijah did as the Lord asked. He told the wicked king that everyone was about to get very, very thirsty.
What followed was that Elijah got some scary news of his own.
“Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide.” (1 Kings 17:2-3)
Not only had Elijah just become a fugitive fleeing for his life, but he had to hide in the wilderness. No food, no shelter, and no one to help him. I don’t know about you, but that would have me quaking in my shoes. I'm not Bear Grylls. I don’t know how to survive in nature. And neither, I suspect, did Elijah.
God knew this. And He also knew that where He was sending Elijah, there was no food. But if there is one thing we should learn about our Heavenly Father, it is that He doesn’t abandon His children. Not. Ever.
God led Elijah to a brook, where there was sufficient water for His messenger to drink. And because there was no food, God sent ravens—yes, those black birds—to drop bundles of meat and bread on Elijah twice a day. This is not natural behavior for a raven; and yet, God is sovereign over all that is natural. God is able to bend nature to do His bidding. When something happens that is contrary to nature, we call that a miracle. And yet, for God, doing the supernatural is perfectly natural to Him. Nothing is impossible for God. If God can direct the birds of the air to deliver Happy Meals to his people, we can be assured of His ability to meet all our need, in whatever situation He asks us to engage. We can trust our Heavenly Father!
So the next time God asks you to do the uncomfortable, be prepared to witness the impossible!
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 directed 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 17:2-6)