ELIJAH THE TISHBITE – PART 2
WHEN CHERITH DRIED UP
1 Kings 17:14 For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’
Elijah is a type of the end time Elijahs who will be alive when Jesus comes on the clouds of heaven to take us home.
If it is a matter of urgency to be ready when Jesus comes, we must study the biography of Elijah, the type.
His life style?
The results of his ministry?
It is also important to study the spiritual condition of the people of his day.
How come they worshipped both Baal under the influence of Jezebel, as well as Baal. How did this syncetism influenced their spiritual condition?
It was devastating. We cannot serve two masters because the devil always triumphs.
THE DETORIATION OF THE LAND
How did Ahab and Jezebel react?
We find the answer in a dialogue between Elijah and Obadiah, who was in charge of Ahab’s house en Elijah.
1 Kings 18:10 As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they could not find you.
How many nations heard about Elijah and his message?
Ahab and Jezebel blamed the drought disaster of their land on Eljah.
They believed that by killing the prophet, prosperity would return. Will this attitude be repeated?
The apostate church will blame the Elijah messengers for the misery and drought of the last days?
Will the death decree against Elijah be repeated? Yes. Revelation 13:15 predicts it.
THE HOLY SPIRIT PLEADS
Something is going to happen to us as we delve into the life of Ahab. We will receive greater revelations about God’s longsuffering with stubborn sinners.
New dimensions of his love will be discovered.
God did everything to save Ahab. Will His efforts to save the end time Ahab’s be repeated?
Could it be that Solomon’s prayer concerning the solution to drought came to Ahab’s mind?
Could it be that Obadaih reminded him of this powerful prayer?
2 Chronicles 7:13,14 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who arecalled by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
What Israel deparately needed in those days was rain. But not only that, they needed spiritual rain. God was longing to pour it out on them.
But there was a condition attached to it. They had allow God to give them hearts that would obey His commandments.
Elijah appealed to Israel to break with sin so that there land could be healed by the showers of heaven.
Are you spiritually drought stricken? Do you long for God’s showers of blessing to heal your devastated heart? The Elijah message pleads with all of us to allow God to make us willing to be made willing for the showers to fall on us.
BREAD AND WATER WILL BE SUPPLIED
There are certain phrases which we use, like:
What will happen should I speak to him or her about their attitude?
Will they be offended and start hating me?
Wouldnt they get a mislike in religion?
Will people think that I am holier than they?
When we proclaim the Elijah message, the Lord Himself will take care of the consequences.
Elijah had no idea what would happen if he would address Ahab about his sin.
He did what the Lord told him to do and left the consequences to Him.
Listen to how God took care of His messenger:
1 Kings 17:2-4 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 3 “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 4 And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
What was his response?
Verses 5-7 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
The Lord thought it good to put his servant on a two meal a day feeding scheme. He will not allow him to suffer hunger.
Here at the brook I thought of Elijah. What did he do during this long period of waiting?
He must have spend many hours agonising with God to bring repentance to His people.
He must have asked God to bring a speedy reformation to His suffering and dying people.
Do you at times feel like Elijah when you see a loved one is destroyig his en her life by willful sinning?
Sometimes we want the Lord to hasten to their rescue.
A man once said to me: “My daughter is hanging out with druggies. Please go and stop her immediately.”
A broken hearted wife told me once: “Plese go and speak to my husband. He has taken to alcohol. Tell him if he does not stop immediately he will go straight to hel.”
ELIJA WAS IN A HASTE
Just like Elijah wanted to see a speedy reformation, so we too want to see our loved once to change their wicked ways immediatly.
But God knows no haste nor delay when He works with sinners. We can only pray in faith for a change in people.
There is nothing we can do to speed up reformation in the lives of people. I pray for my dear backslidden people on a daily basis. Please do the same.
It take a long time for someone to drift away from God and somethings it takes a little longer for them to come back to God.
The Lord does not work faster on the hearts of sinners than they will allow them.
This specific lady prayer for he husband for 27 years to be converted. And just before she wanted to give up, the miracle happened.
It was a great day when this stubborn old man yielded his life to the Lord.
TIME OF TROUBLE
When studying the events in the life of history Elijah, we must not neglect the relationship to the end time Elijah message.
After Elijah brought his message to Ahab, he had to flee to safety. The Lord Himself directed him to the place.
The same will happen to the end time Elijah preachers. The way God looked after the type is an source of comfort concerning the way He will take care of us.
Listen to this promise:
Isaiah 33:15,16 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure.
What a blessed promise. While the wicked suffers from dehydration during the seven last plagues, the children of God will have water to drink.
As Elijah ascended to heaven, so too will the end time Elijah’s, the 144,000, be translated and ascend to heaven
Byond the time of trouble, there awaits us a time of everlatng joy:
Revelation 17:16,17 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
THE WATERS DRIED UP
One morning when Elijah got up, he noticed the water stopped flowing.
1 Kings 17:7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
While visiting the brook of Cherith I imagine Elijah watching the drop of the water level. Did the Lord save him from this time of touble?
No. The supply of water must first come to a complete standstill before the Lord revealed plan no. 2
Maybe Eliaj prayed:
“Dear Lord you gave me a message to take to Ahab. Then you directed me to this brook and I obeyed. And Lord as you notice the water ceased flowing completely. What now”?
“I cannot now die from thirst or hunger because my work has not been completed.”
My dear friend. Has your river of refreshment dried up? Has the water of joy and security stopped flowing in you heart? Do you feel desolate, fearful, deserted and troubled?
I have good news. The same Lord who supported Elijah in his time of trouble, is still the same today. What He did for Elijah He will also do for you.
1 Kings 17:8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”
The Lord has also prepared a Zarephath of escape for us.
Once when I bought a watermelon in Zarephath in Lebanon, I thought of the widow who lived here during the time of Elijah.
A few ladies bought food at this little market. The possibility of one of them being divorced or being a widow is very likely.
The plight of the widow from the time of Elijah was different to the plight of modern widows.
THE HEATHEN WORLD
If you had to become a widow in Israel, you faced a difficult time.
Fortunately there were laws that took care of these unfortunate ladies.
But in Phonecia where this lady lived it was something to fear. There were a few options to choose from:
Return to your family if they were still alive and could accommodate you
Go to your inlaws and accepted a very humiliating suordinate position
This was extremely difficult
Remarry. The ancient civilizations looked down with disdain on it.
But that’s not all. Should you remarry you not only forfeitted your ordinary privileges but also your privilege of worshipping in the temple.
Ancient heathen widows were stigmatised and the man who married her had to have a lot of courage to live with the critisims of society.
When Ceasar Augustus suggested that men should marry widows he was severly critizised. It was front page news.
Many widows like the one in our narative had to suffer in order to stay alive. This was horrendous.
The last option was death and in many instances this was prevered
MEANING OF WIDOW
The word means “rejection”. The widow of Zarephath was a rejected, lonely person.
In a way she is typical of so many single ladies of our day. According to the lexographs a widow could be any woman who lived without a husband.
But the Elijah message was a hopeful message and it reached out to the needs of single woman. It could be that the widow in our story was divorsed from her husband.
Who is represented by the bride, a woman, in the Bible?
1 Kings 17:8-10 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.
What went through Elijah’s mind when he saw this specific widow?
The Lord told him that she would take care of him, but man she really looked extremely poor and…
She pics up sticks to make a fire so that she could prepare some food. What does her house look like. And he does’nt think her house would have a see view.
Does she really have the means to look after him? Elijah feels a sensation in his stomach telling him that he is extremely hungry.
He would enjoy something else besides a cup of water. A few days pasted since the crows brought him food. The widow is almost as thin as the crows that fed him.
What else besides water does he asks her?
1 Kings 17:11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
Elijah waits to see if the Lord would use this widow to look after him. Maybe the Lord revealed to her that a prophet would to her and that she prepared for him a big meal.
I once was invited to come and eat with peopel. I was so hungry. Approaching the house I could here the cutlery loud and clear.
I knocked and knocked and after a while left with an empty stomach.
Let’s listen to what the widow had to say. I think Elijah received an answer that he did not expect.
Verse 12 So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
This widow heard about the truth of the God of Israel.
“This woman was not an Israelite. She had never had the privileges and blessings that the chosen people of God had enjoyed; but she was a believer in the true God and had walked in all the light that was shining on her pathway. And now, when there was no safety for Elijah in the land of Israel, God sent him to this woman to find an asylum in her home.” PK 129
Earlier that day she called her little boy: “Hajjar mammie has to tell you something serious. The jar in which we keep our flower is almost empty. And the clay pot which we inherited from grandma, has only a little olive left in it. When we use the last that we have and then…”
She wipes her tears with her old tattered apron.
“But mother you told me about the God of the Hebrews who cares about all kinds of people. I saw that our resources are repleted and I already asked the God of the Hebrews to take care of us.”
Hajjar embraces his mother. “Dont cry Mammie.”
That very same day Elijah came to their rescue.
Hajjar and his mother listens to the words of the man of God:
1 Kings 17:13,14 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’ ”
Next time we will discover what happens when people accepts and obey the message of Elijah.