Day Two ‘ The Lord is my Provider”
1 Kings 17:4 “You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
One of the great names by which God is known in Old Testament Scripture is Jehovah Jireh meaning ‘the Lord Provides’. This comes from the stirring incident on Mount Moriah recorded in Genesis 22 when Abraham in obedience offers Isaac his son as a sacrifice to God. God stops Abraham from doing so and shows Abraham and Isaac a ram caught in a thicket , which was truly God’s provision for them.
In these opening verses of the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1-7, we see God providing for His servant Elijah in equally remarkable ways . In the earlier part of the passage Elijah in obedience to God presents himself to king Ahab, to declare to him the word of the Lord. “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” (1 Kings 17:1 ESV) He stands before God as one in His service, and comes to declare God’s will to this king who had rejected the God of Israel.
Elijah declares a drought, which will continue until God says otherwise through him. This was a direct challenge to Ahab and his queen Jezebel , who was a worshipper of Baal, the Canaanite god who was said to control the elements of nature such as fire and rain. The effect of this was as Jeff Lucas puts it like” a Spiritual stun grenade going off in the palace of Samaria “ .
The prophet leaves , and in response to the word of God is led east of the Jordan river. Despite the drought God has provided for his servant at the brook Cherith, even in the midst of a dry and barren land, the man of God is provided for. There at the Cherith ravine Elijah is fed morning and evening at God’s command by Ravens. This is strange and miraculous in many ways. Ravens themselves were not to be eaten (Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14) and the meat they normally ate was also forbidden food (Leviticus 7:24; Deuteronomy 14:21; Ezekiel 4:14) . Ravens would normally eat any such food rather than carry it to someone else. This shows at the very beginning of his ministry how God supernaturally undertakes for Elijah.And so the prophet is provided for whilst residing in a strange and unfamiliar place, and brought food in miraculous ways, whilst the people of Israel knew a lack of water, that most basic of commodities due to their disobedience.
Have we ever thought about the myriad of different ways in which God is to each of us our Jehovah Jireh the God who provides . Each day whether we appreciate this or not we experience the Lord as our Provider, no matter where we might find ourselves as the beneficiaries of God’s benevolent care. He is truly our Good Shepherd who provides for His flock, with health, food, clothing, shelter, family, community, warmth, peace and in a host of other ways besides. He is the God who the apostle Paul counsels us to set our hope upon as the ” God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17 ESV) and ” who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NIV).
In Jesus Christ, we see the greatest example of God’s loving provision for His children in providing a sin bearer for us. Abraham’s prophetic words to Isaac on Mount Moriah are fulfilled in Jesus Christ 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:8 NIV), words we see fulfilled in John the Baptist’s words much later ” Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ ( John 1:29)