Part 2
“The Miraculous Provision of God”

1 Kings 17:1-6 “And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”2 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.”5 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.”

After boldly announcing to Ahab that judgment was coming in the form of a drought, Elijah is commanded by God to flee to the brook Cherith, about 10 miles away.
The brook Cherith was located in one of the wildest ravines of the region.

It was a desolate and dangerous wilderness where hyenas, jungle cats, wildcats, wolves, and foxes lurked in the shadows.

Cherith literally means, “cut off,” and this describes Elijah’s life once there——he was cut off from all human contact to depend solely on God to keep him alive!

—On arriving at the brook:

He was totally alone and isolated.

He had to learn to daily trust God with an unknown future.

And during this time patience was hammered into his soul like a 6 inch nail.

One question loomed in his mind—how will I survive?

Hoping to not become food, he wondered where he would get food!

The Bible records that God provided for him, but not like he expected!

He didn’t use angels,

Or sympathetic men willing to risk their lives to bring him daily food.

No, God chose a totally unorthodox, unusual, untypical, and unlikely way to provide for his servant.

—He chose to send him front-door delivery by way of Ravens!

Now, if you don’t know much about Ravens, they are jet black birds, with 2 feet long bodies and a wingspan of 4 feet.

They’re massive birds, with a thick neck, shaggy throat feathers, and what one person describes as a Bowie knife of a beak.

They’re also highly intelligent.

—So for whatever reason, God chose the unorthodox method of sending a raven twice a day with bread and meat for a full year!

That means ravens “home delivered” Elijah’s daily meal over 700 times!

So imagine his first day at the Cherith Holiday Inn.

While pondering how he would eat, he notices a large, black bird landing near him with something in either its beak or talons.

The huge bird sits there a minute, then flies away.

To his amazement, Elijah sees that meat and bread are there on the ground, left behind by the raven.
He eats the food and wonders how God will provide next time.

And then again that evening, as the hunger pangs were kicking in, Elijah spots the same bird landing again with the same food in tow.

And the same thing happened the next day and every day after that.

He soon became very accustomed to watching for a raven arriving right on time with breakfast and dinner.

So at the Brook Cherith, the Prophet Elijah learned the crucial lesson of the faithfulness of God to provide.

His experience highlights for us God’s ability to provide in harsh and even dangerous circumstances.

It also tells me we should be careful to not turn a raven away!

Because when God wants to get something to you it may not come in the package you expected!

But God’s lesson of provision didn’t stop there.

One day the brook dried up!

Vs. 7 “And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.”

Elijah’s source of life-giving water disappeared.

But not overnight.

As the drought worsened, the running brook first became a trickle, then a puddle, then…totally dry.

So Elijah watched his source of life-giving water diminish by the day.

—Like Elijah, sometimes our own brook dries up.

It can dry up suddenly or it may dry up over time.

Either way, it tests your faith in God’s provision!

Our own brook can dry up when a source of sustenance we’ve come to rely on is removed!

—We lose a job and our income dries up.

—Or we lose a friendship or a spouse, and our stream of life-giving companionship dries up.

—Or we lose a place of fellowship that has spiritually fed us for years—something changes, and our stream of spiritual food and connection dries up.

And like Elijah, we find ourselves in a lonely wilderness place not knowing what’s next!

Now I want you to notice first that:

Elijah didn’t panic—He trusted God in his time of lack.

He didn’t get syrupy sentimental, saying: “It’s over for me—nothing will ever equal the Brook Cherith.”

Nor did he build a memorial to the stream that once flowed and live the rest of his life looking back to the good ol’ days!

Nor did he make like a good charismatic and stand in the middle of the dry creek bed and command it to flow again.

Nor did he make like a good faith man and say, “I confess it’s not dried up, it’s not dried up!”

And he didn’t presume to go out searching for his next brook on his own.

No, Elijah waited for the word of the Lord.

—HE knew that GOD knew his brook had dried up!

And as he waited, God spoke, “Arise, go to Zarephath…and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”—vs. 9
So after one full year at the Brook Cherith, Elijah experienced a major change.

But when he got to Zarephath, what he saw was a punch to his expectations:

Rather than seeing a widow woman of means who would provide for him, he sees a sad, broken down mother gathering sticks, who said to him:

“I’ve got a tiny bit of flour and a smidgeon of oil, and am gathering a couple of sticks to prepare me and my sons last meal, that we may eat it and die.”

But watch this:

Instead of sinking into discouragement, Elijah quickly caught on to what God was up to!

The Lord had taught him for a full year the daily miracle of supernatural provision only for himself.

But now God was adding to his faith-walk assignment two other people also in need of supernatural provision!

Two quick lessons I see here.


—God is never going to let your faith get flabby.

Once you’ve reached one level, He will stretch and challenge your faith to go to the next level!


—The lessons we learn alone in the shadows are never just for ourselves, but for others we will encounter.

2 Cor. 1:4 “He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.”

This poor woman had lost her husband and clearly hadn’t been able to make it on her own.

Now she’s given up on life and has resigned herself to dying alongside her little boy.

It is to this woman the mercy of God sent Elijah!

He quickly sized up the situation and said:

“Make me a small cake first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 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.”—Vs. 13-14

This poor widow could have said, “Why you selfish man! You want me to give our last meal to you?”

But instead, God put the faith in her heart to believe the prophet’s promise!

She made her last meal and gave it to Elijah.

And lo and behold, when she looked again she found that enough flour and oil for two more cakes had miraculously appeared!

And the Bible says that for two full years Elijah, the widow and her son lived on the daily, miraculous provision of God!

So through Elijah’s story we learn:

—To obey God even when its a little scary.

—To trust God for daily provision in tough times.

—To not put Him in a box as to how He wants to provide.

—To minister to others what God has ministered to you.

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