God Brings us to the Place of Preparation
THE PLACE OF PREPARATION
One of the heroes of faith in my life is the prophet Elijah. Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be looking at some of the high-points of Elijah’s experience and learn how those same parts of his journey from so far in the past can instruct us in our life journey today.
Today we look at how God called Elijah aside to prepare him for the purpose God had ordained him as a prophet.
1 Kings 17:1-9
1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!”
2 Then a revelation from the Lord came to him: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward, and hide yourself at the Wadi Cherith where it enters the Jordan. 4 You are to drink from the wadi. I HAVE COMMANDED the ravens to provide for you there.”
5 So HE DID WHAT THE LORD COMMANDED. Elijah left and lived by the Wadi Cherith where it enters the Jordan. 6 THE RAVENS KEPT BRINGING HIM BREAD AND MEAT IN THE MORNING AND IN THE EVENING, AND HE DRANK FROM THE WADI.
7 After a while, the wadi dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Get up, go to Zarephath that belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Look, I HAVE COMMANDED a woman who is a widow to provide for you there.”
Elijah, by the power of God declares that there would be no rain until he spoke and caused it to come. This is a judgment on Ahab, the wicked king, for turning his back on the Lord and leading the nation into sin. Shortly after this the word of God came to Elijah and called him off to a remote place. The following is an outline of the lesson learned by that brook in the wilderness.
I. God’s Recognized Plan (1-3)
* ‘hide’ not hide in fear but rather be alone.
Consider: God’s command to “hide yourself” would bring a second drought to the people, a drought of God’s word and work among the people. Their disobedience had brought this judgment. Oh, how difficult the days when there is no Word from the Lord.
11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12 And people will stagger from sea to sea, And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it.”
9 We do not see our signs; There is no longer any prophet, Nor is there any among us who knows how long.
* God’s plan is that we must be prepared for ministry by
spending time alone with Him.
II. God’s Restricted Promise (4)
- ‘there’ is the key.
- Are you where God has called you to be?
- Are you THERE?
We all have a “there” in our live. The most important thing we can know is that we are “there” in the “there” God has for us.
III. God’s Required Prerequisite (5)
- Elijah was obedient.
- God will only bless us in obedience.
IV. God’s Released Provision (6)
- *God is Faithful when we:
- 1. Spend time alone with Him in prayer.
- 2. Are in His will. (We are there.)
- 3. We are obedient to Him.
V. God’s Revealed Purpose (7)
- Why does God allow the brook to dry up?
- To teach us to trust not in His gifts, but in HIM! (8-9)
Take This Home With You:
- God has a Specific and Personal Plan for you that Includes Place, Provision, and Purpose.
- It is your responsibility to seek God’s will and plan for your life and to be obedient when you find it.
- The time may come when the Lord moves you on to something new. Trust God and follow.
Next week we’ll pick up the story from here and…well, let me just say that you don’t want to miss the lesson from Elijah’s experience next Sunday because it’s a lesson that will encourage and equip us for some of the “drought seasons” we all face through life.