Vol.5, No. 03 – February 16, 2020
1 Kings 17:2-7
And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan –1 Kings 17:2
Have you ever toured Chicago? When we lived in Chicago, it was a time when the Sears Tower was prominent. One of the world’s tallest buildings. The foundation of the building is hundreds of feet down. When you travel almost 100 floors up, you think you can see forever – almost beyond the horizon. On a good day.
The ground breaking for the structure occurred in 1970, with a completion in 1973. The tower’s main building is 110 stories, 1450′ tall (1707′ with TV/Radio antennas). It is an incredible building project.
However, there is another builder. He is Almighty God. He is in the “business” of building His people. Before there is the height of Mount Carmel, there has to be solitude, isolation, and quietness of Cherith. An old Quaker saying reads, “The wilderness is the place of soul-making.” Impact comes from in-depth soul making.
When Elijah stood in Ahab’s palace, announcing there was to be a serious drought, “No rain for three years!” The announcement got attention. I am not sure, if it was a “you could have heard a pin drop” moment, or, if it was a moment of chaos. The intelligence division, royal police, the king’s secret service had one assignment. Bring the rascal, the troublemaker in, put him in custody.
Wow! You would think that mountain man would prepare and know that Baal is the god of rain and fertility!
Thus, Elijah the Tishbite is a fugitive from “injustice.” Yet, God had Elijah exactly where He wanted him to be. Able to hear; able to give a listening ear to Almighty God. The word of the Lord came to him –17:2. He did not need to go scratching for a message from God; it came right to him. Now, we need to see that this is foundational.
Whether the Word of the Lord comes through the Scriptures, or through a distinct impression made on your heart through the Holy Spirit, be sure to listen. The Word of God is unique; His Book is unique. When we come to the Word of God, it is He, who is speaking.
Three things we see in Elijah:
- His obedient heart (verse 3, “hide yourself”). It is the learning before the leading. It is the Cherith before the Carmel. It is the hidden life before the public action. F.B. Meyer said, “Every saintly sould that would wield great power with men must win it in some Cherity. A Carmel triumph always pre-supposes a Cherith; and a Cherith always leads to a Carmel.”
- His waiting spirit (verse 3). Depart from here and turn eastward . . . There is provision, for Elijah it is cool refreshing water, and the supernatural food that ravens bring, every morning and evening. It is a balanced meal!
- His dependent attitude (verse 7, the brook dried up). Can you imagine the thoughts going through Elijah’s mind? Alone with desolation. He waits quietly alongside a dried up creek bed, with parched and cracked lips. Why? God is teaching His servant to trust Him, not focus on His gifts. He is teaching Elijah to walk by faith when things dry up. It is hard to sit by a dried up creek.
Does God teach us in the hard times? On the other hand, do our tantrums prevent us from trusting; what if we struggle with leadership, our health, our finances, or one of our loved ones turn from us? Can we really be OK, sitting beside a dried up creek?
NOTE: Over several weeks of 2020, we will be looking at Leadership in an Hour of Crisis. The last three weeks have teased us to think about leadership; it looks different that many of us think or experience. Our country faces a leadership crisis; most are “hung up” in being unable to define leadership. The struggle for groups to have and bear power is nothing more than a caricature of what true leadership entails.
In our small travel through 2 Chronicles, we will get a glimpse of what God thinks of leadership. Thus, we will not be traveling to Disney World, re-watching the Superbowl, or even digging up the verbiage from the recent political debates. Leadership is much more.
God knew He was not whipping up a best seller when He inspired the books of Chronicles, but He never intended to. Not terribly exciting, but they are absolutely essential . . . what the [iPhone contact list] is to communication, and the dictionary is to the English language . . . Chronicles are great resources, but they were never meant to be read like a Louie L’Amour novel. –C. Swindoll
In the original, 1 & 2 Chronicles is one book. When translated into the Greek, they were divided into two books. The Greek required 1/3 more space than the Hebrew. Scrolls were limited in length. The book of Chronicles is at the end of the Hebrew Bible, in the section of the Writings. If we look at what is now two books, we find the first demonstrates a movement from nothingness to greatness; the second book displays a movement from greatness back to nothingness.
Chronicles is not simply reflecting a historical or political account; it is addressing a spiritual account. The setting is in Solomon’s Temple. In the books of the Kings, the view of Israel is given from the throne; in Chronicles, the view is from the altar. In Kings, there is a view from man’s perspective; in the book of Chronicles, we get God’s perspective.
I am sure that you have not read many devotionals written from the Chronicles. However, All Scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. –2 Timothy 3:16-17.
So with that background, it will be well for us to travel through these Scriptures in Chronicles, and let them assess us through the truth of the Word God gives.
Leadership in a time of crisis