Vol.6, No. 04– January 24, 2021
Who God Uses . . .
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 17:2-3
I spent time in Chicago, a difficult place to do pastoral ministry. The first seven months I was there we buried 7 children 14 years old and younger. There are a number of awesome experiences in Chicago, including what was then the Sears Tower. At the time, it was the tallest building in the world. There is the Navy Pier, the vast shopping area downtown, the beaches of Lake Michigan. Tremendous building projects were being accomplished while I was in Chicago.
Interesting. God spends time building as well—He builds men and women to minister the Gospel to those who need to hear the truth on how they can come to God and then serve.
In the Old Testament we are made aware of Mount Carmel. There is also the solitude, isolation, and quietness of Cherith. An old Quaker saying goes: The wilderness is the place of soul-making.
When Elijah stands in Ahah’s palace and announces that there is going to be a famine, no rain for three years, it gets everyone’s attention. The King does everything in his power to eliminate Elijah: his CIA, military, police, the king’s secret service were given one objective—Bring this troublemaker to custody. This farm-boy does not know the power of our Baal! Our Baal is the ruler of rain and fertility!
Elijah, the Tishbite, is a fugitive from injustice, yet, exactly where God wanted him. Elijah had a listening ear—something we struggle with. Elijah did not have to go searching for God’s Word; it came to him. God chooses our hearing, through Scriptures, through a distinct impression, through the Holy Spirit, through our circumstances of life, through the preaching of His word, through the friend whose heart is close to the Lord, and in multiple other means. God’s Word will find us should our heart be listening. Thus, we need to be a listening people.
Notice that Elijah was in readiness to listen, and he was obedient. His hidden life was focused long before his public life. F.B. Meyer said, Every saintly soul that would wield great power with men must win it in some Cherith. A Carmel triumph always pre-supposes a Cherith; and a Cherith always leads to a Carmel.
Notice also, Elijah had a waiting spirit. The natural provision, as he obeyed what God said to him, provided a hiding place, cool refreshing water, and supernatural food. God’s created birds brought the sustenance. Every morning and every evening. A balanced diet.
Notice finally, Elijah had a dependent attitude. The brook dried up (no rain in the land!). Can you envision what might go through the mind of Elijah? Did God forget? He waited quietly, along a dried-up creek bed. God wants to teach his own to trust Him, not simply to live for His gifts. To walk by faith when life dries up. God wants His people to be healthy in His word, to be leaders, and to be loving toward those with whom He crosses your path
How are we doing?
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my fortress I shall not be shaken. –Psalm 62:5