Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 1 Kings 17:2-6
As you read 1 Kings 17, it is interesting the number of times that God tells Elijah to go “THERE.” Each “there” is very specific, has a specific name, and different blessings come to Elijah in these places of ‘there.’
Is God asking you to go “there?” Where is “there” for you? I believe that place is different for each of us.
Kerith Ravine is Hebrew and it means to cut, to destroy. It was a place of isolation, cut off from everything else. Prior to this, Elijah was being pursued to be killed; he declared a three-year drought on the land from God. When God lead Elijah there, he was totally dependent upon God in this place for food and comfort. Elijah rested there. He ceased striving for anything other than to be totally dependent on God. God ministered to him there. It was here that God supplied Elijah with bread and meat from ravens in the morning and evening. All Elijah had to do was rest in the comfort of God and be obedient. I am sure that if Elijah were anywhere else, he would not have received all the blessings that God had for him.
When my marriage first started to crumble, I found out I was moving to Virginia, completely isolated from my wife and kids, friends and all my family. I fought the move and I fought to get back to Texas for the first six months. Interesting, when I quit fighting my circumstances, something happened. God comforted me in a way I have never felt before. I started going to a church of roughly three to four thousand people. Immediately, I was recognized by all three senior pastors. I was mentored and placed in a position of leadership in the men’s ministry. I was surrounded by godly men who prayed over me. Even in my place of work, I was surrounded by godly people who prayed in the office. This was what I needed; I was “there.” Three years later, God moved me back to Texas, and I was hesitant to leave Virginia, but my brook dried up and it was time for me to leave.
Others in the Bible were isolated prior to God’s goodness – Joseph was in prison, Moses spent 40 years in the desert. Even after Jesus sent his disciples out to minster and to heal, when they returned, He said, “Let’s withdraw to a quiet place” (Mark 6:30-32). God removes us for a specific purpose, “cutting us off.” To get the world out of us. It is a place of obedience and rest.
Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. 1 Kings 17:7-10a
Zarephath in Hebrew means to refine or test, often through fire, to mold through heat (Psalm 12:6). Every word of God is tested (Proverbs 30:5, Psalm 18:30) and purified (Psalm 119:140).
“For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely. See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” Isaiah 48:9-11
It was at Zarephath that God performed miracles through Elijah. The widow woman’s oil and flour overflowed. Her son was raised from the dead through the prayer of Elijah.
The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.” 1 Kings 17:22-24
It was there that Elijah got to experience and see the power of God at work through him. It was there that Elijah was prepared for the next assignment (miracle) that God had for him, for rain to come back to the land, bringing healing and life for the glory of God.
As we look at “there,” we see that:
God’s provision is there
God’s rest is there
God’s peace is there
God’s power is there
God’s healing and resurrection is there
Where God guides, He provides. As we read I Kings 17 in Elijah’s story, we see prayer, obedience, rest and miracles.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8
Are you “there?” Where God is leading, asking you to go? I cannot answer that question for you, because “there” is different for each one of us.
Standing on the promises of God for the most amazing woman, wife and mother.
David in Texas