1 Kings 17 “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” 2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” 5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”
The prophet Elijah was given a stunning message from God to proclaim to the wicked King Ahab. “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives,… there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” God was sending a complete drought on Israel. Not just a lack of rain, but no rain whatsoever for a few years. Perhaps this would bring Ahab to his senses and he would repent and return to the Lord.
To make matters worse, God ordered Elijah to go into hiding out in the Jordan wilderness, in a ravine called Kerith, east of the Jordan. How would Elijah survive a drought, in an already arid wilderness, in a seasonal ravine? Elijah had to trust God’s providence. God promised Elijah that there would be water in the ravine to drink and that the Ravens would bring him bread and meat, morning and night. And that’s what happened. Elijah did trust God’s words. He safely hid from the enraged King Ahab in the Kerith Ravine. He had water to drink from the brook there. And just as the Lord said, Ravens brought him bread and meat every morning and night.
Elijah did not escape the great drought by fleeing to a different land. By God’s power, Elijah rode out the drought in the midst of the drought-stricken land. God preserved his prophet.
In His wilderness temptation many years later, Jesus reminded Satan, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” You can live in a paradise, surrounded by every delicacy your heart could desire, but if God should withdraw his sustaining power from you, you will die that day. You can find yourself in a howling wilderness, in the midst of a drought, with nothing edible in sight, and if God wants you to live another day, you will live. If he wants you to live forty days, you will live. If he wants you to live forty years, you will live. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 “ So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” That’s a great promise to remember during any difficult time. God knows your address. He will come for you when he is ready for you. Otherwise, trusting in His Word, you will live just as long as God wants you to live, regardless of the dangers around you. God will preserve his servant.
Lord God, heavenly father, help us not to depend on the bread of this world for our security and hope. Rather help us to live by every Word that proceeds from your mouth, that we might live blessed lives in this dangerous age, and that we might live eternally with you in your heaven. Amen.