Read: 1 Kings 17:1-6
You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.
1 Kings 17:4
Is it worth the risk?
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
It was a risky move.
Elijah the prophet burst onto the scene of the Old Testament, not preaching in the streets, but speaking God’s truth in the palace halls of powerful King Ahab who did not believe in God. Ahab made Baal worship the new national religion of God’s people. Baal was a false god worshiped as the lord of rain and dew. Because of that, Elijah promised there would “be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” Water is a precious commodity. In Elijah’s day and in Elijah’s land, water was both precious and scarce. Without it, crops would wither, brooks would dry up, and people would die. Calling King Ahab to repent would impact every person in Israel, including the prophet Elijah. It was a risky move.
Yet the LORD would not let his prophet starve. The LORD provided food and water for Elijah through means that seem to contradict themselves—a small secret stream that would still flow with water, even during a drought. And God ordered large birds to bring Elijah bread and meat. It was a miraculous move.
“But that was then,” you might interject, “and this is now.” It seems a bit easier to trust in God’s promise to provide when everything is sweetness and light in your life. Or, when everything makes sense in your head. But what about when it doesn’t? When you are feeling the stinging pain of an unfulfilled need and do the math in your head, and with dread in your heart realize the real risk, “I don’t know how this will work out!” Meanwhile, God’s miraculous promise to provide goes unheard and untrusted.
Elijah learned through a stream and ravens that God is in the business of meeting needs through means that look backwards—not because you’ve earned it, but because that’s the kind of God he is. Look at his most backwards-looking yet miraculous move of all times: The LORD God met your greatest need and pulled you out of the worst situation by his sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Your sin is paid for; your needs are met in Christ!
There is no need too great and no circumstance too risky. God’s promise to provide for you is worth hearing and trusting.
Lord, help me remember you care and all the ways you provide for me. Whether I’m having a good day or a bad one, I will give you thanks. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What did Elijah tell King Ahab?
- How did Elijah have enough to eat and drink during a drought?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- How does the Lord provide for you?
- How do you think Elijah felt when he saw the ravens coming with bread and meat twice each day?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Think of a time in your life when it’s easy to doubt God’s power to provide for you.
- Make a “thankfulness list”—kind of like a Christmas list, but instead of listing things you want to receive, list the things/people/circumstances you’re thankful for.