At the Brook Cherith
1 Kings 17:1-7
Elijah was one of the mightiest men of the Bible. The first mention of him in scripture occurs in 1 Kings 17 and finds him taking a trip to an obscure brook in the Jordanian wilderness. What enabled Elijah to later scale Mount Carmel and call down fire from heaven and march from one mountain top experience to another throughout his life? We shall discover that the most important trip he ever made was this one to the Brook Cherith by himself and alone. It was there he learned the basics of dependence upon God. We cannot bypass Cherith on our way to the Carmel experiences of life. At the Brook Cherith we see:
I. God’s recognized plan (vv. 1-3)
The key word is “hide” in verse three which means, and is translated elsewhere, absent one’s self. Elijah was not instructed to go the brook and hide so he would not be found out, but to absent himself there, to get alone with God and “take in” in order to later “give out”. This is God’s plan for all his children.
II. God’s restricted promise (v. 4)
The key word here is “there.” God promised to meet Elijah “there” at the Brook Cherith. Elijah received a promise from God but it was restricted and conditional. It is an important thing being where God wants us to be and doing what God wants us to do.
III. God’s required prerequisite (v. 5)
Elijah went and did according to the word of God. Obedience was, and still is, the key. Note his response. There was no doubt, no defiance, and no delay. He was obedient. This is God’s required prerequisite to blessing for all of us.
IV. God’s released provision (v. 6)
After getting alone with God, being in his will and moving in obedience then, and only then, did Elijah see the released provision of God upon him. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and evening and he drank from the cool brook.
V. God’s revealed purpose (v. 7)
The brook dried up! Some are prone to say, Some God that is. Elijah was where God told him to be and doing what he was told to do and the brook dried up. Could it be that Elijah’s heart was being tested to see if his trust was in the Brook Cherith or the living God?
Many are called to sit by drying brooks. There are drying brooks of health, resources, relationships, etc. It is easier to face the prophets of Baal on Carmel than to sit by a drying brook. But what does God do when the brook dries up and we learn the lessons of Cherith? He leads us on to higher ground. Note the next verse, The word of the Lord came to him saying, Arise and go up to Zarephath…and dwell there. I have commanded a widow to provide for you there. See, I have commanded a widow to provide for you (vv. 8-9). There is that word “there” again. There must be a Cherith to fit us for Carmel. I don’t know where your Cherith is, but I know He will lead you.