In 1 Kings 17:1-7, Elijah has just proclaimed a drought to Israel. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah telling him to get away and hide by a brook. And that the Lord has commanded the ravens to feed him there.
Well, a brook is a natural stream of water smaller than a river. And if Elijah had proclaimed a drought on Israel, won’t the brook be the last place he wants to be in? Why? Because the water in the brook will eventually run dry. But because the Lord said so, Elijah listened. It can be credited to him that he has such great faith in the Lord’s providence. Secondly, the Lord has commanded ravens to feed him! Well, I find that interesting. Why ravens? Why not other birds? Or maybe God could provide food and drink for him like He did later on through angels (1Kings 19:5-8).
Charles Spurgeon made 2 applications about Elijah being fed by ravens. First, we’ve got to realize that the ravens are unclean animals. We know how ravens get their food. For those of us who watch National Geographic, we will know that ravens are scavengers that feed on the carcasses of animals. So the first point Charles Spurgeon mentioned is that God may ‘feed’ you spiritually through an unclean vessel. Many times we do not want to accept that. When someone comes to teach us or rebuke us, we immediately look at them and find faults with their lives so as to make their words to us illegitimate or simply said ‘who are you to tell me’. Many times, the credibility of the person comes into so much more importance before the credibility of the comment. But remember that God may be using them, however unclean their lives may be, to give you something that you need.
And the second point of application that Charles Spurgeon brought up, struck me. And it is the contrary to the first. He says that God can use us too, to bring spiritual food to others, while we ourselves are ‘spiritually unclean’ or not in a right relationship with God. What Spurgeon is trying to say is that we may be teaching, encouraging or ministering. But that does not exemplify that we are walking right with God. Therefore, we should always remember not to let the pride of our work blind our faith and walk in God.
Brother Samuel Lim