IN THE WORD     No. 4          
1 KINGS Chapter 17 - When the Brook Dries Up
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, [who was] of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, [As] the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 
2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 
3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that [is] before Jordan. 
4 And it shall be, [that] thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that [is] before Jordan. 
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 
7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 
8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath... 

While looking at this passage this morning, I saw some things I never noticed before.
Although God specifically led and provided miraculously for the prophet during the time of drought, that means of provision eventually subsided ("the brook dried up"). Did the prophet, great man of faith and power that he was, "speak to" the brook and tell it to "be" again? No. When the brook dried up, God told him to move on ("Arise, get thee to Zarephath...")
Sometimes we want to cling to the extraordinary, though God-given - yet the Lord wants us to "arise" above and move on. There were more miracles to perform, more needs to be met, at Zarephath. A widow was waiting.
We limit God and stay in the same place, spiritually - and then question God as to why "the brook" no longer is meeting our needs. God says, Move on.
God still had plans to provide for his prophet, and still through miraculous means - with the widow's cruse of oil and jar of meal. But the prophet wouldn't have come to see that subsequent miracle if he had allowed the experience of the first to limit his expectations and faith.
Further, God knew there would be a drought. He also knew where the prophet's needs for water (the brook) could be met. God directed him to the place of provision. Yet "after a while... the brook dried up." (v. 7)
The fact that God led Elijah to that place of provision, for "a while" (v. 7) did not mean that he should remain there forever. The Lord wants us to find our provision in Him. He is our Source. Yet even the specific means of His provisions may be only temporary, as God in His wisdom know our tendency to depend upon anything other than upon Him.
God does mighty things. But none is mightier than the Almighty himself. We must continually look to him as our Source, rather than his provision, however miraculous. Then we will see operative in our lives not just a brook that can dry up, but an ever-flowing river that never shall run dry.     -- by Diane Dew

Back to the MAIN PAGE