By the brook Cherith
John Ritchie, Kilmarnock
2 Kings 17
An extract from Elijah the Prophet, W. W. FEREDAY
We must linger a little longer by the brook Cherith, and examine yet further Jehovah’s dealings with His servant. Note the words, ‘I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.’ This sufficed for every need. Whatever the conditions around - the unprecedented barrenness - Elijah would not starve, for no word of God can ever fall to the ground. The alarm of the disciples when upon the stormy lake was groundless, for the Lord had said, ‘Let us pass over unto the other side’, Mark 4. 35. There could be no doubt about the issue of the voyage with such a One on board; He had spoken, therefore ‘the other side’ was sure.
The path of obedience is the path of sufficiency. The disciples were without food in John chapter 21 verse 5 because they were acting in self-will. Instead of waiting patiently in Galilee until the Lord came to them as He had appointed, Matt. 26. 32. Peter said, ‘I go a-fishing’, and his companions responded, ‘We also go with thee’. A whole night of toil yielded nothing but disappointment. Jehovah’s word to Elijah concerning Cherith was, ‘I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there’. He was not left to choose his own hiding-place. Jehovah chose for him, and there his need was met. If we are sure we are where the Lord wants us, we need have no fear.
It is interesting to observe in the Bible history how obedient the humblest creatures can be to God in contrast with rebellious man. The milch kine who went straight to Beth-shemesh with the ark of God, although their calves were at home, is an example of this. The pagan Philistines were impressed with it, and they acknowledged the hand of the God of Israel, 1 Sam. 6. Another example is seen in the untrained colt who willingly bore the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem amidst tumultuous crowds, Luke 19. 35. The ravens were carnivorous birds, yet they carried bread and flesh to Elijah daily. In Luke chapter 12 verse 24, the Lord Jesus expressly mentioned these unclean creatures as objects of divine care.
How blessed it is to have to do with One who is ‘Lord of heaven and earth’, Matt. 11. 25, and who thus has all things at His command! The food reached Elijah regularly; the same God who provided manna every day for Israel in the wilderness sent the ravens to Elijah with ‘bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook’. Our God loves regularity. Unpunctuality and disorderly ways do not please Him. When the Lord fed five thousand men besides woman and children, He commanded them to sit down ‘in ranks of hundreds and fifties’, Mark 6. 40. If any reader is disposed to be unpunctual and slovenly, these facts should be remembered.
Permission to use kindly granted by John Ritchie Ltd, Kilmarnock, Scotland.