Maybe you are nothing like me. Maybe you jump for joy when God calls you away from your familiar things and places you know. When good and Godly things end you celebrate right away, right? …No? If not… then you will understand what I am about to say.
Change is hard… even when you know God has greater things in store for you.
I have had lots of involuntary change happen in my life. And in the moment I would have told you that things made no sense and that I didn’t understand why it had to be like this. But God. God knew. And He had already prepared a way for me.
When Good and Godly things end… it is the start of something new.
In 1 Kings 17 the Lord has Elijah leave what was familiar and what he knew…not once…. but twice.
The first time it was because a drought was coming.
The Lord had already prepared a way for him to be taken care of and Elijah “did what the Lord had told him.”
1Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” 2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
The second time was when the brook, that God had given him, dried up.
The Lord had already prepared a way for him to be taken care of and “So he went to Zarephath.”
7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
The widow he met had given up hope. She was literally out gathering sticks so she could make a last meal for herself and her son. But Elijah brought her hope. He had to leave the brook, his constant and familiar thing that God had first led him to, in order to bring her hope.
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
Because of Elijah’s obedience to leave his familiar and safe spot by the brook hope was not all he gave the widow. Because he obeyed the Lord he was able to be used by the Lord in a greater way than he ever would have been had he stayed by the brook. And I don’t know about you but I wonder if the ravens would have continued to bring him food had he been disobedient to God.
17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
God used Elijah to bring new life to the widow’s son. I can’t help but think that this gave her new life as well! I am sure she was thankful he didn’t stay by the brook. Every time she looked at her son she would be reminded of God’s goodness, mercy, and power.
What do you see when you look at the Son? Jesus Himself is the most “good and Godly” example I can think of and even His life had to come to an end in order to give us hope and to make new life available to us!
4 But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. 5 So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. 6 God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus.
He had to leave His familiar and things He knew so that the Holy Spirit could come.
6 Instead, your hearts are filled with sorrow because I have told you these things. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away,the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.