7 July 2013: “Thy Will O Lord, Be Done Always” (1 Kings 17)

Jul 16, 13 7 July 2013: “Thy Will O Lord, Be Done Always” (1 Kings 17)

 

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By: Youth Pastor Lydia Ang

 

Elijah was an outstanding servant of God; so outstanding he didn’t see death (Enoch and him are the two who were “taken up”). We’d look at when he first burst on the scene in 1 Kings 17.

 

The king at that time was Ahab and we are told in 1 Kings 16:30-31 “And Ahab the son of Omridid evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him..” It was openly declared that Baal lived and that Jehovah God ceased to be.

 

In the midst of this spiritual darkness and degradation, Elijah courageously pronounced to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word,” (1 Kings 17:1).

 

The land that flows with milk and honey was to become a dry and destitute land. And God shut the heavens. Why did Elijah pray “that it might not rain?” Not because he was indifferent to human suffering and not because he enjoyed watching the misery of his neighbours, but because he put the glory of God before everything else, even before his own comforts and feelings. When the people turned to worship Baal, the false god, the god that they believe controls the weather, Elijah comes forth and his name means “Yahweh is my God!” After this terse confrontation with the wicked king, one would expect a showdown but God tells him to go hide (absent) himself by the brook, the small stream of water, Cherith (1 Kings 17:2). Why so? “Cherith” means “to cut away, to cut off, to cut up”. It could be for Elijah’s protection but I believe it was more to humble Elijah who had to spend the next 3 years in seclusion. How quickly our ego rises to the surface. How sadly easy it is to make the talent/service that God entrusts us into a pedestal on which to display ourselves. But God will not share His glory with another, and therefore He “hides” those who may be tempted to take some of that glory for themselves.

 

It is only by pulling away from public view and getting alone with God that we can learn our own nothingness.

 

We all have (or will have) our Cherith experiences; sometimes it’s the sick room, sometimes it’s bereavement, sometimes it’s the loss of income, and sometimes it’s the loss of ministry hopes.

 

Every person that God plans to use must pass through the difficult experience of Cherith before he/she is ready for the triumph of Mount Carmel. And while Elijah hid away, the Lord gave him a promise that He will be fed by ravens, a surprising instrument. And there’s the brook itself.

 

Instead of a river, God often gives us a brook, which may be running today and dried up tomorrow. Why? To teach us not to rest in our blessings, but to depend only on the Blesser.

 

We can all say that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. Contrary to logic, to all outward appearances, Elijah was brought to a place to learn to trust God even more, to rest in Him and to wait patiently for Him. When you read how Elijah’s life and ministry closed, you’d see why the Cherith experience was something the Lord prescribed for him. And why you have to experience your own Cherith seasons.

May we all say cheerfully, “Thy Will, O Lord, be done always”.

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