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Provision in a Season of Lack - Part One

“And the word of the LORD came to him (Elijah) saying, ‘Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith which is east of the Jordan.  And it shall be that you shall drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.’  So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.” 1 Kings 17:2-5 (NASB)

“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NASB)

    1 Kings 17 opens during the time when Israel was divided into the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah).  In this passage, the focus is on the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and wicked king Ahab is on the throne.  Ahab along with his wicked Queen Jezebel led the nation into gross idolatry.  After many warnings from the prophets, God decided to get their attention by sending a drought which would, in turn, result in a famine.  He sent his prophet Elijah to inform King Ahab of the drought which would last years.  After making the announcement to the king, God sends Elijah to a place where natural and supernatural provision would be made for him.   A brook was  a natural provision of water,  while ravens were  a supernatural provision of food.  The ravens brought him bread and meat twice a day.  Ravens are scavengers so it was  unnatural for them to deliver food to anyone or anything but themselves.  It was a supernatural act of God.

A Closer Look
     Notice in verse 3 God says, “I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.”  Here we see an expression of “time” and “place” in regards to the provision.  The  Hebrew word for “commanded” means “to set up” or “to charge.”  The use of the word, “have” indicates that by the time God gave the instructions to Elijah, He had already arranged for Elijah’s provision.  The use of the word “there” indicates that this provision was only for a particular place.

       Perhaps we can better understand this by looking at an example from modern day.  In September of this year, my husband and I will have been married 18 years.  In preparation for our wedding day, I had to locate a caterer to provide the food for our reception.  I also had to locate a place to have the reception.  Once I made the decision regarding these two important items, I arranged with the caterers to deliver and serve the food I had chosen to the hall I had selected.  I did this before I sent out the wedding announcements.  When the people received their invitations, the arrangements had already been made.  It was a done deal.  However, in order for them to partake of the food from that caterer on that day, they had to go to the right location.  The provision that God had for Elijah had already been arranged, but it was for a particular place at a particular time.  If he went anywhere else, the ravens would not have fed him.

Two Observations
     So, our first observation is that God directed Elijah to a particular place with a promise of provision. Obedience was required in order for him to partake of the provision.  In God’s plan, there is a  connection between obedience and provision.  Obedience may cause us to have to change direction or location.  The place of provision may not be in the place where we are currently residing or are doing what we are currently doing. In order to lay hold of the provision of God, we must get a word from God and follow it.  To get a word from God and not follow it may be the very thing that keeps us from laying hold of our provision.  If the disciples had not cast their net on the other side of the boat when Jesus directed them, they would not have gotten that great catch of fish.  Obedience is imperative in accessing God’s provision.

     Another observation is that “lack” is a matter of perspective.  Though the nation was about to enter a season of lack due to the drought,  Elijah had a sense of contentment and rest.  Rather than focusing on what he no longer had, such as a house, livestock and crops, he chose to enjoy what he did have – provision.   What others may have perceived as “lack” he chose to see as provision.  He recognized that a simple word from God turned the natural order into supernatural provision,  and in that he chose to find contentment.

    Though there is abundance in the Kingdom of God, and this abundant flow is available to us as adopted sons/daughters (John 1:12), there can be seasons of drought in our lives.  These can be physical, spiritual,  financial or emotional.  If our perspective is not a Kingdom one, we can  interpret these droughts  as seasons of “lack.”  The droughts may not be our fault, but we may be affected by them.

     At these times, we must understand that the situation is an opportunity to seek God for direction and provision.  We are commanded at all times to “seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” and ALL the things related to provision will be added to us. (Matthew 6:33, 34)  Know that God is the one who sees ahead and provides (Jehovah Jireh).  He sees our need before we are even aware of the problem, and He has already commanded the provision.  We must seek His direction, obey His voice or leading, and find contentment in His provision.

     “Lord God, thank You for your loving care and Your tender mercies.  Just as You saw the crises that Elijah was about to face, so I know You have already seen the crises I am facing.  I confess that I have had fear, dread and unbelief.  I now put my trust in you that you have already commanded the provision.  Lead me to the “green pasture.s” and “still waters” that you have provided for me (Psalms 23:1,2)  and give me the courage to follow your directives.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”

Copyright © 2008-2015 Shermaine Jones

Reader Comments...
2009-06-04 13:51:17
"Ms. Jones,
Powerful messages! I believe your article has captured the heart of God. For those that digest the substance of this article, they will find PEACE, contentment and confidence as they walk through their season of lack. I firmly believe 2009 is the year that God is positioning his people for great wealth. This " in part " is why I believe your message is so powerful. If his people, who are called by his name, will trust him and not grumble or doubt during this season of manna, the next season will bring a harvest greater than any we have ever seen.
Continue to write - your words are encouraging.
Regards, "

        - Sandra

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