I Kings 17:1-7 – “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead (his name means ‘God is Jehovah’; he is considered one of the greatest of the Prophets; he is brought on the scene by the Holy Spirit without fanfare, and even without introduction), said unto 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. (The idolatrous priests no doubt claimed for Baal dominion over nature and absolute control over the clouds and rain; however, Elijah would portray the fact that it was Jehovah Who ordered the elements, and not Baal. The impotency of Baal to remove the ban would prove the impotency of their god and their claims.)
“And the Word of the LORD came unto him, saying (in all this which he did, Elijah was guided by the Word of the Lord, which cannot fail),
“Get you hence, and turn you eastward, and hide yourself by the Brook Cherith, that is before Jordan (‘Cherith’ means ‘separation’; even though Elijah was in Israel, which at the time was notoriously wicked, he was separate from its impurity, which the Lord intended; as Believers, we are to be ‘in’ the world, but not ‘of’ the world).
“And it shall be, that you shall drink of the Brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there (as the Lord had total control over the elements, as well, He had total control over the fowls of the heavens, which He had created and, in fact, He has control over everything; when we tap into His Resources, we are tapping into an unlimited supply).
“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.
“And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the Brook (to deny this is to deny the fact that God has total control over His Creation).
“And it came to pass after a while, that the Brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land (as to exactly how long this was, we aren’t told; it is almost positive, however, that it was more than two years that the Prophet dwelt there).”
Elijah was one of the greatest Prophets to ever live. His name means, “God is Jehovah.” We know very little about him. He just suddenly appears on the scene in Verse 1 of Chapter 17 with the thundering announcement, “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto 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.”
THE MINISTRY OF THE PROPHET
During Old Testament times, it was the Office of the Prophet that God would speak through to give direction to Israel.
The Prophet functions in the capacity of “foretelling” and “forth-telling.” “Foretelling” has to do with prediction concerning present or future events, while “forth-telling” speaks of the Proclamation of Righteousness. Actually, that is to be a true Prophet’s emphasis – the Proclamation of Righteousness.
“THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO HIM, SAYING”
This statement is very important as it presents the fact that Elijah was guided by the Word of God. How this occurred, whether by Dreams, Visions, or God speaking to his heart we aren’t told. However, whereas Elijah did not have the complete written Word of God, today we do. And as Elijah was guided by the Word, so too must we be guided by God’s Word, the Bible.
The Bible contains the answer to every problem that plagues the heart of man. The Bible is God’s Revelation of His Son Jesus Christ, therefore, it is impossible to truly know the Lord without a proper understanding of the Bible. Having said that, it is important to understand that unless you are studying from a word-for-word translation such as the King James Bible, you can’t truly know the Bible. Too many people today use thought-for-thought translations or paraphrase versions. None of these will do. It must be a word-for-word translation.
Immediately after speaking the command for the heavens to be shut up and no rain, the Lord told Elijah to go “and hide yourself by the Brook Cherith.” “Cherith” speaks to us of three great truths.
1. Separation: Israel was backslidden and wicked. Though Elijah was in Israel, the evil of Israel was not in Elijah. He was separate from the wickedness and idol worship of the Nation. In II Corinthians 6:17, Paul said, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” The Bible always demands that Christians are to be separate from the world. Separation does not mean isolation. We are in this present evil world not to conform to the world but to be a Light that shines in the darkness. We are to be “salt” that preserves the Truth of Jesus Christ (Mat. 5:13-14). Conformity to the world and its evil system is the bane of the modern church. Elijah was separated and so too must we be separated.
2. Provision: The “Brook Cherith” was isolated. It was in the wilderness with no food available, yet Elijah never missed a meal as God had ravens bring Elijah “bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening.” As the Lord was Elijah’s Provision, so too is He our Provision Spiritually, physically, financially, emotionally, and domestically. He is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider. No matter what your situation, no matter where you live, no matter what you need, the Lord can provide it even if He has to send ravens to do it.
3. Presence: “Cherith” was a place removed from the hustle and bustle of the population center. I’m sure there were other spots in Israel that would be more desirable to the flesh, but if that is where the Lord tells you to go then that’s where you will find His Presence. In just about any city of size here in the United States, there is a church or even churches that are considered “popular.” These mega-churches, as they are referred to, almost always have the approval of city leaders for all the “good works” they do. And sometimes these works are commendable. However, if a church is truly doing a Work for God, they always without exception will be hated and rejected by the majority of the city. I know some reading this may disagree and reject that statement, but understand that which is of the world never applauds or approves that which is truly of God.
That which is truly of God stands for Righteousness and Holiness and opposes sin and worldliness, and the moment one takes a stand believe me that’s when demons come out of the woodwork. I know from first-hand experience as Family Worship Center over the years has done many charitable outreaches in Baton Rouge. In all the things we have done regarding children’s outreaches, feeding outreaches, etc., the city and the powers that be never once acknowledged or applauded them because in all that was done, a strong message of Jesus Christ as the Only Way of Salvation was presented as well. When one gives out food, toys, clothes, etc., it arouses no hostility. But you add to it a strong, dogmatic, no-compromise sermon from God’s Word, then the reception is totally different. Toys, yes – Jesus, no. Food, yes – Jesus, no. And any church that only cares about satiating the fleshly desires of its community, which is all these so-called good works do, leave off Jesus, and are harming people and not helping them.
In the end, nothing is more important than being where the Lord wants you to be. In conclusion, “Cherith” may be unappealing to the flesh, but to the Spirit it is the place of Miracles.