Breakfast With the Birds
1 Kings 17:1-6; Prophets and Kings, pp. 119-128
God knows my needs; He cares about me.
“I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you” (Isaiah 41:10).
Have you ever watched birds eating? What do they eat? If God told you that birds would bring your food, what would you expect? Bird seed? Worms? Some fruit? A long time ago God sent birds to feed a man. Elijah’s bird story is not what you might expect.
Long ago wicked King Ahab ruled the land of Israel. Ahab did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any other king (1 Kings 16:30). King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel, worshipped idols. They led all of Israel to worship idols too. They encouraged the people to disobey the Lord’s commands. Jezebel and the prophets of Baal boldly killed the Lord’s prophets.
God had a prophet whose name was Elijah. He was from Tishbe, in the land of Gilead, on the other side of the Jordan River. Elijah served God and taught others to worship Him. God was troubled by the idol worship he saw in the land. He knew it encouraged wickedness in Israel.
The priests of Baal taught the people that Baal sent the rain and dew. They believed Baal also controlled the rivers and streams. Elijah knew that it was God who controlled nature and not Baal. God asked Elijah to deliver a message to King Ahab.
Elijah knew that Ahab didn’t want a message from the Lord. He knew, too, that the palace guards would recognize him as a prophet of God. They might try to arrest him. They might even turn Elijah over to Jezebel and her wicked priests of Baal. But in spite of the dangers, Elijah didn’t hesitate. He went to Samaria and, without stopping for the guards, marched right into the palace. He walked right up to the king and delivered God’s message.
“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,” Elijah proclaimed. And then he quickly turned and left.
Elijah was not alone when he marched in to see Ahab. Without God’s protection he surely would have been stopped by the guards and put to death. But God was with him when he went in. And God was with him as he left.
“Leave here, at once,” God told Elijah. “Go eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine. You will find water in the brook there. And I have ordered the ravens to feed you.”
And that’s exactly what happened. Elijah found a safe, quiet place on a hillside above the brook. Every morning and evening the birds brought food to Elijah. And for many months, Elijah drank water from the brook. As long as the brook flowed, he had water to drink.
Elijah felt safe in God’s care. Every time the ravens swooped down, bringing food, Elijah knew that God was giving him the gift of life. And Elijah knew that his life was precious to God.