1 Kings 17:1 – And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
We have already seen that Elijah at Cherith is a picture of separation and this is what I will focus on in this post. Brooks are places of separation, places of dedication, places which determine which path we will choose. Before Elijah could say, How long halt ye between two opinions, he himself had to make a choice in his life first. When Elijah announced to Ahab that there would be no rain, this was a major step in his life. It was a step of faith. And a step of belief. While this seems all well and good, it is easy to miss that this cost Elijah a great deal. It cost him friendship with the world. God told him to go to Cherith immediately after this and he was hidden from Israel for over three years. And this is what the life of a believer is like. This is so applicable to us. When we are saved, we are hidden from the world. 1 John 5:18 – We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. The world does not understand us, the world does not know us, the world does not receive us. When we are saved, we are born again of the Spirit of God, we become children of God. This world was our home, but now it is not. We go from citizens of this worlds to strangers and pilgrims and sojourners. We look for the world to come. We are translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Being saved has a cost. It will cost us friendship with the world. Maybe there is some sin, some pleasure that is keeping you from being saved. Maybe you do not want to get saved because you are too comfortable, you are enjoying the pleasures of this world, the pleasures of sin, which last only for a season. Psalm 16:11 though says that God’s pleasures are for evermore. And this is what Cherith shows us. Elijah made his choice, announcing the drought brought enmity and persecution. While he was at Cherith and then at Zarephath, Ahab was looking for him. When Elijah showed himself before calling Israel to Mount Carmel, Ahab said, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? Ahab never found Elijah, Elijah found Ahab. It is on God’s terms. God’s kingdom is over all. If you get saved, the world will hate you. The world won’t know you anymore. The world hated Jesus, it will hate you. The servant is not greater than his master. They were offended by Jesus, they will be offended by you.
This is why we have to die to self. We have to die to self to be used by God. Elijah died to himself. He chose the reproach of Christ just as Moses did. He had respect unto the recompense of the reward. Our reward is Jesus Christ. God said to Abraham, Fear not, I am thy exceeding great reward. And God will supply our needs. He met Elijah’s spiritual and physical needs. He will look after us. Even in a world that hates us. The ravens will come. Elijah had to die to himself, and then God could show his power through him. And he had great power. Elijah said, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. The believer’s life may be lonely, but it will feel lonely, more than it is lonely. We are never alone. God is always with us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. Romans 11:4 – But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Cherith was a place where Elijah was sanctified, set apart unto God. Israel rejected him, he was alone at Cherith, hidden from the world. But then God could use him. The brook dried up. It was time to move on. God could send him. God could use him. And at a time of God’s choosing, God would reveal him to Israel again. And he would glorify God greatly in his life. It is the same for us. If we die to ourself, he will raise us up. We will walk in newness of life. This is what the Bible means by living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 6:4 – Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. When we are saved, truly saved, this is already spiritually done to us. But practically we have to live in this reality. Because we are still stuck in our sinful bodies until we die, ours is a life of faith, of God sorting us out, of God using us. Die to yourself, die to your own ambitions, pleasures, wants, and see where God will take you.
Is your life about you? Or is it about God? He must increase, I must decrease. You must go to Cherith before you go to Zarephath, before you go to Mount Carmel. And Cherith is a place of God’s choosing, you do not set the terms and conditions with God, you do not do deals with God. Step out in faith, see were God will take you, or spend a life for yourself. One is life everlasting, one is waste and vanity. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.