1 Kings 17:5 – 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.
1 Kings 17:6 – And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
1 Kings 17:7 – And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
1 Kings 17:8 – And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
1 Kings 17:9 – Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
Hello readers, weekend has arrived. I’ve got so many things I want to blog on, but today I want to talk about the brook drying up. In my life, it looks like the brook has dried up. Has the brook dried up for you? Have you ever had the brook drying up experience? Every believer will experience the brook drying up. But know that when your brook dries up, the book still hasn’t dried up. Often all we can see is the brook drying up, but not hear what God’s saying, and not go where God is telling us. We need to arise, rather than moping around that my brook isn’t as on tap and I don’t have it as good as I had it anymore.
When the brook has dried up, the book still hasn’t dried up. God still speaks today. I was thinking about faith today. And faith really is this. It is believing that God has said. And it is believing what God has said. Often it’s not we don’t hear God’s word, it’s just not been revealed to us, because we don’t believe that God is actually speaking to us. Little Samuel had God speaking to him and he didn’t even realize it yet. Maybe God is speaking to you and you don’t even know it. Maybe you need to say, speak Lord, for thy servant heareth… rather than running to other people for what God has said… listen to yourself to what God is saying in his Holy word today.
I love the story of Elijah, I love who he was, and I’ve always loved the picture of him being at the brook Cherith and the ravens coming and feeding him. It’s such a nice scene… until the brook dries up. Why did the brook have to dry up? Did God fail Elijah? Well the truth is, God knows when we need the brook, but he also knows when we don’t need it anymore. You weren’t made to stay at a brook for the rest of your life just as Elijah wasn’t. God has places for us to go in life, and we won’t make it there being comfortable at our brook in life. And we need to learn an absolutely crucial and liberating truth of Christian living, my life is about the Lord Jesus Christ, as in truly, it’s about his will… that’s what Cherith is about, death to self, God stripping away my hopes and dreams and ideas. Everything I thought and planned, all my safety and security and creature comforts, all stripped away so I can be reliant on the word of God instead.
What is your brook? It could be anything. It could be where you live. It could be what you do. It’s your current place in life. And it may not be a wrong place. It may be the place God told you to go, just as God told Elijah to go there. But God gives, and God takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Can you still bless the Lord when the brook dries up? Can you still trust his word when the brook has dried up? If God takes your brook, will you still trust the book? What if your brook is really, really precious to you, as in more precious to you than God’s word. Maybe your job, your career, your life… whatever they are… maybe you hold them more tightly than pleasing your Father. Maybe they’re higher in your mind than the Most High.
There are two ways to look at the brook drying up. You can despair because your brook is gone, your ravens aren’t coming anymore. Or you can look to God’s word and see it as God moving you on in life. Elijah would go on to be used powerfully by God in a way he would never have been if that brook never dried up. In many ways, it was God’s kindness to dry it up, because hey, Elijah, I’ve got some things for you to do. Elijah wanted to obey God’s word, his life proved that. Would your life be proved the same? Is the book more important than the brook? It was uncomfortable, it was inconvenient, but it was time for Elijah to move on and move forward, there were souls to be reached, battles of faith to be won. And so are they for us today. You might be comfortable and secure and safe and enjoying life at your brook, all your needs may be met, but God’s will for your life lies beyond the brook, and maybe the best thing that ever happened to you is that brook drying up on you.
Elijah had life made by that little brook. He had water and food being delivered for him. He had food coming to his front door kinda like we get with our parcel delivery system. It’s nice getting everything coming straight to our front door. Here in Australia we’ve only known it good. We’ve had food, water, shelter, comfort, freedom, entertainment, pleasure… our big problems in life are what tv show we are watching tonight, and whether or not I got that next raise to get even more money. See, a lot of us are nestled nicely in a nice little brook in life. God’s been good to us, far better to us than we deserve. Christians also, they’re very comfortable, they don’t really don’t need faith, and their life is so busily about them, it’s squeeze the word of God and the will of God out. No wonder in the Laodicean church, Jesus Christ is on the outside, standing at the door and knocking. Umm, any room for me in your life?
Don’t forget, the brook is not forever. Nothing in this world is forever. Your job isn’t. Your health isn’t. Your youth isn’t. Your ability isn’t. So we really shouldn’t hold our brook too tightly. The brook dries up. Welcome to Christian living. That brook Elijah was at was not forever, it was for a time, it was for a season. After all that’s what brooks are, they’re seasonal, they rely on rainfall. No rainfall, and they’ll dry up everytime. God didn’t send Elijah to Cherith to stay for the whole three and a half years and wait for all the problems in the land to blow over, no, he had him there for a time but Elijah would be integral to God’s work in the nation. We all are at different places and times in our lives, but every now and again, God wants us to move on. Because we are the salt and the light. If we aren’t salt and light, who will be?
What I’ve seen and learned at Cherith is what the name means “cut” and “separation”. At Cherith, at your Cherith, at your place where the brook finally dries up on you, you really do learn that your life is all about God and your hope is in him, and not here. I have no hope in this world, my only hope is in Christ. I have no life here, my life is in Christ. When God dries that beloved brook up that you’ve been camped by, you realize who counts and what counts, and where you should stake your life in. More important than the brook was the book, it was the word of God that Elijah lived by. He never put the brook before the book. We need to come to that place in life where we let go our dreams, ambitions, and ideas of what we want in life and we put God first in our life and make him our number one. As God said to Abraham… I AM thy exceeding great reward. Is God truly your great reward in life? Would you prefer your brook or being right with your God?
When your brook dries up let God tell you and remind you that your life is about God’s word, and God’s will. Surrender your will to his will, your dreams to his plan, your direction to his direction, your life to his life. Jesus Christ lived a life that was focused on his Father’s will, he showed that self sacrifice and self denial that must be in our lives as we follow Christ. If Jesus Christ’s life was about what God said, may it also be what our life is about. This is actually a transforming truth for our lives right here in the brook drying up. Paul said in Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Do any of us truly have that mindset. It will change the way you look at the dried up brook when you’re wondering why God why. You can’t make that brook run again. If God has dried it up, it’s dry, and that brook can dry in an awful hurry.
How was Elijah going to map his way through an incredibly hard time to live, and an incredibly hostile to the truth nation? God’s word. Through obeying God’s word, he was provided for and kept the whole way. Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll make it through the times we are in, maybe you don’t even know the next step, but just know that the step forward is the step of faith in God’s word. All we can do is make sure we are right with God, all we can do is make sure we are obeying him in our own lives personally. God sees a lot further ahead than we do, and he knows what’s best for us, and he knows where we need to be, and how to get there, and when to be there. How about we start actually trusting the Lord God of the Bible?
Elijah’s life and experience is much more applicable and relevant to ours than we think. He trusted God’s word, can we manage that? Could we possibly trust God when we are looking at that dried brook and wondering what on earth do I do next, how on earth am I going to make it. Maybe you’ve been looking at a dried up brook. God dried up some things in your life that you didn’t want dried up. You didn’t think they could dry up. You didn’t think they would dry up. And yet here you are, a bone dry brook. The life you had, the security you had, the plans you had, it’s stopped running, the water has been cut off. Why dry my brook up? What now Lord? You’ve dried up the only place for me Lord. That’s what Elijah could’ve said. Instead Elijah had an ear to hear and a mind and a heart to obey the word of the Lord.
Do you need a reminder that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth? That dry brook will remind you. God is reminding you, hey, don’t put down your roots too deep. Our future is not in this world, our future is the world to come. Oh, that dried up brook will really trust what your life and profession of faith is really made of and really worth. It’s easy being a Christian when it’s easy, when it has no cost, when it requires no actual faith to make it the next day. But how do you go as a Christian when the heat comes on? How will you do in the dry?
Don’t hold your brook too tightly or you’ll be so busy blaming God for why it’s gone than being ready to go where he will send. You see, God dried that brook up because he was already moving ahead of Elijah, he had a place for Elijah to go. He would never see that place to go and that job to do and the life to impact if that brook didn’t dry up. Sometimes we won’t go until it’s so dry we have to go. Elijah may have been tempted to stay at such a nice little place having his needs so conveniently met by the ravens coming and going, that would’ve been nice huh. Convenient, comfortable, provided for… sounds like Christian welfare, but the fact is, God’s got something else for me to do, and something else for you to do.
It’s so easy to say praise God and call yourself a Christian, but until your brook is touched, until your life is touched, we shouldn’t get too confident in how we will handle hard times. Peter talked up a big game. Oh I’ll never betray you Jesus, I’ll die for you Jesus… and he ended up denying Christ thrice. Satan knows from experience that when he touches your life where you don’t want it touched, you’re liable to curse God to his face, you’re liable to reveal that your Christianity was really just all about what God could do for you, not what you could do for God.
I really learnt that the Cherith experience is all about realizing our life is about God’s will, God’s word and God’s glory. I’ve gotta be willing to let that dried up brook go so I can do what God wants me to do. “Arise, and get thee to” is what God told him next. Arise from that moping about the dried up brook, arise from your death bed of sin, arise from being a victim and doubting and despairing and disobeying… and get going in life. Start obeying God’s word. When the brook has dried up, the book STILL has not dried up. God’s word hadn’t dried up on Elijah, nor had God’s provision, nor God’s mighty hand.
If God has dried my precious brook up, fair enough, thank him for it and look for what he has for me next. Cherith is a place I realize my life really does lie with God, I really do realize this truth of Colossians 3:3 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” It can be a painful yet peaceful and profitable and pure part of your life, finally letting yourself go to follow Jesus Christ. Dying to self is a lost teaching in following Christ, but you will still be compelled to take up that cross if you choose to follow Christ. You cannot come out without a cross on your back. Simon of Cyrene found that out, so will you. There’s a lot of Christians who want to follow Christ but with no cross. They want a “crossless” Christianity, they don’t want to incur a cost for following him out that city to the place of a skull.
Jesus was dried up, he said I thirst, and he became author of eternal life to all who believe, he experienced the dry so you would never be dry… ever. Just because that brook dried up, doesn’t mean God has dried up. God’s word was still faithful to Elijah. God’s word was still where the direction was to be found. May we find our direction from God’s word. May we start to finally walk by faith and not by sight. May we arise and go at his command. What do you need to arise from? Self pity? Hopelessness? Despair? Yeah you’ll get that looking at your dry brook, but you won’t get that in God’s book. God’s dried that brook up so he can take you somewhere even better. And before the widow woman, before the Mount Carmel experience… it was Cherith and a brook that dried up. When your brook dries up, look to the word of the Lord. He will give you the directions you need, faithful and true directions, because God is always faithful and true. When the brook has dried up, God’s book STILL hasn’t dried up!
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)