Saturday, December 31, 2022

God's Catering Service

God's Catering Service At The Raven's Hotel 

1 Kings 17: 1-6

"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.  And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherish, that is before Jordan.  And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.  So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord; for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherish, 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."

We are living in a day of shortages, every day, it seems.  They tell us that something else is in rare supply.  So it was with Elijah at the time of our text.  The grain crop had been cut off and there was famine in the land.  The rain had been cut off from the heavens and everything was drying up.  Here in a cave by the brook Cherith sat a man of God waiting for something to eat.

In that day there were no neighbors to go request some eggs from their chicken coup.  There were no corner grocers to go to.  There were no berries for the the picking.  But, Elijah was not looking toward the things of this earth.  He was looking up.  He was looking to Heaven. 

After Elijah had pronounced famine and judgement on the nation, Ahab and Jezebel,

 God said: go hide thyself, by the brook Cherith, for I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.  

Elijah obeyed God.  Now he sits at the mouth of the cave by the brook getting mighty hungry.  Looking up he is remembering what the Lord had promised him, "the ravens would feed him there".  Then - all of a sudden, Elijah saw on the horizon a flock of crow like birds on the wing.  It was like the time before when he saw a cloud the size of a mans hand.  He said, "here come the ravens"!  It wasn't long before they were fluttering over his cave.  Some brought bread and others brought meat.  

God was fulfilling His Word to Elijah.  

God was keeping His promise.  

Children of God,  you can depend on the Word of God.

Can't you just vision Elijah, by his cave, the brook close by with the ravens coming every morning and evening to make sure that Elijah was well taken care of?  Talk about a catering service, this was it!  

I want you to take notice that these crow like birds, ravenous caterers on the wing, came directly from God.  God says in the Scripture above, "I have commanded the raven that they feed thee".  God told those birds where to take Elijah's food.  He told them what to take, when to take it and how much to take.  Friends, that same God that supplied a catering service for Elijah will meet the needs of His people.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever!  The God of Elijah lives today.  Paul tells us in Philippians 4:19, " I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their children begging bread".  

God meets the needs of His people.  Notice God did not allow Elijah to store up a surplus.  The raven did not bring enough on Monday to last all week.  Nor did they bring a days supply.  The ravens came "every morning and every evening".  There was just enough for one meal.  God knew that Elijah did not have a Westinghouse deep freeze in his cave. The fret of many today is that they need a great surplus, a 5 year supply.  Many folks have more confidence in Wachovia Bank or First Union than they do in the Royal Bank of Heaven. Yes, God wishes that we prosper and be in health, but sometimes, property and surplus have a way of causing a lack of dependence on God.  God has a way of making the brook dry up.  Verse 7 of this same chapter tells us that it "came to pass after a while that the brook dried up".  Be sure of this one thing......If you will be in the place God want you to can be sure that God will keep His Word and meet your needs!

Note Verse 4 again - "I have commanded the raven to feed thee THERE.  Not somewhere else but right THERE by the brook Cherith.  If you stay in God's will, you will never be without!

There is a place of God's provision.  

There is a place of God's power.  

There is a place of God's purpose.

Notice also, that God sends help to His people from unexpected sources.  He could have sent the gentle Dove, the stately Robin or even the beautiful Swan.  Who would of thought that God would use such an unclean bird as a Raven to feed his servant?  A ravenous, fierce creature that loved to maul the sick and dying. Wow!  Unexpected sources.  And, thank God He still does today.  For those of use in this area, we are thankful when God sends us a bushel of crabs, right?  

Today it might not be the most generous person, the most consecrated or well to do but, many times the unbelieving, hard hearted or the unsympathetic are the ones that God sends forth to cater the needs of His people.  Sometimes they can't even explain why they do it them.  But - God knows!

The Lord spoke through a donkey.  He put money in a fishes mouth, He sent manna from Heaven, He sent food by Ravens.  Do not be surprised how God may decide to meet your needs!  The world will say, "I don't know how you make it, I can't figure it out.  I can.  It is God's catering service.  

God has ways you know not of.  He knows how to rescue your loved ones.  He knows how to straighten out their lives.  He knows exactly how to work out your every problem.  There is nothing too hard for our God!

If you TRUST God, you can depend on His catering service.  You can expect help from unexpected sources.  God will not let you down.  He will supply your needs.  God wants you to TRUST Him for the needs of your soul, your body, your mind, your material needs or any need you may have.  He says hide yourself in my will and I will meet you there.

You may be in the cave of need today.  The devil may be saying, "what about that rent, those taxes, etc?  Tell that deceiver, that destroyer, that liar, "get behind me"....and look up to God.  

There is help - for you - from Heaven.  

God has a catering service for His children.  

God meets needs, including yours, from unexpected sources. 

 Expect the unexpected to happen to you!

(Sermon notes of Rev. David Raynor Sr. - 11/13/1977 - Avon, NC)

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