“God away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.” 1 Kings 17:3-4, NASB.
Even the most devout and pious among us struggle with faith from time to time. We know God says He will meet our needs as a loving Father…we know God will never leave us nor forsake us…we know that God has plans for us to prosper us and not to do us harm. All of these things are a matter of faith in the revealed Word of God, yet knowing them is different from having faith in them.
Faith is intentional action based on knowledge. We “know” our car will crank so we sit down and buckle up before we ever turn the ignition switch. That’s faith. We know the stove works so we put a pan or pot on it, turn it on and go about gathering our dinner ingredients even before the pan is hot. That’s faith.
So, knowledge without action is merely knowledge. It is not faith. What Elijah exhibits here is faith. God said…Elijah did…God provided…Elijah benefited. Simple as that.
So what of the times when we say we know and we believe (have faith) and yet we don’t see provision? This is a looming question in many minds so I want to point out a key element that we’d do well not to miss: God provided for Elijah AFTER Elijah obeyed the Word of the Lord. [NOTE: I am not speaking of God’s common grace provision or how He provided a Word to Elijah…but I am specifically speaking of God’s promise of food and water.]
God said to Elijah…Go to the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan, hide there…I will feed you. None of these commands are ambiguous. None are negotiable. None are too difficult to obey even if they might seem crazy in the mind of the hearer. Simply stated…”Obey My Word…and I will care for you.”
I think at times…we miss the mark on “Obey” and then wonder why God doesn’t care for us. He said____ and we ignored or rebelled while trying to cash in the marker on the promise. Is God a man that He should be manipulated by our actions? NO! He knows what we are doing and is not mocked. What we sow (rebellion and self-sufficiency) is what we reap.
I think at times, when asked about things of God…my response is sometimes passed over simply because it sounds too simple or straightforward. Here is the counsel fo God’s Word…If you want to know the protection of God and want to experience His daily provision in your life…simply Go where He says, when He says, and do what He says.
Could you imagine the 12-year-old boy coming to his mother at 8PM after a long day of video games? He declares that he is hungry and charges that his mother has neglected him. She reminds him that dinner is at 6…that she prepared a meal, set the table, fixed his plate and called him to dinner. He neglected to come and therefore he was hungry. Our complaints against God are often similar and God’s response is also much the same.