I like to have things all planned out. I like to know where I’m going, what I’m doing, and why. I like answers. I like to have reasons for those answers and I like to understand those reasons. Because of this tendency, sometimes I can be my own worst enemy. Many times, God has had to remind me of the scriptural account of the prophet Elijah being sent to Brook Cherith to wait. I’ve written about this before (Brook Cherith), but it is something that God keeps pressing upon my spirit. The whole account of this incident is only eight verses long, but there is a tremendous amount of spiritual food that can be mined from it.
Scripture tells us: “2Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3‘Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.’
5So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook. 7 It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there’…” (1 Kings 17:2-9)
We see in verses 2 through 4, Elijah was never told why he was supposed to go there, nor was he told how long he was supposed to wait there. God simply told Elijah where to go, and that He would supply Elijah’s basic needs while he was there. That’s it.
Neither are we told exactly how long Elijah waited at that brook, but we are told that it was long enough for it to dry up (v.7).
The thing that speaks loudest to me about this whole account, is Elijah’s unquestioning and unwavering obedience to God and His word. Granted, scripture does not reveal Elijah’s thoughts or emotions, but what it does reveal is that regardless of whatever those thoughts and emotions were, they did not get in the way of Elijah’s obedience. We know that Elijah’s obedience was unquestioning because when God instructed Elijah to go to the brook, verse 5 simply tells us, “So he went and did according to the word of the Lord…” How many of us really, truly apply this level of obedience to God in our own lives? How many of us allow our emotions and reasoning to get in the way of our obedience to God’s word?
We also see that Elijah’s obedience was unwavering because even though the brook was drying up, he remained there. Imagine sitting there, day after day, watching your only source of water dwindling to a mere trickle, and then ultimately stopping altogether. How many of us would have fallen victim to our own reasoning to seek out another water source? How many of us would have reasoned, “surely God understands I need water, surely when He said to wait here, He didn’t mean ‘no matter what’.” Yet, we see no evidence in scripture of Elijah reasoning within himself, nor seeking his own way. Many times when circumstances in our lives become challenged by God’s word, we try to reason our way around it instead of simply submitting to God’s truth in humble obedience. We try to seek out another “water” source, instead of holding on to the “living water” of God’s word.
My brothers and sisters, we live in a time in which people are so confused that they don’t even know which bathroom to use. We live in a time in which those who profess to belong to Jesus Christ are so Biblically illiterate that they cannot tell truth from the lie. We live in a time in which our emotions and our own reasoning have become lord of our life in place of Jesus Christ and His commandments. We live in a time in which the very definition of “love” has become so diluted and perverted by the world that another gospel is being preached, simply to appease those who refuse to love God’s truth. We live in a time that was prophesied 2000 years ago to Timothy by the Apostle Paul, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim 4:3,4).
Unless your desire is God’s truth no matter what the consequences, then you are seeking your own desire. When we seek to justify anything that is contrary to God’s word in our own lives, we turn away our ears from truth and away from God. When we seek our own desires and turn our ears away from truth, we are seeking another water source.
If you are serious about your walk with Christ, then sincerely and earnestly pray for God to search your heart and to reveal any way within you that is contrary to His word. Pray for Him to give you the ears to hear and receive His truth. Pray for Him to fill you with an unquestioning and unwavering obedience to His word, no matter what brook you may find yourself sitting at.
“So he went and did according to the word of the Lord…” (1 Kings 17:5)