Apr20MonApril 20, 2020
The desert (or wilderness) is a common place in the scriptures. Hagar fled to a desert. Moses fled to a desert and led the children of Israel through the desert/wilderness. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. And, in our first message on Elijah, we see him fleeing to the desert after He spoke up for the one true God. The wilderness often speaks of isolation, and we see in scriptures that it was a place where people met God in the middle of the crisis that took them to the wilderness. Sometimes the meeting of God was simply to purify – other times it prepared people for a calling on their lives. Many times it was a place to cut away all so that a person was left with only God.
This sounds very similar to what we are experiencing in the pandemic. We are isolated from family, friends and our faith community. We are experiencing a rapidly changing world where our leaning posts are being removed. We are in a sort of wilderness that is very new to us.
Read 1 Kings 17:1-6 and imagine yourself to be Elijah. Use your five senses as you place yourself in his shoes.
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” 2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
To help you imagine being Elijah:
You have just stood against King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, who were setting up the false god, Baal, above the Israelites one God, Yahweh. God tells you to hide in the wilderness. What do you feel as you flee? What are you thinking, seeing, hearing, smelling?
God tells you where to go so that you will be provided for by Him in the wilderness. Ravens would hide bread in the crevices of the trees for you will drink from the brook. Imagine kneeling down to drink from the brook and finding the food. Imagine sitting in the wilderness, after experiencing God providing for you. Why are you here in this wilderness? Is it just because you are afraid of the repercussions of standing against the powerful king and his wife? What might God want to say you in this desert?
Continue to imagine yourself as Elijah. What do you want to say to God in this wilderness?
As you talked to God, did anything intersect with your own life?