Help from Strange Places

“I have commanded the ravens to provide for you.” 1 Kings 17:4

The prophet, Elijah, faced Ahab, Israel’s wicked king, and pronounced God’s judgment, “No dew nor rain in the next few years.” Israel and her king had forsaken God in wickedness and idolatry and God was withdrawing His protective hand.

The problem with a nation in rebellion against God is that all those living in that nation, including the faithful, must also experience the drought that must come. Does any of this sound a little like our nation to you?

Hard times can accomplish a couple of healthy things in our lives. First, even the faithful need refining and purifying. I have found that droughts can be used to expose the “idols” in my life. When I am denied something I want, it reveals my heart. Do I want this thing, (security, degree, career, house, health, a child, a mate, etc) more than I want God? When I face my fears, smash my idols, and surrender them to God, a measure of real relief and hope returns.

Second, I experience God’s provision in unexpected ways. God sent ravens to feed Elijah. Ravens are scavengers and were considered unclean animals and forbidden as food for the Hebrews. But they were able to deliver food to Elijah. Ravens are called the smartest birds on earth. Their intelligence can make them great companions and pets. They are resourceful and able to find and steal food.

I can imagine the ravens stealing through King Ahab’s kitchen, snagging roasted meats and flatbread for Elijah. I wonder what Elijah thought about his providers. Unclean birds offering sustenance and companionship to a prophet of God in hiding is very unusual indeed!

The ravens were a temporary solution to Elijah’s needs. God later sent him on to a widow and her son for food and companionship.

Elijah, a faithful follower and servant of God, had to go through the drought and famine just as wicked King Ahab did. Only Elijah had to go through it in hiding. But Elijah was better off because he got to experience the miracles of ravens, and flour and oil not running out.

Are you going through a tough time? We at Lighthouse are experiencing a drought in donations. Let us pray and encourage one another to look to God who is able to meet our needs and show His love in amazing and unexpected ways.

Click here for more lessons from Elijah.


Deborah W. Wilson
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  1. Sandi Brown

    This encourages me for several reasons:

    As our country is struggling and things are getting tighter — I know God will care for my needs.

    I see God’s provisions for Elijah were more than adaquate for his needs — both in terms of food, water, shelter and protection.

    When Elijah goes to stay with the widow — I see how God uses His provisions for me to bless others.

  2. Diane Allen

    You always encourage me!

  3. Earle Finley


    Great application from Elijah and King Ahab. Many of us are experiencing the same drought that you are experiencing at Lighthouses Ministries. I was encouraged how the Lord provided for Elijah “in unexpected ways.” Here is an encouraging thought and verse: “God is never early or never late, but always right on time.” The verse Sara and I have claimed for years is Philippians 4:19 and we have always found His Word to be true!

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