Have you ever wondered why the Bible refers to the lowly raven in several places? Today, AWSA sister Kathy Collar Miller and her husband Larry offer some insight on this from their new devotional God’s Intriguing Questions. Don’t miss the chance to win your own copy by commenting after the blog. Now here are the Miller’s.
Who provides for the raven its prey?” Job 38:41
By Kathy Collard Miller and Larry Miller
As God continues his questioning of Job to bring him to the end of himself, God points out the animals he has made, indicating his sustaining nature.
One example is the raven God uses as a visual aid in Job 38:41. God asks Job, “Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?”
We might wonder why the raven is mentioned instead of other birds, but commentators point out the raven was typically considered an inferior bird, which was unclean and dirty because it eats dead flesh. Supposedly, people believed ravens didn’t care well for their young in the nest, and babies were on their own to find food. Plus, humans tended to think of them as ugly and common.
Jesus refers to the raven in Luke 12:24: “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!”
I doubt many of us really wondered why Jesus would choose the raven for his example. It just represents any bird, right? But when we take into account how the ancients viewed the raven the reference takes on more meaning.
In the story of Elijah when he hides by the Cherith brook, he is on his own without food, yet God tells him, “You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” (I Kings 17:4). The dreaded birds seem to be one of God’s favorite messengers even if people don’t value them.
God chooses the least regarded bird for the purpose of helping his prophet continue serving his creator. God entrusts the raven with the important task, not because the raven has anything to offer, but because God takes the small, weak, and ill-regarded and uses them for his purposes to show he is massive, strong, and worthy to be glorified. His nature includes sustaining life in whatever way he desires.God takes the small, weak, and ill-regarded and uses them for his purposes to show he is massive, strong, and worthy to be glorified. #BigGod, #Faith Click To Tweet
Just these three biblical appearances of the raven emphasize the point of God’s question to Job: If God is willing and able to sustain the lowliest of creatures, neglected by men for care, and criticized for not caring for their young, how much more is he a sustainer of all things. We can absolutely trust him to keep our planet turning until the very instant he has determined it will stop.
Job originally fails to submit himself to God’s care in the midst of all his disastrous problems. His physical, emotional, and mental pain overwhelms his confidence in God’s sustaining nature, which can strengthen Job’s peace and trust.
Certainly, there are few who have gone through such intense loss. Each of us find it difficult to trust God for challenges far less intense. We can’t judge Job. But God does want us to learn as Job did. God will sustain every single one of us because of his love, even if every other person thinks ill of us. Not because we deserve it, but because God is sustaining in his character.
- Is it meaningful to you God uses a raven to point to his sustaining nature?
- Can you reflect on a time God surprisingly sustained you?
God of the universe, I praise you because you are beyond comprehension in so many ways, especially your sustaining attribute. Thank you for reminding me you intend to even take care of your humble creation like me.
The Millers have been in ministry since 1978 as speakers, authors, and lay counselors. They married in 1970 and God empowered them to overcome the dysfunctional marriage and family they had developed early in their marriage. Larry is a retired police lieutenant from Huntington Beach Police Department. Both individually and as a couple they have authored over 55 books and spoken in nine foreign countries. They live in Southern California and are parents and grandparents.
We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This doesn’t add any cost to the purchase.