This article on 1 Kings 17:2-4 is about the protection of God and fleeing away from evil.

Source: Clarion, 2010. 2 pages.

1 Kings 17:2-4 - In an Evil World, God Takes Care of His Own

The word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.

1 Kings 17:2-4

Not long ago I received an e-mail that asked the question, “Would you run?” The email asked the reader to imagine that on a Sunday morning in church, two men enter who are covered from head to toe in black and who are carrying submachine guns. One of the men announces, “Anyone willing to take a bullet for Christ, remain where you are.” Whereupon the majority of the congregation leaves. Out of 2000 people in that church building, only twenty are left. The men then take off their hoods and say to the pastor, “Okay pastor, we got rid of all the hypocrites... Now you can begin your service. Have a nice day.” The two men then turn and walk out.

The suggestion is that most of us are hypocrites and do not trust in the Lord. When the going gets tough, we abandon our Christian principles. We confess Him with our mouths, but not with our deeds. Is that necessarily true? Is that the conclusion we should come to?

In 1 Kings 17:2, Elijah is told by the Lord to flee. His life is in danger, for King Ahab wants to do him harm. Elijah had just told the king that it was because of his disobedience that the Lord is going to withhold rain and send a severe drought. Ahab is a wicked king who will eliminate anyone that gets in his way, even a messenger from God. He is intent on maintaining his wealth and power, even if it means that he has to engage in idol worship.

And so Elijah flees. But his leaving is not an act of cowardice. In his flight, he has to trust in the Lord, not only to protect him, but also to provide for him. The Lord brings him to a place where he can observe God at work, where he can see and experience how God looks after his creation. There Elijah can observe firsthand how the Lord God refreshes the animals from the flowing waters of the brook, how He feeds the birds with the fruit of the land, and how He gives them shelter among the trees and the clefts in the rocks. Everywhere he sees the hand of God, as the Lord God reveals his greatness in nature.

The Lord also provides for Elijah. Every morning and evening the ravens bring him bread and meat. He also has plenty to drink from the brook in the Kerith Ravine and God protects him there from Ahab.

In Article 2 of the Belgic Confession, we confess that we know the Lord God,

First, by the creation, preservation and government of the universe; which is before our eyes as a most beautiful book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many letters leading us to perceive clearly the invisible things of God, namely, his eternal power and deity.

Great and small creatures are like letters from God to us, love letters.

For if He looks after the animals as well as He does, will He not much more take care of us, who are so much more valuable to Him? That’s the rhetorical question the Lord Jesus asks in the Sermon of the Mount (Matt 6:26). And the answer is obvious: of course God will!

In today’s world, we too have to trust in the Lord to provide for us and to protect us. Sometimes we too have to flee from evil. The world of today, just like the world in Ahab’s days, often engages in shady and immoral practices in order to amass wealth. As Christians we may not partake of those activities. That may mean we have to forego a promotion or a lucrative contract. That may even mean you have to quit your job. But the Lord God wants us to trust in Him, for He promises that He will always take care of us.

But that doesn’t mean we have to put ourselves into harm’s way. It doesn’t mean that, if we have to choose, we should allow others to hurt us. Elijah fled because he wanted to live to bring glory to God’s Name. He fled because of God’s command to serve Him as prophet.

The same is true for us. The Lord God gives us a purpose here on earth. He wants us to serve Him and to seek his kingdom. That is why He feeds us and takes care of us. That is why He blesses our labour. He gives us life and sustains it, to bring glory to His wonderful Name.

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