Vol. 8, No. 2
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Elijah was one of the great prophets of God. We are introduced to Elijah in 1 Kings Chapter Seventeen. God was displeased with Israel. King Ahab was very wicked. In fact, in 1 Kings 16:30, we are told that he was wicked "above all that were before him." Elijah is sent by God to tell Ahab that there would be no rain for several years.
Then, God tells Elijah to go and hide himself by the brook Cherith, which is near the river Jordan. God tells him that he has commanded ravens to feed him while he is there. We are told in verse six of Chapter Seventeen that the ravens bring Elijah bread and flesh in the morning and in the evening. Elijah was able to drink water from the brook until it dried up.
It is interesting that God chose ravens to feed Elijah. According to Leviticus 11, ravens were unclean. They were not to be eaten. In Proverbs 30:17, ravens are depicted as eating the eyes of those that would mock their father and disobey their mother. The raven was a scavenger and thus was looked upon as an unclean animal.
There is a possibility that God intended to say something by having ravens feed Elijah. There was a spiritual famine in Israel. God was making a physical famine by not allowing it to rain. God was demonstrating to Elijah that he is over all creation. He was demonstrating that those who follow him would get physical blessings even in hard times. But more importantly, that in spiritual famine, we are to look to him. God can use all things to glorify himself. God will feed us spiritually even if all those around us are in famine. God sometimes uses difficult times and situations to teach us lessons. The ravens, though unclean, were used by God to feed Elijah.
Today we get our spiritual food from the Word of God, the Bible. It does not matter how others around us are living. If we will study the Bible and obey the words in it, then we will be blessed spiritually. Always look to God. Study the Bible, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
One of the ways that people in Old Testament times hunted for doves was with other birds. They would use falcons or eagles to chase the dove. The falcon or eagle was trained to chase the dove in a certain direction. The hunter would have nets ready. When the dove came close, the hunter would throw the net in the air and catch the dove.
In Hosea 7:11 through Hosea 8:1, we get a picture of such hunting. But in these verses, God is talking about how he will punish Israel. He says Israel is like the dove without heart. 'Heart' is a word for understanding. So Israel is without understanding of what is about to happen to it.
He says when Israel goes, he will spread his net and catch it. In 8:1, God says he will come upon Israel like an eagle. He will fly rapidly down upon them and chase them into the nets he has prepared for them.
In 7:13, God says Israel 'fled' from him. The word 'fled' is a Hebrew word which was used for the rapid fluttering of a bird's wings. It was used to describe a flock of birds wildly flying in every direction when surprised by danger. Israel would fly from God as he came down upon them like an eagle. But, they would be caught by his nets.
We learn from other books of the Bible that the northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by other nations. Great numbers of people were killed. The rest were led off to be slaves.
Do not be like the silly dove. Do not bring God to the point of chasing you like an eagle. Do not make God catch you in a net. Instead, study your Bible. Learn all you can from it. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.