And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. (1 Kings 17:1-6)
Today's Morsel: The raven was one of those birds or fowl that God had identified as being unclean. "And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you" (Leviticus 11:13-20). They were not to be eaten. Therefore, one would think that if the raven was unclean God would not use him to feed His prophet. But as the Lord told Peter when he fell into a trance on the rooftop of Simons home and saw all the unclean animals, fowls, wild breast and creeping things let down in a sheet, "Let no man call anything unclean or common which God has cleaned" (Acts 10:9-17). The Jews saw the Gentiles as unclean because of the things that they did and ate. But because there was a famine in the land, a famine of water and food, God told Elijah, I have prepared the ravens to feed you there. Why the raven? They are unclean fowls. Every raven after his kind was, by the law, forbidden to be eaten, yet Elijah did not think anything of the meat they brought him, but he ate and gave thanks, asking no question for conscience sake. Noah's dove was to him a more faithful messenger than the raven he loosed. And yet here, the ravens are faithful and constant to feed Elijah. So what can we learn here. First, we need to acknowledge the sovereignty and power of God over all His creatures; He can make use of any of them He pleases, either for good, judgment or mercy. And secondly, we need to encourage ourselves in God in all of the situations that are difficult or that involve hardship and never distrust Him. If God can furnish a table in the wilderness for the prophet by making a raven a cook and server for His prophet in the time of famine, He is able to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. As the Lord asked Abraham and Jeremiah, "Is there anything to hard for the Lord?" I know not any.
Sing: The disciples came to land, thus obeying Christ's command, for the Master called to them, "Now come and dine"; there they found their heart's desire, bread and fish upon the fire; thus He satisfies the hungry every time.
Chorus: "Come and dine", the Master calleth, "Come and dine"; you may feast at Jesus' table all the time; He who fed the multitude turned the water into wine, to the hungry calleth now, "Come and dine."