7 June 2010

1 Kings 17:1-6

"You shall drink from the wadi and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there." (v.4)


In this story the prophet Elijah, believed by some to be the greatest of all the Old Testament prophets, is saved by God. Elijah lived in dangerous times. King Ahab ruled the northern kingdom of Israel and worshiped the false god Baal. We learn in the few verses before today's reading that "Ahab did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than had all the kings of Israel who were before him" (1 Kings 16:33).

Furthermore, Ahab is married to Jezebel. Even today to call someone a 'Jezebel' would be a terrible accusation suggesting sexual immorality, cruelty, vindictiveness, betrayal or deceitfulness. Ahab and Jezebel were not a nice couple! Elijah had the unenviable task of warning Ahab that there would be a drought. No rain would mean the crops would fail, animals would die and people would starve.

However, God's chosen messenger, the prophet Elijah, is saved from both famine and persecution. God speaks to Elijah and guides him on a journey to the other side of the River Jordan. The wadi (a stream) provides him with drinking water and the ravens bring him bread and meat, morning and evening. The living God is a god of all creation and Elijah lives to tell another tale

To Ponder

Think of the ways in which we experience the living God through God's creation. What are your experiences of this?

In today's world lack of water is causing increasing tensions and concerns. Does it make any sense to presume that God will provide? Why?

Bible notes author

The Revd Barbara Calvert

Revd Barbara Calvert is a Methodist minister and superintendent of the Bromley Circuit. Before becoming a minister she was an RE teacher, area coordinator for Christian Aid and chaplain to international students in the three universities in Glasgow.