Chiseling at Cherith (I Kings 17:3)
I Kings 17:3, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
The setting of this story is after God allowed Elijah to announce a drought upon the land in the presence of the wicked king Ahab. The Lord spoke to His servant and sent him deep into the wilderness at the brook Cherith. The Lord had promised to take care of Elijah as he hid by the brook. At Cherith, Elijah found protection, provision, and preparation from the Lord.
God faithfully and continually provided His prophet water and food in land of famine. God not only controls the rain but also the whole natural order. He even controls the ravens, ceremonially unclean creatures, now used for God’s purposes of sustaining the prophet’s life. We know God provides for the birds of the air, and here He used the birds of the air to provide for His prophet. Elijah was looking ultimately to the God Who reigns over nature for daily food and water, not to the raven or the brook.
God also provides a raven to feed bread and meat every morning and evening. Elijah recalled the wilderness meal plan. God provided “daily bread” in Matthew 6:11 and actually provided it more abundantly than in the wilderness, for Elijah ate both bread and meat twice a day in Exodus 16:8, 12-13.
God was hiding His servant in the wilderness so that He could mold his faith. The most powerful servants of God are those that allow time to be alone with God. We live in such busy times that it seems as if people are afraid to be alone. The phone is always ringing, the television is blaring loudly, the house is filled with family or friends and we allow no time for God. I wonder if we are afraid to hear the voice of God. It is often difficult for God to get past all of the stuff so that He can speak to His children.
We must find our place like Cherith, for in finding this place we can find the voice of God. In this place God will cut away the unusable and unneeded things from our lives and He will mold us into something useful and wonderful. Elijah sat by the brook and allowed God to minister to him by sending the ravens with his daily supply of bread and meat. It must have been an unusual time in the life of Elijah as he watched this take place from day to day.
God sent Elijah to Cherith. Cherith means "a cutting place." God puts us through those cutting and chiseling times to mold and prepare us for future service. Cherith comes before the Mt. Carmel’s of our life. The cross comes before the crown. Trials come before blessings. At Cherith Brook, God would cut off the rough edges of Elijah's life. The Lord uses His Word, life’s circumstances, or a submissive, meek, and humble servant to minister to us to knock off the rough edges in our life. Cherith was the place of loneliness, uncertainty, waiting, and hardship. God uses these elements to develop our character and knock off our rough edges. At some point in our lives, God will send us to “our Cherith’s”.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to never forget the places and circumstances that You place me in are for my good and for Your Glory. Thank You for always meeting my needs. I trust that You will use these times to draw others closer to You, In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.