Food From Ravens

Bible:

In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him.

Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. II Kings 16:29-30, 17:1-6 ESV

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:25-33 ESV

Reflection:

A Christian missionary named Florence Dickson worked at an orphanage in Bolivia. In the early years of the orphanage there was a time when she hadn’t received any funds to buy groceries to feed the children in her care. But one day a Bolivian man who was a member of the church there brought her a large gunnysack full of fresh green peas. She was afraid that he would expect money for the peas when she didn’t have any, but he told her it was a gift. Even though he was very poor himself, he wanted to share what he had with the orphanage. For the rest of that month while the orphanage was in need, other people from the village came bringing gifts of eggs, potatoes, and corn, even though all the people in the village were very poor. God used their generosity to provide food for the children in Florence Dickson’s care.

God is able to provide for his people when they are in need, and he sometimes does this in amazing ways. When his prophet, Elijah, spoke out to Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, God told him to run and hide by a brook. God had some wild ravens deliver food to Elijah every day! He drank water from the brook and ate the food God provided through the ravens, and in this way God took care of him and kept him alive.

This same God promises to take care of us when we are in need. We don’t have to worry about if we will get enough to eat or have clothes to wear or a place to live. God knows we need these things, and he wants us to be free from worrying about them. He wants us to keep focused on his kingdom and his ways instead. God saw our greatest need when he sent Jesus to be our Savior. We couldn’t save ourselves, so God provided Jesus to die on the cross to save us. If God took care of our biggest need, we can be sure he’ll take care of our other needs as well.  We can keep our eyes on Jesus and the life he gives us now and forever.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for taking care of all our needs, and especially for Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.

Source:

Tollefson, Jan and Wanda Manson, compilers Food from Ravens: stories of God’s power & provision through prayer Minneapolis: World Mission Prayer League, 2015

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