1 Kings 17:2-4
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.
Scripture never says this explicitly, but there is little doubt that Ahab was, to put it mildly, angry after Elijah’s visit. So, God warned him to go hide by the brook Cherith where He would be safe.
Why would Ahab have been angry? Well, we know by now Ahab was doing wrong in many, many ways. He had married a idolatrous woman and she had turned Ahab, and subsequently the entire nation of Israel away from the True God. It is doubtful that Ahab was simply clueless about the state of his heart and his actions. Even today, how do we act when confronted with our sin? How does the non believing world react today when confronted with there sin? Written anything on WordPress lately of a Christian nature? Chances are you have felt anger from a non believing world, and perhaps even believers.
Was Elijah the first time Ahab and Jezebel had heard God’s Word preached? Maybe, maybe not. We see later in 1 Kings Chapter 18 that the two of them were at some point so angry about Elijah’s announcement and the subsequent drought that they began to systematically kill off the prophets of God in the Kingdom. We see Obidiah, one of King Ahab’s servants, and a man of God, had hidden 100 prophets of God in caves to protect them. If he hid 100, surely there were many more than that. I personally suspect Elijah was not the first time they had heard God’s Word preached.
Other than protection, why would God instruct Elijah to go off and hide in the desert? Well, there was nothing else for Elijah to do at the moment. He had preached The Word, and perhaps others had as well. The difference was, Elijah had not only preached The Word, but had pronounced judgment. There was really nothing else to do now but wait and watch the truth of God’s Word unfold. “I told you what was coming, now watch and see!”
Not only did God protect Elijah, but we will see later that He provided for him as well. And that is our point here. We have discussed several times the similarities between society in the day of Ahab and Jezebel and our society today. We have discussed the need today for those willing to step up and boldly proclaim God’s Word. Even the reaction is the same to the preaching today as it was then. People have heard it, but they do not want to hear it. Are you a Christian? Is anybody angry at you for your proclamation of your faith? Great, then you might be doing what God wants. Is your life as a Christian just peaceful with not strife or issues whatsoever? Maybe it’s time to step out some.
Okay, I understand not everybody is called to be an Elijah; not everybody is called to stand on the street corner and preach the Gospel. We are all called to boldly proclaim God’s Word in different ways; however, we are all called to proclaim it in SOME way. And the reaction is likely to be anger, perhaps strong anger. But, as we can see from Elijah’s story, God will keep us safe.