Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: The "Ravens" of the Bible

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

We don’t pay much attention to them for they are lowly creatures--ordinary blackbirds, crows. The “ravens” of the Bible.

But the Great Ruler of the universe has noticed them and immortalized them in His holy Book, the Bible, because on one special occasion these humble creatures were obedient to His “commands.”

Elijah had served the Lord faithfully as His prophet when he appeared in King Ahab’s office suddenly and announced that there  “shall be neither dew nor rain these coming years unless I [that is, Elijah] give the word” (1 Kings 17:1, NEB). The Lord told His faithful servant to “leave this place, ... go hiding in the ravine of Kerith east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the stream, and I [the Lord] have commanded the ravens [the humble blackbirds] to feed you there.”

Blackbirds are born thieves; anything they see and want, they simply take and fly off. It’s amazing that the Lord has honored these pilferers by mention in His holy Word, but they obeyed the “command” of the Lord by bringing lonely, exiled Elijah his daily food, “bread and meat morning and evening” (vss. 5, 6).

There’s a lesson for us here: the Lord did not want these birds to bring His prophet scraps of moldy bread and stale crackers; the Lord takes better care of His beloved servants--and here is where we can learn a lesson of the Lord’s loving watch care over us.

It was famine time in Israel; “bread and meat” were not readily available. So where would the ravens, having been “commanded” by the Lord to care for His lonely prophet, go to pilfer some “bread and meat” for him? With the windows being open for the summer-time warmth, where better than from King Ahab’s own royal table on which the greatest chefs of Israel were serving the king his royal cuisine?

Now I don’t know for sure where the crows went to do their pilfering; but I do know that when the Bible says that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) it includes the Lord’s care for our daily food; He doesn’t want to feed us moldy bread and stale crackers! Let’s let Elijah remind us of the Lord’s loving care for us, His unworthy servants!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 4, 2009.

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