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Monday, October 9, 2023

Food from Ravens

1 Kings 17: 2-6

“2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” 5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

I first saw ravens at Pilot Mountain, NC when I traveled there with my wife and some friends.  At that time, visitors were allowed to walk to the top of the mountain.  It is on the top of Pilot Mountain that I saw them, soaring on the wind, blackish, bluish in the sun. 

I saw them again in Alaska, sitting on top of the lodge where we were staying.  One raven could imitate the sound of a car being locked and he did this every time someone walked by.  If someone had food in their hands, ravens could be seen hopping behind them or flying overhead.  

God used ravens to bring food to Elijah in the morning and in the evening.  I have often wondered why God did not just cause quail or mana to rain from the sky.  After all, ravens were unclean under Jewish law, “These are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls… Every raven after his kind." (Leviticus 11:15)”.

Elijah probably was not thrilled to accept food from a forbidden animal, especially a scavenger such as the raven.  But, Elijah knew God and he knew that God continuously surprised him.  Also, Elijah knew that no matter what new thing God asked him to do, the important thing was to trust and obey God.

God will surprise us.  And when He does, I hope we let the ravens feed us.

May the love of Christ be with you

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

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