“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.”
-1 Kings 17:3–4
Thus begins one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament, the story of Elijah. First Kings chapter 17 tells us that Elijah comes on the scene as a prophet of God in the middle of a dark time among God’s people. King Ahab has led the people of God to worship many different gods, namely the Canaanite rain God, Baal. And there’s so much work to be done to confront the king and the people who were giving themselves over to idolatry. But what I love about the way Elijah’s story begins is the first thing God tells him to do after he proclaims there won’t be rain in the land that God’s going to show who brings the rain and it’s not the Canaanite rain God, Baal. God immediately says to Elijah, “Depart from here, go hide yourself by the Brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. Drink from the brook and I’ve commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
God, we pray that your Word would be the priority in our lives from the moment we wake up in the morning.
There is so much work to be done confronting idolatry among God’s people. Yet the first thing God tells Elijah to do is to get alone with him. And I think there’s a major lesson here for all of us amidst all the things that need to be done in our lives. Amidst all the things that need to be done in the world. There’s so much evil to oppose. There’s so much justice to be done. There’s so many people in places where the gospel must be proclaimed. There’s so much work to do, yet the most important thing to do is to be alone with God in the middle of it all.
I think about this as I’m studying through and we’re walking as a church family, or I pastor through the Book of Mark and we’re seeing Jesus surrounded by needs all the time and yet he goes to spend time alone with the father. This is the greatest need in your life and in my life is to be alone with God, to be nourished by God, to find supernatural strength and joy and peace and the solitude of his presence alone with him. So I would just ask you, yes, I hope that even by your listening to this podcast and praying along with it, that you are prioritizing this time. But are you prioritizing time just alone with God in a Matthew 6 way? Are you going into your room, closing your door, praying to your father who is in secret, and your father sees what is done in secret rewarding you. They’re spending concentrated time alone with God.
Oh God, we pray that this would be the priority in our lives from the moment we wake up in the morning. God, that we would spend concentrated time alone with you, just feasting on your presence, your word, praying to you, hearing from you, and experiencing the reward you have for us being alone with you. God forgive us for our busyness. God, forgive us for neglecting this time alone with you, which is our greatest need every single day. So God, I pray for my own life and I pray over every single person listening right now that you would help us to prioritize solitude, time alone with you listening to your word, feasting on your grace, lifting up our hearts to you. And even as we pray that we praise you oh God, for the privilege of solitude with you. We praise you for the privilege of being with you. You, the God of the universe, listening to us, speaking to us, us communing with you. Jesus, we praise you for making this possible for us. So help us to prioritize this time amidst lies, where we are so prone to see all the work that we need to do that we sometimes neglect this time with you. God, may it not be so. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.