After the death of Solomon and the division of the tribes, (the northern and the southern), there were good kings and bad kings. To put it another way, those who were obedient to God, and those who were disobedient. During this time we hear stories of the prophets. Remember, prophets were chosen by God to speak on his behalf.
We will begin with the story of Elijah, a prophet during the rule of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, who ruled the northern kingdom, Israel. Ahab and Jezebel are wicked, committing horrible crimes against their people for personal gain. They also worshiped various gods whilst actively discouraging the worship of Yahweh, the God of Israel.
So along came Elijah with God’s message to Ahab, “There won’t be any rain or dew for the next few years unless God says so.”
After delivering such a dangerous message God told Elijah to go and hide in a deep ravine, east of the River Jordan. He told Elijah that there was a brook he could drink from and that he, God, had told ravens to supply him with food!
They brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening…..nothing very strange about any of that is there?
NOW, I wonder, where did the ravens get it from? Bread implies it was cooked somewhere - so was the meat raw or cooked? What meat was it? What about vegetables that we are supposed to eat for vitamins and roughage???
After some time, the brook dried up because it hadn’t rained. God told Elijah to go to a place called Zarephath, (wouldn’t you like to say you lived in a place called Zarephath? It beats Bognor Regis doesn’t it?) So off Elijah went and as he came into the town he met a widow gathering sticks. He asked her for bread and water. She was able to give him a drink but said that all she had left was a handful of flour and a little olive oil in a jug. The widow was gathering the sticks to build a fire to bake the last loaf for herself and her son. They would eat it and then wait to die!
Elijah told her not to be afraid, but to go home and bake a small loaf for himself and some for her and her son. He told her, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day God sends rain on the land.’” And this is what happened!!!!
It is like something out of Harry Potter isn’t it?