“I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” 1 Kings 17:4
Had Elijah gone anywhere else the ravens would not have found him but King Ahab’s men might have. The Lord could have protected Elijah even in Ahab’s palace had He chosen to do so but Elijah’s absence would give Ahab opportunity to consider his position before God without Elijah being in his face.
It is good for us to consider, from time to time, whether we are where the Lord wants us to be or whether He may be directing us elsewhere. Quite likely we will discover that we are where He wants us to be but even if that is so we won’t have that assurance unless we ask. The reason we do not ask may be because we are comfortable where we are or that it just does not cross our minds to check?
Elijah was faced with possible death from Ahab if he did not move away so he was well motivated to hear where the Lord would have him go. We shouldn’t need to wait until we feel threatened before we seek the Lord’s counsel or confirmation. Such threats might be loss of employment, unmet needs, difficult neighbours or schooling for children.
In Acts 8 we read how the Lord took Philip away from a thriving evangelistic ministry in Samaria to the desert to meet one man. Philip might have argued with the Lord about the wisdom of such a move and his friends might also have discouraged him but he obeyed the Lord.
Rather than remain in doubt, we can, from time to time, ask the Lord if we are where He wants us to be and doing what He wants us to do. Of course we will only do this if He is indeed Lord in our hearts and we are willing to do whatever He asks. There is always joy and peace in knowing that we are where the Lord wants us to be. When we are he will provide all we need.
Had Elijah thought he knew a better place there could have been quite a different outcome. Elijah was a man not a superhero. God did great things through Elijah, not because he was greater than other men, but because he took the word of the Lord literally and went to the place and did what he was asked by the Lord.
In the context of the evangelist Philip (Acts 8), but equally applying to Elijah and us, Vance Havner writes, “Philip ‘arose and went … and behold.’ He who said, ‘Go ye therefore …’ has said ‘Lo, I am with you.’ As you obey, you may not see the why of it, but you shall see the who. He who says ‘Go’ goes along.”
Where the Lord sends us He goes with us and will provide for us there. Elijah knew this theoretically at first but because he acted upon it he experienced it first hand and his faith in the Lord grew and was proven.