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ELIJAH: FLEE!



“Then the word of the Lord came to him ... Leave ... hide!” (1 Kings 17:2-3).


Elijah had courageously confronted Ahab, the evil king. He had entered the royal chambers and announced God’s judgment. “There will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!” (1 Kings 17:1). God didn’t direct him to stand and fight, or to further proclaim His judgment. Rather, God said, “Run for your life. Flee! Hide!”


The Apostle Paul commanded Christ-followers to be ready for battle. “Be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand” (Ephesians 6:10–13).


There is a time to fight, and there is a time for flight. Paul said, “flee from youthful passions” (2 Timothy 2:22), “flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14), and “flee sexual immorality!” (1 Corinthians 6:18). The Apostle wrote, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:10–11). Flee!


Like a pack of bloodhounds, Ahab and his henchmen trailed Elijah, ready to execute him on sight. For the next three and one-half years, Ahab searched everywhere, far and wide. “There was no nation or kingdom where Ahab had not sent someone to search for Elijah. When they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made that kingdom or nation swear they had not found him’ ” (1 Kings 18:10).


So, Elijah fled, escaped, bolted “and lived at the Wadi Cherith” (1 Kings 17:5). In complete solitude, Elijah camped in the wilderness on the eastern side of the Jordan River. Day after endless day, Elijah remained alone.


God knew that His faithful servant was at Cherith. God directed Elijah there... and God directed ravens, normally scavenger birds, to deliver meat and bread each day. Where did they get the bread? Where was the closest butcher shop? Inquiring minds want to know! Like clockwork, “ravens kept bringing him bread and meat in the morning and in the evening, and he would drink from the wadi” (1 Kings 17:6). God “commanded the ravens to provide” (1 Kings 17:4) for His faithful prophet.


God encourages His servants to “be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). He promises, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14). “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and the rivers will not overwhelm you, when you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched and the flame will not burn you”(Isaiah 43:2–3). “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20) ... even when you are fleeing from an evil king!