Elijah and the Ravens

By Em Sumaway

Elijah_fed_by_Ravens_16-1281 Kings 17:1-6 (KJV) reads,

1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

EXORDIUM

There are a lot of movies featuring animals behaving in very strange ways that you don’t normally see in real life. Who has not heard about, or has not watched, movies where there are giant spiders, flying horses, talking dogs or cats, a turbo racer snail, and farm animals planning to take over the world? Who has not watched the classic movie, Planet of the Apes?

There’s one particular movie that features an animal in the Bible passage above. The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock is about a mass rebellion of birds against other animals and human beings. These birds just suddenly started to attack any living being that comes across their path.

Speaking of birds acting strange, 1 Kings 17 features a story about birds that behaved in a very strange way or acted out of the ordinary. These birds did not attack any human being. On the contrary, they saved a human being from death by starvation. The birds featured are not your usual adorable birds that many people love to have as pets. We are talking about ravens—those dark-coloured birds that are normally more associated with death or some sort of dark magic.

The person on the receiving end of this act is no other than the prophet Elijah. He who became so popular for showing remarkable prophetic authority and power on Mount Carmel owed his life to the unusual behaviour of a flock of ravens. Let’s take a closer look at this peculiar phenomenon and see what valuable lessons we can learn from it.

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