Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there (1 Kings 17:3-4, NKJV).
When a great famine had overtaken the Land of Israel, Elijah was instructed by the LORD to hide at the Brook Cherith.
A cursory read of the Biblical narrative may lead one to believe that the sole purpose for Elijah isolating at the Brook Cherith was provision and protection for his preservation. However, when one looks deeper, it becomes apparent that there was another reason – a greater purpose. Elijah was being prepared for a powerful promotion.
At Cherith, Elijah was not merely isolated from men, he was in hidden in God. “You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence…You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion” (Psalm 31:20, NKJV).
All external influences that had the potential to distract had been removed and Elijah was closer to God than ever. Consequently, he would seek the LORD with a singular focus and would experience a powerful encounter that would prepare him for his next season and next assignment.
Cherith is a Hebrew word that literally means “cutting.”
Cherith is a Hebrew word that literally means “cutting.” There are different ways this word can be translated, but the most significant rendering is “to make a covenant.”
While Elijah was hidden at Cherith, he was in the deepest place of communion with God. He had tapped into the very heart of the Father and was now privy to His most intimate secrets. “There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near him and receive the revelation-secrets of his [covenant] promises” (Psalm 25:14, The Passion Translation).
At Cherith, Elijah discovered in a new and striking way the incomparable and immutable faithfulness of his covenant-keeping God.
During this present COVID-19 pandemic, when we are physically isolated from family and friends, let us run to our Hiding Place and take refuge in Him. There we will discover that Christ is all we need. He is our peace, our joy, our comfort, our satisfaction. When we experience the true knowledge of Jesus, nothing else will satisfy.
O God of my life, I’m lovesick for you in this weary wilderness. I thirst with the deepest longings to love you more, with cravings in my heart that can’t be described. Such yearning grips my soul for you, my God! (Psalm 63:1, The Passion Translation).