I Have Commanded the Ravens

Desk in Guest room 2
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I had just poured a hot cup of perked coffee when I made my way to a very sacred space in our home. It’s a space set up in a guest room where I get to spend time alone with my heavenly Father in prayer and in bible reading early in the mornings, and at any time of the day or night I get to be there.



Some of my bible study resources are stored on the shelves along with drawers containing plenty of extra notebook paper, pens, journals, and files of good and insightful articles. It’s such a simple place for me to sit, read, pray, and hear the voice of my Lord through the pages of Scripture, with no distractions.

But as I walk into this space each morning, it’s first the grace, generosity, and the provision of God that I really see in what He provided in making our time together so meaningful. The hutch was given to us from a client who no longer needed it in her home. We took it to our storage and it stayed there many months, from April 2023 – December of 2023. And on December 27th, Rip got it for me and brought it home because I had mentioned to him, “I wish I had a place to read, pray, and study Scripture and not have to always put all my study materials away just to clear off our office desk.” So, he remembered this little hutch and I told him it would be perfect! I put a nice coat of paint on it, and he found the little blue chair in storage, too.

Coincidence? Were all these provisions just happenstance?

Not at all. God gets all the glory! Because He knew in April 2023 that the hutch would be used to meet a desire in my heart – a desire that He would give as I delighted in Him.



As believers, we look to God for everything. God is the source of everything. We don’t possess a single thing that He didn’t provide. Because He is the Creator and Sustainer and the Preserver of the entire world, the entire universe, everything we have is from His hand. Everything.

And it is His Providential hand that we see in 1 Kings 17:1-4:


“Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” The word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.”


Elijah had just defeated the prophets of Baal, had Queen Jezebel wanting to kill him, and now he has quite a devastating message of judgement from God to give to Ahab; that there would be no dew or rain for years. Where there is no dew or rain, there is no harvest. No harvest means no crops. No food for cattle and livestock. Which also meant for Elijah, he would face days of famine, starvation, and thirst. At least, wouldn’t that be a reasonable assumption? God declared a famine, which would mean that he, too, would be physically impacted by such a divine declaration, right?  Let’s continue reading in 1 Kings 17.


It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.” v. 4



As I read that verse, and slowly re-read it, it was the words, “I have commanded the ravens” that made me stop reading any further. I had to give those five words the full attention they were demanding of my mind and spirit.  To think that our Great Yahweh, our Creator, who commanded there to be seven rings around Saturn, commanded the Milky Way Galaxy to be one among the two billion to two trillion galaxies in the observable universe, commanded the waters to flood the earth, commanded the wind and waves to be quiet, commanded Lazarus to come out of the grave, commanded the rain and dew to cease for years, was now letting Elijah know that He has commanded the ravens. Period.  I really didn’t need to read any further. “I have commanded the ravens” arrested my heart with such awe of God!  But then it continued on with, “to provide for you there.” His command was for personal, physical and intimate provision. Is that not tremendous!

As I sat back in my chair, I couldn’t help but think, “I wonder, I just wonder if Charles Spurgeon has written anything about those five words. Did they jump off the page to him so that he had to expound on them?” I took one of my Bibles off the shelf that is chopped full with Spurgeon sermon notes and commentary and went straight to 1 Kings 17. And I couldn’t believe it! Out of the entire 1 Kings 17 chapter, the one thing he zoned in on and offered any commentary was this … “I have commanded the ravens.” This is what I read:


“God has the power to make all creatures obedient to His will. These ravens never croaked out a single objection but did as they were commanded. Their instincts did not rebel, but they submitted absolutely to God’s will and I daresay, were as diligent and as happy in carrying the bread and meat to Elijah as they would have been if they had been taking it to their own young or feasting on it themselves. The whole world is obedient to God. He spoke once to the great floods of water, and up they sprang from the vast caverns where they slept, and down they dashed. And when God just whispered  to them and bid them go back to their resting places, back they went, and the waters were removed from the earth. Nor were the floods of earth merely obedient, for celestial bodies have confessed his power, for Joshua made the sun and the moon stand still while the Lord’s warriors struck their foes.  Nor are inanimate things his only sway. The lions crouch at Daniel’s feet, and the monster fish swallows but does not destroy the wayward Jonah. Nor do only great things obey him. The worm at God’s command struck the root of Jonah’s gourd, the locusts came on Egypt, and he sent all manner of flies and lice in all their quarters. Is it not a sad, strange thing that humans are the only creatures that refuse to obey their Creator? I know that even Judas fulfills that to which he was appointed, but so far as his will is concerned, man remains a stout rebel against God. The raven, commanded to carry bread and meat, does it; but the unbeliever commanded to believe in Christ, to repent of his sins, and to produce the fruit of repentance , refuses to do it. Oh, the stubbornness of human nature! We are worse than ravens. “The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s feeding trough, but Israel does not know; my people do not understand,” Isaiah 1:3.” 


Think on this for a moment. God organized ravens to bring food to His prophet. Why? Because the wicked may perish, but in a famine the righteous will be preserved, for God makes promises of physical provision for His ownI have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread, Psalm 37:5″ Most Christians who worry, worry about what hasn’t happened because they’re not convinced and sure that their ‘daily bread is going to be provided by God. But what that ‘worry’ really is is doubting God’s Word. This doesn’t mean we don’t save because like Proverbs 6:6 tells us, we need to be like the ant and plan for the future. This doesn’t mean you don’t plan when you are choosing to trust God for your ‘bread.’ But it does mean you’re content in trusting God to meet your need in the future. We may say, “Oh, what’s going to happen when that comes to pass? Oh, what if this? Oh, what if that? But this is why we also have the great treasure of prayer. Prayer focuses on God as the One who provides. Prayer acknowledges that HE is the source of all our physical needs, and it also teaches us to live one day at a time in the confidence that He will meet these needs.


“I trust as we pray every day we will pray in confidence that as God’s children we can focus on the spiritual levels because God is graciously caring for the physical. He has made that promise to His children. Don’t get bogged down in the physical. Don’t get your thought patterns at that level. Don’t lose your joy and your opportunity to minister by getting all wrapped up in the mundane. Set your affections on things above. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and let God take care of the rest. It’s a good prayer to pray, “Father, teach us that it’s a good thing at least once a day, and I guess the oftener the better, to remind ourselves that our times and our health and our home and our clothes and our food are good gifts from Your gracious hand that come constantly to the one who trusts in the Lord and does good.” – Dr. John MacArthur


As He so sovereignly provided me with a hutch and a chair, why would I ever doubt that, as my Father, He cares about every single possible need? And to think, He met that need before I knew it was a need, by supplying it in April before I desired it in December. So, beloved, as you go about your daily life with true physical needs, trust God to graciously, personally, and intimately provide for you and may you always keep in the forefront of your mind those five assuring words …

I have commanded the ravens.

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lisa rippy

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