You’ll never know the truth about your circumstances until you hear a word from God. Too often, I’ve made the mistake of judging what God was like from my circumstances. It almost always led me to the wrong conclusions! If you use your circumstances to determine what God is like, you’ll end of with a wrong view of God. It would have been so easy for Elijah to make that mistake. After all, it was God who sent him to camp out beside the Kerith Brook where there would be a fresh water supply despite the almost three-year drought God had sent as judgment on Israel’s sin. Elijah was the prophet who predicted the drought. In verse 1 of this chapter, we read where he is sent to a wicked king of Israel with this word from God:
“…there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!”
Afterwards, the Lord sent Elijah to this fresh brook where at least he would be refreshed and nourished. Yet, before he knew it, the brook dried up! Now, he was suffering from the same drought as everyone else in Israel! If he had judged what God was like based on his circumstances, he may have felt deceived by God or that God was unable to take care of His prophets. When circumstances in life are hard and things are going wrong, it’s so easy to jump to the wrong conclusions. Prosperity and health are not always an accurate measure of the blessing or judgment of God – just read the book of Job.
So, what do you do when you experience difficulties and trials? You need to get the truth about your circumstances from the only reliable source of truth itself – God. When Elijah got a word from the Lord, he realized the truth about his circumstances. God was relocating him from the dried-up brook at Kerith to a new place where he would be provided for in a supernatural way that would not only demonstrate God’s power to him but to the one who supplied his needs, a poor widow and her son in a village called Zarephath.
The reason I mention the names of these two places is because there’s a hidden treasure in where God sent his man. Kerith means “to cut” or “cutting away” and Zarephath means “to refine.” Pastor and Bible teacher, Warren Wiersbe, makes a great comment about this story:
“Because of our proneness to look at the bucket and forget the fountain,” wrote Watchman Nee, “God has frequently to change His means of supply to keep our eyes fixed on the source.”
At Kerith, God was chiseling and shaping his prophet for His purposes and, when he cut off the water supply, Elijah was forced to look to the source, not just the supply! Then, at Zarephath, God refines his man into the vessel He can use. God uses circumstances in our lives to accomplish His purpose.
Circumstances alone will never give you the truth about God. What circumstances are you facing that are challenging your view of God? Ask God for the truth about your circumstances. You’ll discover that He knows what He is doing and is shaping you into the person He wants you to be through the very circumstances He’s allowing in your life.