1 Kings 17:8-10
NAS 1 Kings 17:8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I haver commanded a widow there to provide for you." 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, "Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink."
As Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need," in order to find that grace to help us in time of need, we need to hold onto God's Word and immediately rise up from the place that we are sitting at and go to the place of the new task. In the context of today's passage, God first led Elijah to the brook of Cherith and he fed him with the raven and made him drink the water from the brook but after awhile the brook had dried up. Thus, the prophet Elijah couldn't stay there any more longer.
In other words, the time of grace had come to an end and a spiritual starvation had come upon him. At this time God commanded the prophet Elijah, "Arise." This was so that a new task could be given to the prophet Elijah. As you understand today's Word, I pray that you can have a strong start as you rise and go to the place of the task like prophet Elijah.
1. "Arise," is the voice calling for repentance.
To "Arise" is the voice calling for swift repentance to God's Word. In other words, all the thoughts, environments and places of the past, is the place where one sits and dwells. Although you have laid down your roots and made yourself a home, when it is required by God will, the life that seeks to obey what is requested to us by God is the true Christian posture.
The prophet Elijah was comfortable for a time at the Brook of Cherith and it was a safe location, and even in the midst of a famine, it became a location of blessing where he could enjoy his prosperity. However, because the waters in the brook had dried up, and it could no longer be a place of protection, God commanded the prophet Elijah to "Arise." he then commanded him to leave for Zarephath. What did the prophet Elijah do after receiving this Word? Did he not obey that word right away and leave for Zarephath? In the same way, although we settle down with great difficulty and we want to feel comfortable in the place we made our home, when God says to arise, we need to rise quickly and obey the command like the prophet Elijah. This is the true posture of repentance.
Thus, when God raises up and uses someone, he doesn't use a person with sin.
Before we repent from our sin, because we can't eat the Word of truth, we can't take on the will of God. So that's why when God uses a person, he uses them after He gets them to repent. Even when he healed the sick and diseased, He always said, "Your sins are forgiven," Was not the reason for helping and healing the sick, to move them from a place of their slavery to sickness and their past life of sin that they were entangled in, to the place of a life of holiness?
2. "Go," is the Word that bestows unto us a new task.
The characters in the bible are the ones who leave their place of sin and go to the place of the task commanded by God. As a representative, Abraham was a character who left his country, relatives and father's house and obeyed God's command. The prophet Elijah also wisely left the Brook of Cherith and went to Zarephath, through the command of God. Zarephath was the land in the territory of Sidon that Jezebel's father owned and ruled as a king. Despite this, in the perspective of the prophet Elijah it was difficult to willingly obey because it was a difficult area, yet, he didn't hesitate but obeyed according to the command of God.
In the same manner as the prophet Elijah, when God tells us to, "Arise," we need to respond quickly by saying amen and obey. When we look at Numbers 16:20-22, God told Mouse and Aaron, "Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly." This command of love by God for their salvation was given so that they would not be destroyed amongst the sinners. Again, when we look at Numbers 16:24, speaking to the congregation, "Get back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram," He led them so that they would not participate in the destruction of Korah's land.
The same kind of Word is found in Jeremiah 51:6 and also in Jeremiah 51:46, "Flee from the midst of Babylon, And each of you save his life! Do not be destroyed in her punishment, For this is the LORD'S time of vengeance; He is going to render recompense to her." Is this not the authoritative Word of God, to quickly come out of the city that will be destroyed so that they could be saved? Also in Revelation 18:4 it says, "Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues."
In the same way, the command of God to "Go," appears in various different types of situations.
1) He gave the command to go to righteous Lot, so that he could escape destruction(Genesis 19:14)
2) He gave the command to go to Jacob so he could move to Bethel.
He had to go to Bethel so that he could meet Got who would appear from the ladder and receive the new covenant.
3) He gave the command to go to the prophet Ezekiel so that he could receive a new vision.
When we look at Ezekiel 2:1-3 it says, "Son of man, stand," and Got planted a new vision and calling to him. When we look at the bible various situations that appear in the bible, God cleanses us sinners, separates us and he gives us a new task and the blessing of salvation.
He says to stand and leave the place of sin and makes us realize that he wants to bring us into a place of blessing.
Within the Word found in Verse 9 in today's main passage, "Arise," has the connotation of rising and going that is included. I pray that, as this Word says, we can make a decision of faith as believers, to stand up immediately from our place of sin, repent, wear the blessing of holiness and go to the place of blessing that is prepared beforehand.