Elijah was a prophet who spoke for God during the reign of Ahab, described as the worst king Israel ever had. He was introduced in this chapter when he told Ahab that it would not rain for the next few years. And then he disappears for a while.
Three years later, Elijah was on Mt Carmel, calling down fire from heaven and killing all of the prophets of Baal, one of the most dramatic stories in the Old Testament. A story that ended with the people acknowledging God as Lord and the return of rain.
But what did he do for that three years in between?
So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.1 Kings 17:5-6 NIV
God sent him first to a remote brook to hide. And while he was there, ravens would show up twice a day, bringing him bread and meat to eat. And he would drink from the brook, at least until it dried up. I do not know how much of the three years were spent at this brook, but I suspect it was a substantial period.
Elijah seems to have been somewhat of a loner. Yet he was also a man of action for whom sitting by a brook for a year might have been very challenging.
But I believe there is a very important lesson to be learned from this. There may well be times as we follow and serve our Lord that he has us sit and wait. Sometimes for an extended period.
We cannot always understand God’s reasons, but if you find he has you camped out by a brook, he could be using that time to prepare you for your own Mt. Carmel experience. Rather than grow impatient and strike off on your own, spend that time with God, getting to know him better and allowing him to prepare you for what is to come.