Home > Personal Spiritual Development > Sitting on the Banks of Brook Cherith September 13, 2013

Are you willing to sit at the banks of the Brook Cherith?

I Kings 17:5:  “So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and lived by brook Cherith…”

Old Testament prophet Elijah was sent by God to the “brook Cherith,” where God supernaturally protected and sustained him during three years of drought sent against Ahab. Ravens delivered his meat, and the water ran abundantly. The word  “Cherith,” however, does  not mean “provision” or “blessing” – it  means “a cutting,” or “separation.”  (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)
 Why would God sent Elijah to the brook Cherith, a place where there is a ‘cutting away’?   Wouldn’t the “brook Strengthening” or the “brook Courage” have been of greater benefit?
Scripture succinctly describes the unfolding scene at Cherith:  “It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.”  (I Kings 17:7, NAS)

 Of course there was no rain….God had sent a drought!

He knew the brook was going to dry up…and He knew that Elijah would watch and contemplate the continual, incremental shrinking of the river, of the sustenance God had provided.

While we might immediately remove brook Cherith from our own “top 10 destinations” list, Elijah remained steadfast, waiting on his next provision from God.

Bill Click, founder of River of Power Ministries writes, “…Ambition, self-investment and the ‘need to be right’ (pride) were stripped away during the stay at Cherith…a new season was beginning in Elijah’s life…God often first leads us through preparation of heart in the midst of situations…”*   In other words, Elijah went through the process of no longer needing or desiring the “life” he had experienced before, so that he would be prepared for the “life” God was about to unfold before him.

Paul also had a “brook Cherith” encounter with God, after which he proclaimed, “…If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:  circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.  But…those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish….” (Philippians 3:4-8, NAS)

“Count them but rubbish.”  That sounds harsh.  Being sent to a brook that continually dried up probably felt harsh.  Yet God leads each of us to a season at the bank of brook Cherith so that He might perfect Himself in us.  Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “…we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…” (2 Cor 4:8-11, NAS)

Elijah did not have the power of the risen Christ residing in him, but he moved forward, unshackled of his previous self, as God led and empowered him.  Should we, who possess the power of the risen Christ, do any less?