So it was when He gave Israel quails to eat in the wilderness. Moses, somewhat out of patience with the complaining host, told them, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today" Ex.
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On that very day God "rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea" Ps. It is thought by many that God used natural circumstances, as He has done at other times, to bring this about. It was the time of the year when these quails were migrating, and it was customary for great flocks to pass over a portion of the Mediterranean or the Red Sea. This is a long and tiresome trip for birds having heavy bodies and small wings, and many of them were exhausted when they reached land, and were easily caught.
In any case, they usually fly close to the ground and may be caught with nets. The longest list of birds in any one chapter of the Bible is found in Leviticus 11 a similar one is in Deuteronomy This list is made up of the "unclean birds. Some writers think that the sacred ritual of the shedding of blood was involved.
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Israel was not permitted to use blood for food, nor apparently should they eat carnivorous birds that ate all parts of their prey including the blood. Strange to say, the list also includes the bat, which is not a bird at all. It flies, does it not? It was the raven that God used to bring food to Elijah. He provides for them and their young Job , and used them miraculously to provide for one of His servants.
Jesus used the sparrow to emphasize one of His most precious lessons—that of His care for each individual. Here the word "sparrow" must surely have meant one of the smaller, colorless birds similar to our race of sparrows, because it apparently had little commercial or sentimental value. Jesus says, "Fear not them which kill the body. The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" Matt.
Especially in these troublous times it is reassuring to know that the God who notes even a falling sparrow has an even stronger love for each person. He cares for you; He cares for me. Let us put our trust in Him, knowing that we are sheltered under His wings. Phipps B. The favorite bird of ancient Israel seems to have been the dove. It nested in holes of the cliffs that protected pleasant valleys.
Sunday School Lesson Ages 4 - 6. Elijah and the Widow years Cut fingers from old or inexpensive gloves to make finger puppets to retell the story of Elijah, the widow, her son and the raven.
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Project Ages 7 - Elijah Is Fed by Ravens - Level A Complete lesson with activity choices: make a coat for Elijah, make bread for Elijah, acting script, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse. Elijah Is Fed by Ravens - Level B Complete lesson with activity choices: make a raven puppet, acting script, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson Ages 7 - Elijah Is Fed by Ravens - Level C Complete lesson with activity choices: discussion on the nature of food and water, exploring motives behind actions, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word. Sunday School Lesson Ages 11 - Elijah Is Fed by Ravens - Level D Complete lesson with activity choices: play and replay on the challenge of interpreting motives from actions, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word.
Sunday School Lesson Ages 15 - Elijah Proclaims a Drought, Helps a Widow Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities. Elijah Revives the Widow's Son - Level A Complete lesson with activity choices: make a model of the widow's house, make a new heart from the Lord, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse.
Elijah Revives the Widow's Son - Level B Complete lesson with activity choices: make a picture of the widow's house with moveable figures, make a new heart necklace, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse.
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Elijah Revives the Widow's Son - Level C Complete lesson with activity choices: what does "visiting the upper room" mean in your life, scripture scramble, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word. Elijah Revives the Widow's Son - Level D Complete lesson with activity choices: a look at "raising up the son" in our lives, a scripture scramble, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word.
Elijah Sent to the Widow Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth. Activity Ages over Giving from a Small Store How can you give to others, even when you feel as if you have very little to offer? Sunday School Lesson Ages 3 - The Widow Feeds Elijah - Level A Complete lesson with activity choices: make vessels for the widow, acting script, song, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse.
The Widow Feeds Elijah - Level B Complete lesson with activity choices: make bread for Elijah, acting script, song, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse. The Widow Feeds Elijah - Level C Complete lesson with activity choices: make a model of the Lord's bounty mobius strip , put others first to win cooperative games, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word. The Widow Feeds Elijah - Level D Complete lesson with activity choices: a look at mistakes and habits, discussion about heaven and hell, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word.
And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. There was a famine in Canaan. The Lord told Elijah, the man of God, to go down to the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan, where he could drink of the brook, and the ravens would bring him food. There he remained until the brook dried up from lack of rain. It seems a strange way of caring for Elijah, but the Lord does care for us in many unexpected and strange ways. This is one of the miracles that the Lord wrought. Skeptics have questioned it, as they have questioned all the miracles of the Word, but this miracle testifies to the power of the Lord to serve mankind in unsuspected ways.
The Lord might, of course, have saved Elijah in another way, but He wished to write the Word in such a way that the deeper meanings which lie beneath the surface might eventually be made known, clarifying our vision so that we might know without a doubt that the Word is Divine and that through it the life of God is brought to us. The Lord cared for Elijah in this way that He might tell us in parable form the deep mysteries of His kingdom, for only in parable can there be truth within truth, truth within truth leading up to the mind of God Himself.
Elijah is described as of Gilead, a land outside of Canaan, the country east of Jordan, considered unholy as compared to the land west of this dividing river. Every Christian starts life there, for no one is born in the faith of the Church. We are born natural — into the love of the world, into those selfish and wrong desires which we see so often manifested in children without ever having been learned from without.
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Everyone who becomes a Christian must be born again, born again by learning the truths of the Word, of the Holy Land, of heaven, and by living according to them and so cultivating the love of them. Elijah had gone over into Canaan. He had been living there when a famine came and the Lord sent him back over Jordan into his own country. How like this is to the experience of every follower of the Lord. He leaves his native state, his natural external life, and sets out to dwell in heavenly things, which is spiritually to dwell in Canaan. But what man ever did this who was not overtaken by famine?
Intellectually we cross over Jordan, we dwell in the midst of heavenly and holy things and desire to make them our life. But the old natural life cannot be sustained by heavenly things. We cry, as did the Israelites of the manna, "Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? The inebriate knows it when he sets out to reform, when his body thirsts for its usual gratifications. The dissolute knows it when he seeks to mend his ways. The Christian knows it when he seeks to live up to his ideals.
Then like Elijah we are permitted to go back across the Jordan — down from the ideal life to former states — to drink of the brook of natural pleasures.
It cannot be otherwise. Heavenly things must be brought down into the natural little by little. There is no great jump from the seed to the fruit. There is the gradual succession of leaves, flowers, and fruit; "First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.
The story of Elijah fed by ravens at the brook Cherith reveals to us how the Lord sustains us when we are in natural states and have no desire for spiritual things, when religion seems unreal and joyless. He then sends the ravens to feed us, that bird which under the Jewish law was unclean and which is the symbol of what is false and destructive, which robs the nests of the birds of song and feeds upon their young. We recall that at the end of forty days Noah first sent forth a raven, which went to and fro over the waters.
The raven flying over the waste of waters is representative of that state of life when worldliness like a flood covers the earth of the mind, suffocating spiritual life. Of this desolation of the spirit, of the human soul in which heavenly things are destroyed, Isaiah writes: "From generation to generation it shall lie waste… the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
The meat that the ravens brought to Elijah night and morning is the fictitious good brought by the thoughts and the hopes of the natural man which sustain him in the morning of his delights and in the evening of his disappointments.