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Hiding, But Not Hidden

Hiding, But Not Hidden

I Kings 17:3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

Intro: Hiding is generally a bad thing.

Notice the First Mention Principle:

• Genesis 3:8, 10 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Other places where hiding was a bad thing:

Cain

• Genesis 4:14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Jochebed

• Exodus 2:2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

Achan

Joshua 7

• 20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:

• 21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

A. The Cause for Hiding

Elijah had just stood before Ahab and told him it would not rain for years, until he said something.

When it doesn’t rain, crops fail.

When it doesn’t rain, commerce fails.

When it doesn’t rain, comfort fails.

It was going to get bad, and God wanted to make a statement.

He wanted Israel to experience judgment and punishment due to the idolatry in 16:29-34

Proclamations of judgment are usually not received well.

Preachers of righteousness and holiness are not always welcomed.

The rebuking; the reproving; the revelation of God’s Word is not wanted in our society.

B. The Crowd in Hiding

Elijah was hiding, but he wasn’t the only one hiding.

In Chapter 18, we find that 100 prophets were also hiding in a cave.

The land of Israel was not only experiencing a physical famine, but a spiritual one as well.

Not only was there no rain; but there was no preaching; no prophesying; no spiritual guidance.

Elijah may have felt he was the only one hiding, but he wasn’t.

Two chapters over, Elijah got to feeling sorry for himself. – 19:14

God had to remind him that he wasn’t alone.

C. The Comfort in Hiding

In chapter 17, he may have been hiding, but he was not hidden!

Elijah may have been hiding, but God wasn’t hiding.

• Elijah’s movements may have been limited, but God’s wasn’t.

• Elijah’s ministry was restricted, but God’s wasn’t.

• Elijah’s message may have been confined, but God’s wasn’t.

He was in hiding, but He was not hidden from:

I. God’s Promises – vs. 4; 9

The land wasn’t getting fresh water, but Elijah was still getting a fresh word from God.

The idolaters and the wicked were in a drought, but Elijah was still in contact with God.

The king, his armies and his wise men were shooting blanks; but God was in full control of the situation.

• 4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

• 9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

I love it that even in hiding, God’s word was still coming to Elijah.

He may not have been able to get a word out, but God could get a word in!

Even in hiding, God’s promises kept coming; kept

He was in hiding, but He was not hidden from:

II. God’s Provision – vs. 6; vs. 15

God’s provision was:

A. Simple – bread and flesh (vs. 6); a little cake (vs. 13) Elijah wasn’t a vegetarian!

B. Steady – vs. 6 morning and evening; vs. 15 every day

C. Sustaining – vs. 9 it will be what you need to keep you going!

SUSTAIN to sustain, support, nourish; to contain, hold in, restrain

He was in hiding, but He was not hidden from:

III. God’s Power – vs. 22

The son of this woman got sick.

He must have had the Corona-Virus! – vs. 17 …”says no breath was in him.”

President Trump didn’t furnish him with a respirator, so he died. (CNN headline)

Of course, Elijah didn’t practice social distancing. Good thing he didn’t!

Three things I want you to notice about this man of God in hiding that PRECEDED God’s Power:

A. He Got a Burden – vs. 19

I imagine for an old man to carry that boy upstairs wasn’t easy, but he HAD to do it.

There’s three kind of people in a quarantine; those that carry, and those that are carried, and those that watch.

Instead of fretting about all the people he couldn’t help, he found ways to help the ones he was staying with. (or has he said in verse 20 – “…with whom I sojourn…”

SOJOURN: to abide, stay, temporarily dwell

He carried the boy up to his loft and laid him on his own bed.

That’s boy’s bed wouldn’t work. That was the bed he got sick in.

That was the bed he died in.

That was the bed he couldn’t breathe in.

He had to find him another bed.

He had to get under the burden to get that boy to a place he could help him.

Sometimes, to get somebody help, you got to start where they are and carry them to where they need to be.

He laid the boy in the loft where HE abode, and laid him upon his OWN bed.

He had to inconvenience himself.

He had to put himself and his needs aside, and put someone else’s needs above his.

There’s three kind of people in a quarantine; those that carry, and those that are carried, and those that watch.

Which are you?

B. He Got to Begging – vs. 20, 21 “And he cried unto the Lord…”

He did what any man of God would do. He prayed.

Prayer usually precedes a Divine manifestation of God’s power.

Intercession is necessary to change lives.

C. People Got to Believing – vs. 24 …by this I know…

I can’t help but wonder why it took this woman this long to believe.

Elijah had already been there for a long time.

He had showed up right before their last meal.

His coming into their life when he did actually had kept them alive up to this point.

As a matter of fact, he had already saved her life, and her son’s life (vs. 12)

Now he had just saved her son’s life AGAIN – before she believed.

All I am saying is this.

God’s power had already been working in this family; in this household.

But it took a while; it took several times before she believed.

God might be wanting us to stay in hiding until some people that should have already believed starts believing!!

This woman and her son were the only ones that had access to God’s man during that drought.

For three and a half years, he didn’t preach. He didn’t lead a campaign or a crusade.

But while he was in hiding, he was not hidden from God’s power.

Let God use you where you are.

Conclusion: 3 ½ years after God told Elijah, “go hide thyself”, God came to Elijah in 18:1 and said, “Go, shew thyself.”

We might be hiding, but we are not hidden.

• God is in control.

• God has a time-table.

• God has a plan.

Do what you can, where you are, and let God do whatever it is He is trying to do.

Once God’s purpose is accomplished, he will bring us out of hiding.

The same God that said, “Go hide thyself” will one day say to us, “Go shew thyself.”

We need to be ready!!

QUESTION: While you are in hiding, will you let God be God?

Will you trust the promises of God?

Will you watch him provide for you and your family?

Will you get a burden for someone, intercede for them and let God use to help unbelievers finally believe?

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