The first Birds of the Bible – Raven article covered many aspects of the Raven. It was written in February of 2008 when I first started writing about the Birds of the Bible. There is always more to learn about birds or the Lord for that matter. We never “arrive” in our learning.
Some verses about the Raven that are interesting have to do with the Lord or God providing for them.
Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat. (Job 38:41 KJV)
He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. (Psalms 147:9 KJV)
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? (Luke 12:24 KJV)
With all the providing by the LORD God for the Raven, He (LORD God) then uses the Ravens to feed Elijah during a drought. Elijah was told to go to the brook Cherith and there he would be fed. Notice that the ravens came twice a day and brought “bread and flesh.”
Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. (1 Kings 17:3-6 KJV)
Here are some interesting remarks from commentators about this:
Wesley – 1Ki 17:4,6 “God is said to command both brute creatures, and senseless things; when he causeth them to do the things which he intends to effect by them. The ravens – Which he chuseth for this work; to shew his care and power in providing for the prophet by those creatures, which are noted for their greediness, that by this strange experiment he might be taught to trust God in those many and great difficulties to which he was to be exposed. God could have sent angels to minister to him. But he chose winged messengers of another kind to shew he can serve his own purposes as effectually, by the meanest creatures as by the mightiest. Ravens neglect their own young, and do not feed them: yet when God pleaseth, they shall feed his prophet.”
“And flesh – Not raw, but boiled by the ministry of some angel or man, and left in some place ’till the ravens came for it: in all which, there is nothing incredible, considering the power and providence of God.”
K&D – “Through this miracle, which unbelievers reject, because they do not acknowledge a living God, by whom, as the Creator and Lord of all creatures, even the voracious ravens are made subservient to His plans of salvation, Elijah was not only cut off from (interaction) with men, who might have betrayed his place of abode to the king, but was mightily strengthened himself, through the confidence inspired in the almighty assistance of his God, for his approaching contests with the worshippers of idols, and for the privations and sufferings which awaited him in the fulfilment of his vocation.”
Matthew Henry – “Elijah was commanded to hide himself. If Providence calls us to solitude and retirement, it becomes us to go: when we cannot be useful, we must be patient; and when we cannot work for God, we must sit still quietly for him. The ravens were appointed to bring him meat, and did so. Let those who have but from hand to mouth, learn to live upon Providence, and trust it for the bread of the day, in the day. God could have sent angels to minister to him; but he chose to show that he can serve his own purposes by the meanest creatures, as effectually as by the mightiest. Elijah seems to have continued thus above a year. The natural supply of water, which came by common providence, failed; but the miraculous supply of food, made sure to him by promise, failed not. If the heavens fail, the earth fails of course; such are all our creature-comforts: we lose them when we most need them, like brooks in summer. But there is a river which makes glad the city of God, that never runs dry, a well of water that springs up to eternal life. Lord, give us that living water!”
Gill – “…it seems better to interpret them of ravens, as we do, these creatures delighting to be in solitary places, in valleys, and by brooks; nor need it be any objection that they were unclean creatures by the law, since Elijah did not feed upon them, but was fed by them; and supposing any uncleanness by touch, the ceremonial law might be dispensed with in an extraordinary case, as it sometimes was; though it is very remarkable that such creatures should be employed in this way, which are birds of prey, seize on anything they can, live on carrion, and neglect their own young, and yet feed a prophet of the Lord; which shows the power and providence of God in it.”
Elijah and the ravens help illustrate the following verse:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 KJV)