The Birds, Our Helpers

Read: 1 Kings 17:1-6

You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. (v. 4)

The raven is known for its intelligence and as a scavenger that will also hide the food it gleans from a carcass, much like other birds will store seeds for later. Perhaps this behavioral habit made the raven a suitable choice as Elijah’s food provider. In Leviticus 11:13-19, ravens are included in a long list of unclean birds that the Israelites were forbidden to eat. Yet God chose this unclean bird to provide for Elijah.

We have seen that God himself cares for the birds, and yet in today’s passage, we see ravens obeying God’s command to care for his obedient servant Elijah. Even though ravens were religiously unclean for the Israelites, God used their unique strengths to bless Elijah. God can do the same for us, maybe through a particular bird’s lovely song, the graceful way they soar, or their brightly colored feathers. The sense of joy or peace they bring is a reminder that he cares.

After my husband passed away, a friend gave me a bird feeder designed as a white church with a small cardinal ornament perched on the roof. After I told her how much it meant to me to see the birds enjoying it, she responded that she was glad the feeder could feed me as well. As with Elijah, this is another comforting way that our Father God shows his loving care, by using birds to provide for our needs, emotionally and spiritually. —Denise Vredevoogd

As you pray, thank God for the various gifts he provides through his creatures.

About the Author

​​Denise Vredevoogd is a private piano teacher who lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, and spending time in nature with her adult sons and daughters.