Jo Anne has been a woman of God since 1981 and is the author of How to Know God Better & Love Yourself More and For Such A Time As This.
Elijah Fed by Ravens
There are a few accounts of the raven mentioned in the bible that give insight into its dual nature, a duality that is characteristically present in all of us. The ravens characteristics and traits can be related to humans in both positive and negative ways, depending on how you choose to behave in any given situation.
Your life experience is a result of the choices you’ve made along the way. Do you choose to lean toward the natural ravenous tendencies of selfishness or do you choose to subject yourself to Christ and be transformed to exhibit the positive rāven-ish edifying characteristics?
(1 Kings 17:2-4) "2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
The list breaks down dual characteristics of ravens, how they relate to humans and the benefit in choosing the godly way.
Remember that just as the raven, we possess both positive and negative character traits and tendencies that can be used for good or evil. We have a choice to be kingdom builders or hell raisers. Choose the godly way and be a Christ-like example, loving the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body and soul, and your neighbor as yourself.
(I Cor. 10:23-24, MSG) “Looking at it one way, you could say, 'Anything goes. AND Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.' But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.”
The Raven and Noah
The Raven was the first bird sent out by Noah in an effort to discover if the flood waters were abating. It would seem that the raven went to & fro, flying about to survey the land and then returning to rest, probably atop the ark, until the water dried up and then went forth on his way.
Although the raven was very capable of completing the assignment, he did not return in a manner to show any evidence or completion of his quest. And because he was not obedient to the instruction in returning to the instructor, another had to be sent in his place.
(Genesis 8:6-9) 6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
The godly choice benefits everyone, not just self. When we consider others and do the work we are called to do, no one else has to pick up our slack or complete our job.
Ravens: Large, Strong, Regal and Graceful
Ravens are the largest member of the crow family, averaging 24 inches tall, with a wingspan of 46-56 inches. Their coloration is all-black with a metallic shine of purple or violet that is noticeable in certain lighting conditions. They have a large and stout Bowie knife like beak with whiskers around it and stiff-pointed neck feathers. In flight, the tail appears wedge-shaped, which distinguishes it from crows.
Ravens are strong, graceful, buoyant fliers that can hover in place, glide, flap slowly or soar. They may fly like stunt pilots at times, doing partial barrel-rolls in flight. They tend to be alone or in pairs except at food sources like landfills and are found in and known from Iceland to Japan, all over Asia, Europe and Africa, but almost extinct in our own country.
This description translates to me that …
- Rāven-ish people are rare and have a large presence that stands tall, reaches wide and shines regally, glowing in the glory of God’s light and love. They are strong with the ability to maneuver through life’s difficulties with ease and elegance, lifted above the fray.
- Ravenous people have big mouths with sharp tongues that can be used for correction or the kill. To choose the godly way means to choose your words carefully, correct in love and pray for your adversaries.
(Proverbs 18:21) "Words can bring death or life! Talk too much, and you will eat everything you say."
(Matthew 5:44) "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray or those who spitefully use you and persecute you."
Ravens: Intelligent, Confident, and Impudent
Ravens are intelligent and confident, of a saucy, impudent disposition and have been able to speak sentences of a few words when carefully taught; and by its uncanny acts, has made itself a bird surrounded by superstition, myth, fable, and is connected with the religious rites of many nations. Many cultures have regarded the raven as an omen of death, pestilence and disease.
- Rāven-ish people are smart and assured with an ability to learn extraordinary feats under attentive godly leadership and training; anointed to operate in gifts of the Spirit; and participants in church activities.
- Ravenous people possess a bold, sassy, disrespectful attitude and can be perceived in a dark and negative light when behaving ravenously.
Choosing the godly way is to humble yourself and surrender your will to God for His will to be done in your life, so that He can get all the glory, and be increased and reflected in you.
(Romans 12:2) "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Ravens: Sharp Sense, Noisy, Predators
Ravens possess sharp eyesight and hearing. They are noisy, with a loud, rough, emphatic cry, and its young are clamorous at feeding time. Ravens are birds of prey that will hunt for mice, lizards, small birds, snakes, insects, and berries; and will also eat just about anything that is dead. It is indicated that the ravens found the eyes of prey the vulnerable point, and so attack it first.
- Rāven-ish people are sensitive to the Spirit- they hear God’s voice and see beyond the natural. They also have no problem praising God with shouts of joy or lifting up a wailing prayer before the throne of grace.
- Ravenous folks only see in the natural and are super critical and condemning of one’s flaws or they only hear the undercurrent of gossip and division, always ready to raise hell with everyone about everything.
The Godly Way
When we hunger, whether for food, love, finances, or respect, our disposition can get a little funky and we can sometimes become defensive and reactive in attack mode. We know how and where to hurt, going for the kill by striking at the sensitive issues of others.
- The godly way is to know and believe that God is the true provider of everything and present to Him all needs, allowing Him to supply them because He will withhold no good thing from us when we walk uprightly. Listen to what the Word of God says in:
(Psalm 147:9, NIV) "He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call."
(Matthew 6:30-33, MSG) “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."
(Psalm 84:11, AMP) "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord bestows grace and favor and honor; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."
© 2018 Jo Anne Meekins