By Michael Julian
Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, Kenton
Focal Passage: I Kings 16:29-33; 17:1-6
We are embarking on a new study for the remainder of this quarter. We will walk through the exciting life and times of Elijah the prophet, particularly his dealings with Ahab and Jezebel, and then his passing the mantle on to Elisha.
Elijah’s name means Yahweh is God. And this is exactly what we see demonstrated in his life. But, we must be careful not to make a superhero out of Elijah.
Don’t get me wrong. Elijah stands out as a giant in the Scripture. His significance spans throughout the Bible. At one point, we witness Elijah boldly standing against the prophets of Baal and whipping them on Mt. Carmel, and then at another point we are cowardly running with Elijah like a whipped dog out into the wilderness fleeing the murderous threats of Jezebel.
I think we can all identify with Elijah. May God help us to live outside our comfort zones as we faithfully serve Yahweh.
I Kings 16:29-33: Before we get introduced to Elijah, we must take a look at the opposition. After the kingdom split, there were successions of kings in Israel and Judah. Unfortunately, many of those kings were wicked in the eyes of God. Where we find ourselves is in a bad run of Israelite kings that culminates with the worst of the worst, namely king Ahab.
Just when you thought it could not get any worse, the Bible says, “But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight more than all who were before him.” This is what the prophet Elijah faces and confronts. Elijah found himself somewhat outside his comfort zone with the prospect of telling Ahab and Jezebel how wicked they were and how they had extraordinarily angered the one true God.
And so it is with us. We must take a stand and speak His truth in love unapologetically.
I Kings 17:1 Now, we come to Elijah. In this passage, we see him walking straight into the lion’s den. He shares with Ahab that God is going to bring judgment through the weather. A complete absence of dew or rain is forecasted by the prophet, and unlike many a weatherman today, his words will be accurate.
Elijah confronts this Baal worshiper with the reality of the Lord God of heaven and earth. We are called as the church of God to be a pillar and support of the truth. We cannot shy away from confrontation because we are afraid of how we may be treated. That does not mean that we purposely seek to be agitators or troublers, a description Ahab levied upon Elijah later on. But it does mean that we stand courageously upon the truth of God’s Word, no matter the cost.
I Kings 17:2-6: If the land was going to be devoid of moisture, that means that Elijah would also be subject to the effects of the drought. But God. Don’t you love those two words?
God had a plan and a place in mind to sustain Elijah, by a brook and with some ravens. God is faithful to His servants. Be courageous, step out of your comfort zone, and see the Lord’s provision. B&R