Thoughts About What We’re Reading…
If you are still reading through the plan, God bless you!
If you have been hanging in there, you are about to enter into the Prophetic books. As we read through the Prophets and all they accomplished, we should remain mindful of what James wrote in James 5:17 – “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.”
It is easy to see the Prophets as super human beings and not realize that they were simply obedient servants of God used in mighty ways in their particular time in history.
As we look through the accomplishments of Elijah, in the coming chapters of our reading, we gasp with awe!
Think about it – Elijah prophesized, prayed for, and lived through a famine that lasted for three and a half years.
He faced the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel and called down fire from heaven.
He struck down 450 false prophets at the Kishon River.
He ran seventeen miles from Carmel down to Jezreel, ahead of a horse and chariot.
He gave food to the hungry, was fed by ravens, brought the dead back to life, spoke with God on a mountain, and was taken up into heaven in a whirlwind and a chariot of fire.
In Mark 9:4, we read that Elijah and Moses were talking with Jesus at the Transfiguration.
And yet, James tells us “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.”
Elijah lived in a time when the worship of Baal had in essence become the state religion of the northern kingdom and had stolen the hearts of the nation of Israel.
King Ahab had married Jezebel, a devout follower of Baal. But Queen Jezebel was not just content to worship Baal in private, she sought to remove the worship of Yahweh from Israel altogether and institute the worship of Baal in its place.
So the Northern Kingdom, under the sway of the royal family worshipped Baal – the pagan god of weather and fertility – the believed source of all water and food. It was believed that unless Baal was worshipped there would be no rain and no crops.
That is why God through His chosen vessel Elijah, a righteous man of prayer and obedience, stopped the rain fall, and then later brought the rain to demonstrate that He, Yahweh, was the only true God.
Elijah’s great qualification for serving God at his moment in history was the same as that other servant of the Lord: his food and drink were “to do the will of Him who sent me” (John 4:34).
Raymond Dillard writes:
“All too often as Christians, we tend to think that the work of God in our day is done by the great and powerful, the famous preachers, celebrities, and the influential wealthy.
God looks not for fame but for faith, not wealth but willingness, not renown but reliance.
The only pedigree needed to serve God in our world is His call to obedience.
It is to believe that “the Lord, the God of Israel, lives” (1 Kings 17:1), and to serve him instead of the Baals.”
I pray that we, the people of Central, as Christian believers, might be like Elijah, that we might be a righteous people of prayer and obedience, steadfast to His purposes and calling, using His provided gifts for His glory in our moment in history. Amen!
Until next time… keep reading!
Excerpts were taken from the following sources for this blog: 1 Kings by Philip G. Ryken, and Faith in the Face of Apostasy by Raymond B. Dillard.