Friday, June 27, 2008

Elijah and Ahab

June 27: 1 Kings 17-19

1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2 And the word of the Lord came to him: 3 “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
1 Kings 17:1-6

1 After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria.

17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father's house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table.”

41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” . . . And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” 45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.
1 Kings 18:1-2, 17-19 & 41-45

1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
1 Kings 19:1-3

Elijah and Ahab

If you have ever been under the impression that you have the ability to convince someone to become a Christian, you need to consider the story of Elijah and Ahab. Ahab was the prophet Elijah's chief nemesis.

It all seemed to begin when Elijah went to Ahab, King of Israel, and told him that a drought was coming to the land of Israel that would last for several years. Ahab, of course, blamed Elijah for the drought and sought to kill him, but God preserved Elijah's life, so that no matter where they searched in all of Israel, the prophet could not be found.

After three years, God told Elijah to go to Ahab with the news that the drought was coming to an end. Ahab was a witness to Elijah's testimony that it was God who had withheld the rain, and it was God who would again bring rain upon the land.

Look at the words of Ahab when he saw Elijah, "Is it you, you troubler of Israel?"

Elijah challenged Ahab to a duel; Ahab's prophets of Baal against God. It was an impressive event, recorded in 1 Kings 18:20-40. All of the efforts of the Baal worshipers was to no avail, but after drenching the altar with several barrels of water, Elijah called upon the Lord God to send fire upon the altar. God not only sent fire upon the altar, but the fire licked up all of the water in the trenches surrounding the altar.

Look at the miracle of God that Ahab had witnessed, and yet there was another one to come. Ahab observed the hand of God again when Elijah prayed that God would send rain upon the earth.

After all of this, one would assume that Ahab would fall before the Lord God and serve him! It did not happen that way; Ahab hurried on his chariot to go to Jezebel, his wife, and complained against Elijah. Verse 2 tells us, Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.”

It is hard to understand hearts that have been hardened against the Lord, even when they see His works displayed before them every day in the lives of His servants. Nothing we can do will ever convince them to change their minds, but God can!

We tend to think of prayer as a last resort, but prayer for the unsaved is the first step! Understand that it is God who opens hearts to receive Him. Amazingly, God uses our lives and words as a testimony before them to bring them to Him, but the spoil is the Lords!

The story of Elijah and Ahab, as well as all of the deeds of Elijah are worth taking the time to read in their entirety. God is so good in His faithfulness to men, especially by granting salvation to His people.

What an amazing God we have!

God Bless You,

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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