Apr 27 — 1 Kings 17-18

1 Kings 17 — Elijah Predicts a Drought and Performs Miracles
1 Kings 18:1-19 — Elijah Confronts Ahab
1 Kings 18:20-46 — Elijah and the Prophets of Baal

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One Reply to “Apr 27 — 1 Kings 17-18”

  1. The story of Elijah begins in chapter 17 where we read of God’s provision for him through ravens and the widow at Zarepath. Both are miraculous stories where God took care of Elijah (and the widow), especially the Lord’s healing of her son at Elijah’s request (1 Kings 17:20-23). Here we are given a peak into Elijah’s faithfulness and perhaps some backstory before the next chapter…Elijah didn’t appear overnight, he had to rely on the Lord for over 3 years.

    Elijah faces Ahab with a test to show God is the true God and command Ahab to repent. It’s amazing that a single person can walk up to a king and confront him so boldly. Surely the king could simply have him killed, that would seem like a simple thing to happen. Yet in the confrontation, Ahab accepts Elijah’s challenge. Perhaps this is the ultimate victory in Ahab’s eyes since he’s been systematically killing off God’s prophets, so he humors Elijah, comfortable he will fail and all the people will rally around Ahab all the more.

    Elijah poses a test to prove God is the one true God and Ahab’s people enthusiastically agree. But as the test begins, the prophets of Baal fail to pass the test, from morning till noon, “there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made” (1 Kings 18:26). Elijah taunted them (must have really been a crazy scene), “but there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (18:29).

    It’s important to note that Elijah took “twelve stones, one for each of the tribes” (1 Kings 18:31) here. God is the God of unity even though the kingdom is divided, he has not forgotten the lower kingdom.

    Now Elijah steps up and builds an altar to God. He even uses the precious water to completely cover the sacrifice…three times…totally drenched! The Lord responds to Elijah’s prayer and “burns up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench” (18:38). The people figured out that God was real and Baal was false (clever). They seized the prophets of Baal and slaughtered them. Elijah prays for the drought to end and God brings rain on the land.

    I’m amazed at Elijah’s faithfulness through this time, his reliance on God for daily food and water for so many days and months. He must have been well known as a prophet since Ahab’s administrator (Obadiah) was not excited about arranging the meeting between Elijah and Ahab, but we don’t get much history of Elijah otherwise. Surely Elijah’s faith was demonstrated for years, even decades before he was called upon by God to demonstrate His mighty purpose for Israel. Year after year, even in the face of rising powers of pagan worship, Elijah remained on course, worshipping God alone. That’s our challenge today. That’s why we “do church,” to strengthen each other, to keep our brother and sister from falling into the trap of ungodly living. Lord I pray we read these stories and affirm our faith in you before you bring your final judgment. Help us to be the consistent example of your great love. Prepare us for the moment when you will call us to step out in great faith for your mighty purpose and give us the strength to rely completely on you–always.

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