Read Time: 7 Min.
Elijah must have stood strong on the Word of God. The evidence is clear. God had told him to tell King Ahab of Israel that it wasn't going to rain on Israel because of his evil actions and it didn't. In fact it didn't rain for over 3 years. There are parts of the country today (I live in one) where huge bodies of water are down 25%. There are alarming amounts of exposed lakebed due to several years of drought conditions. We rely on our snowpack to fill these back up and it is down an average of 50%. People are quite concerned. Thankfully, we do have 40 inches of snow in the San Juan Mountains; at least it has snowed. I cannot fathom the absence of rain. No rain for three years; crops fail, streams dry up, rivers are reduced to meandering mud puddles, animals die for lack of food and water, people die. Elijah is not in some cave hiding out, he must see what is happening. He was there when his brook dried up. He looked into the eyes of the widow when she was getting ready to prepare their last meal. When her son died he was there, he stretched himself upon the lifeless corpse three times until he revived. What kept Elijah strong in his believing--in his faith?
Many days after the widow's son was revived:
I Kings 18
:1 And it came to pass after many days,
that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying,
Go, shew thyself unto Ahab;
and I will send rain upon the earth.
:2 And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab.
And there was a sore famine in Samaria.
I bet Ahab is holding a huge grudge against Elijah. Don't you think this would be a dangerous situation to step into? Elijah did what God told him to do. He must have believed that God would take care of him. There is a sore famine in Samaria, not just a famine; this is exceptionally devastating.
As Elijah journeyed to meet Ahab he runs into Obadiah, the governor of Ahab's house and a Believer who hid 100 prophets from Queen Jezebel who routinely killed them when she could. Obadiah is afraid for his own life because Elijah asked Obadiah to go tell Ahab he was back (they had looked for Elijah for a long time). (I Kings 18:3-16)
When Ahab finally meets Elijah he accuses him of causing the drought. With all of these things happening around him, what kept Elijah strong?
Elijah throws the accusation back in the king's face.
I Kings 18
:18 And he answered,
I have not troubled Israel;
but thou, and thy father's house,
in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD,
and thou hast followed Baalim
Elijah stood there calm and collected, confident in his God, and told the king--the most powerful man in Samaria--that it was his fault. Where did Elijah get his confidence?
Elijah then has Ahab get his prophets of Baalim together (850 of them) and told them to construct two altars and slay two bullocks for a burnt offering with the condition that the God who truly reigns will light the fire. Elijah let Ahab's prophets go first. They tried earnestly to get Baalim, their god, to light the fire. Finally Elijah asks them at noon where is their god? Is he talking with someone else? Has he gone for a walk? Is he asleep? Those prophets kept going; they yelled and chanted and cut them selves to the point that the 'blood gushed out upon them' until the evening with no result (I Kings 19-29)
Now it is God's turn:
I Kings 18
:30 And Elijah said unto all the people,
Come near unto me.
And all the people came near unto him.
And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.
:31 And Elijah took twelve stones,
according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob,
unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying,
Israel shall be thy name:
:32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD:
and he made a trench about the altar,
as great as would contain two measures of seed. [about 4 gallons / 7.5 liters]
:33 And he put the wood in order,
and cut the bullock in pieces,
and laid him on the wood, and said,
Fill four barrels with water, [water is quite precious now]
and pour it on the burnt sacrifice,
and on the wood.
:34 And he said,
Do it the second time.
And they did it the second time. And he said,
Do it the third time.
And they did it the third time. [wait, things don't burn if they are wet]
:35 And the water ran round about the altar;
and he filled the trench also with water.
:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice,
that Elijah the prophet came near, and said,
LORD God of Abraham,
and of Israel,
let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel,
and that I am thy servant,
and that I have done all these things at thy word.
:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me,
that this people may know that thou art the LORD God,
and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell,
and consumed the burnt sacrifice,
and the wood,
and the stones,
and the dust,
and licked up the water that was in the trench.
:39 And when all the people saw it,
they fell on their faces: and they said,
The LORD, he is the God;
the LORD, he is the God.
Elijah was strong and steadfast in his conviction. He did what God told him to do. He sat there and watched as 850 people ranted and raved trying to get Baalim to light the sacrifice. Yet, he didn't doubt one bit what God had told him. When his turn came he had the repaired the altar they had broken down, drenched the sacrifice (not common practice) and then called upon God, reminding him of His promise, Elijah's faithfulness and that he had done all that God had asked. He asks for God to fulfill His promise so people can see and believe and then God lights the sacrifice. God does so in grand style consuming the entirety of the sacrifice including the altar the dust and water-all is gone. Impressive!
Many of us will not be called upon to perform for God in this manner. But how can we learn from this? Elijah stayed strong and steadfast on God's revelation without regard to the circumstances or how long it took for God's revelation to come to pass. Elijah must have spent time with the scripture. He must have spent time walking and talking with God. He must have spent time getting to know Him and dedicating his life to Him. Elijah was fully persuaded that God would bring to pass the revelation that he was told.
Fully Persuaded continued next week . . .
(Questions are answered)