The prophecy of Jehu against Baasha — what you sow, you shall reap (I Kin. 16:1-7; comp. Gal. 6:7). More evil kings follow until Omri who wrought evil . . . worse than all that were before him (16:25). Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel. Elijah's prophecy of drought; Elijah fed by ravens, the poor widow whose son he raises from the dead. Read about the thrilling battle between a man of God and a nation of evil men (chap. 17 — 18).
Verses for Today:
Elijah . . . said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth . . . there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. . . . And there was a sore (severe) famine in Samaria (I Kin. 17:1; 18:2).
Ahab promoted Baal worship as a result of his marriage to Jezebel. During his reign, Israelite worshipers of God hid in caves in fear for their lives. After Elijah prayed earnestly that it might not rain (James 5:17), he declared to Ahab that no rain would fall: But according to my word (I Kin. 17:1). Elijah's faith was in God, who had said: Take heed to yourselves, that . . . ye turn (not) aside, and serve other gods . . . And . . . He shut up the heaven, that there be no rain (Deut. 11:16-17).
After 31/2 years of no rain (James 5:17), Elijah again informed the king that Israel's drought was the result of rejecting the Commandments of the Lord. . . . Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred (I Kin. 18:18-19).
Elijah challenged the 850 false prophets to call on the name of your gods to consume their sacrifice (18:25). They prayed frantically a full day to no avail, then Elijah called the people to come near unto me. . . . And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down (18:30). He prayed: Lord God . . . 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. . . . Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice . . . 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 (18:36-39).
All the false prophets were then executed (18:40; see Deut. 13:1-5). Afterwards, Elijah said unto Ahab . . . there is a sound of abundance of rain (I Kin. 18:41; see James 5:17-18).
Like Elijah we should pray earnestly — and keep on praying, trusting in the grace and promises of God to meet our needs.
Thought for Today:
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the Name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure (James 5:10-11).
By Elijah, whom God used to provide flour and oil for the needy widow at Zarephath (I Kin. 17:13-16). Christ our Provider supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
17:16 wasted not =was not used up; 18:4 cut off =murdered; 18:19 eat at Jezebel's table =are provided for by Jezebel; 18:21 halt =waver, undecided.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Government Official: Rep. Tom Cole (OK) • Country: Guatemala (12.3 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian languages • Religious freedom • 60% Catholic; 35% Protestant; 2% Animist; 1.5% Other; 1.5% None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to the Lord with earnestness night and day (I Thess. 3:10).
Optional Reading: Romans 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:13