Read 1 Kings 16
Zimri slays Baasha's descendants; Zimri's suicide; Omri's reign; Ahab's reign; Elijah's prediction of drought; his contest with prophets of Baal.
And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him (I Kin. 16:30-31).
Ahab, king of Samaria, was one of the most powerful kings ever to rule the Northern Kingdom. But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up (21:25). Jezebel had an intense zeal for Baal worship; therefore, after Ahab married Jezebel, he readily accepted Baal worship and reared up an altar for Baal (16:32). All who worshiped Jehovah were fiercely persecuted (18:5; 19:14).
But the Lord always has His faithful few who dare to proclaim His Word, regardless of the circumstances or the consequences. Elijah was one of these. He must have felt that his efforts to restore true worship of Jehovah were in vain and his influence worthless. He, too, felt the effects of the drought which he had foretold. God had said the ravens would feed him there as he hid by the brook Cherith (17:4).
Elijah depended on water from the brook for daily refreshment, but the brook gradually dried up. The prophet was confident that where God guides, He provides. The Lord who once said: I have commanded the ravens to feed thee, afterwards said: I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee (17:4-9). The grace of God is always sufficient when the hour of need arises. As we follow His leading, He will meet our every need there — not just anywhere.
God often allows us to face unusual and difficult situations in order to remind us of our absolute dependence on Him.
Through difficulties, we discover whether our confidence is in the Lord or in favorable circumstances. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit (James 5:16-18).
Thought for Today:
God always provides what is necessary to meet our needs.
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 Sara Higdon • Government Officials: Rep. Tom Jeffrey Cole (OK) and Assoc. Justice Elena Kagan • Country: Cambodia (12 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Khmer and French • Confused and unsettled at this time • 88% Buddhist; 3% animism and spirit worship; 2% Muslim; .6% Roman Catholic/Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you will sanctify the Lord God in your heart (I Pet. 3:15).
Optional Reading: Romans 1
Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:33