Read 1 Kings 16
Prophecy of Jehu against Baasha (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 (I Kin. 16:25); Ahab, Jezebel; and finally Elijah.
At a time when Israel's obedience to Jehovah was very unpopular, Elijah the Tishbite (I Kings 17:1) stood before wicked King Ahab in the Northern Kingdom to declare the results of ignoring the Word of God. Elijah’s faith was in God’s Word which reads: Take heed to yourselves, that your [minds and] (I Kings 14:15).
There is always a cost for being disobedient to God. Sin definitely has it's price. It separates us from God. It's final results, unless one repents, end in death and hell. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the Lord's wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you (Deut. 11:16-17).
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. (I Kings 17:1).
When Elijah said these years, he meant “an indefinite time” – until you are ready to repent, there will be no more rain.According to my word meant – “No one else on earth can announce when the drought will end and the rain begins.” Three-and-one-half years passed (Luke 4:25; James 5:17). Then, as suddenly as Elijah first appeared, he once more pointed his finger at Ahab’s face and boldly stated: And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 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 (18:17-18). After denouncing the king, he placed himself above the king by demanding: Therefore send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel – meaning the elders and leaders of Israel (18:19). Elijah also demanded that the king bring the 450 prophets of Baal who did eat at Jezebel’s table. This confirmed that the queen was the one who paid their salaries. Ahab must have felt compelled to cooperate because he responded immediately.
Elijah was intent on removing all doubt that Jehovah alone was God and that Baal was a false god. He used the only two weapons in our arsenal – the Word of God and effectual fervent prayer (James 5:16): I have done all these things at Thy Word.... Then the fire of the Lord fell (I Kings 18:36,38). Then Elijah stayed in fervent prayer – sending his servant to look for a sign of rain until he finally reported a small cloud in the sky (18:43-44). These events proved that Elijah’s God was the One True God.
The consequences of their sin would be the downfall of these people as a country. They would be separated and scattered all over the world. This separation would last for nearly 1900 years. It began after Christ and His apostles died and lasted until 1948. That is the year Israel was established again as a nation.
The Lord does not always answer immediately, as He did then when the fire fell. Men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart, and give up), meaning never quit praying until we have an answer (Luke 18:1; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2). Often there must be a time of fervent prayer, an attitude of intense asking, seeking, and knocking, such as the widow who went before the unjust judge day and night, and as the one who rose at midnight, knocked on his neighbor’s door, and said: A friend in his journey has come to me (Matt. 7:7-8); Luke 11:5-10; 18:1-8). It is not that God is hard to persuade. Elijah did more than just pray or leave it up to the Lord. He also called for all the leaders of the nation and the false prophets, built the altar, prepared the wood, the sacrifice, and all the water.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly (heartfelt, continued) 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:
Be sure of this, God always acts in agreement with His written Word.
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 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 13:35