April 28

Read I & II Kings 16 -- 18

In Today's Reading:

Evil kings of Israel; Elijah's pronouncement of drought; Elijah fed by ravens and the widow; he raises the widow's son; his contest with prophets of Baal

Ahab promoted Baal worship as a result of his marriage to Jezebel. During his reign, true Israelite worshipers were unpopular and feared for their lives. Then, the prophet Elijah boldly declared to Ahab: As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word (God's Word declared through me) (I Kings 17:1). Elijah's explicit faith was in God, who had warned: Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And . . . He shut up the heaven, that there be no rain (Deuteronomy 11:16-17).

After 31/2 years of no rain, Elijah again, approached the king and informed him that Israel's drought was the result of he and his house rejecting the Commandments of the LORD. . . . Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred which eat at Jezebel's table (I Kings 18:18-19).

 

Elijah challenged the 850 false prophets to call on the name of your gods to consume their sacrifice (18:25). After a full day of Jezebel's prophets frantically praying to no avail, Elijah called the people to come near. . . . And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down (18:30). Then he prayed: LORD God . . . let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your Word. . . . Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burned sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and . . . the water that was in the trench. 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).

 

Elijah then demanded that all false prophets be executed (18:40; compare Deuteronomy 13:1-5). After their execution, Elijah said to Ahab . . . there is a sound of abundance of rain (I Kings 18:41; see James 5:17-18).

 

Elijah illustrates how the power of God is released when we pray and are obedient to His Word. We are to be praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching . . . with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:18).

 

Word Studies:

17:16 wasted not = was not used up; 17:17 sore = severe; 18:4 cut off = murdered; 18:19 eat at Jezebel's table = are supported by Jezebel; 18:21 halt = waver.

Christ Portrayed:

By Elijah, through whose faith God provided flour and oil for the needy widow at Zarephath (I Kings 17:13-16). Christ is our Provider, the One who supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).

Pray For:

Government Officials: Rep. Tom Cole (OK) and Gov. Judy Martz (MT) · Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa · Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects · Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism · 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men · Prayer Suggestion: The promises of God should be an encouragement to you to seek God in prayer (Amos 5:4,6).

Optional Reading: Romans 1

Memory Verse for the Week: John 6:63