Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways - April 28, 2005

April 28


Read I 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


As a result of his marriage to Jezebel, Ahab promoted the worship of Baal, the chief god of her homeland. During Ahab's reign, true Israelite worshipers of God were unpopular and feared for their lives. During that time, 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 Ahab 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 (see 18:25). For a full day Jezebel's prophets frantically called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. . . . And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out on them (18:26,28), but to no avail. Then 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 (see 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 are obedient to His Word and pray. 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 through whom all our needs are met according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).


Prayer Needs:


Pray for BP Staff: Bernice Rathbone · Government Official: Rep. Tom Cole (OK) · Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Islamic state — no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities · 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that the will of God be done in every situation you face today (Matthew 6:10).


Optional Reading: Romans 1


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:18

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