Today we are introduced to Elijah, the Prophet. God sent him to the northern kingdom of Israel to deal with the worst king ever, Ahab, who’s married to the worst queen ever, Jezebel. Jezebel brought the worship of Baal, to Israel. Baal was the pagan god of fertility and supposedly also in charge of rain. Here we’ll see who truly has power over rain, the food supply and even life itself. Let’s dig in…
1 Kings 17 – Enter Elijah
Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!”
2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”
5 So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.
The Widow at Zarephath
8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon (Phoneicia). I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. 16 There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
17 Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. 18 Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”
19 But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. 20 Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”
21 And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” 22 The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! 23 Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!”
24 Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”1 Kings 17 NLT
Points to Ponder
- The name “Elijah” means “Yahweh is my God”.
- God stopped the rain from falling because the people of Israel rejected God and turned to the fake god, Baal.
- The Israelites, did not have enough faith in the One True God. They weren’t humble enough to ask for help. Nevertheless, the kept praying and sacrificing to a worthless idol.
The Psalmist warns…
1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us,Psalm 115:1-8 NLT
but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
2 Why let the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
3 Our God is in the heavens,
and he does as he wishes.
4 Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,
shaped by human hands.
5 They have mouths but cannot speak,
and eyes but cannot see.
6 They have ears but cannot hear,
and noses but cannot smell.
7 They have hands but cannot feel,
and feet but cannot walk,
and throats but cannot make a sound.
8 And those who make idols are just like them,
as are all who trust in them.
- The drought didn’t just affect Israel, but other countries also. He sent Elijah to Gentile territory to reveal His power and save a widow and her son with a miracle.
- God’s miracles don’t happen for selfish people. As long as the widow was willing to feed Elijah, God provided.
- This was a miracle of multiplication. God took what little the widow had and multiplied it. Just like what Jesus did with some loaves of bread and a few fish.
Jesus told us…
38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.Luke 6:38 NLT
The widow was willing to share what little she had with Elijah and God, in turn, saved her son. This was a preview of the resurrection of the dead.
Who Has Power Over…
- the rain?
- the food supply?
- life itself?
Only the ONE TRUE GOD — our CREATOR, Jesus Christ!
Not Mary, or a church, or any of the saints. When you lift Mary higher than Jesus, when you pray to her or a saint instead of Jesus, you are rejecting God, just like the Israelites did back in 863 BC!
Idolatry, that is, expecting a piece of wood, clay or stone to do something for you is worthless and hopeless.
Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
We live in a fallen world. Bad things happen due to…
- our own fault — stupid mistakes or foolish decisions
- actions of others — whether it’s their foolish mistakes or deliberate acts of evil
- random circumstances
- God is testing you — allowing things to happen to strengthen you.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;Psalm 139:23-24 NLT
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Ask Him to open the eyes of people to see the sin in your country…
- sexual immorality
It all does look hopeless, doesn’t it?
You can survive 21 days without food, 3 days without water, but you cannot survive more than one day without HOPE.
ARE YOU AT THE END OF YOUR HOPE?
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.Romans 5:3-5 NLT
What are you waiting for?