Read 155.) I Kings 17:1 thru 19:21. There are different kinds of prophets in the Bible. We have the writing prophets. They left us 16 books in our Bible. And, there are the action prophets. We don’t read of books of prophecy they left, but rather, we read a record of their exploits and what they did! We have the very first of these with this great man, Elijah. Since so much of his ministry revolves around King Ahab of Israel, we can see that his time likely fit within an 870-855 BC window. Just within today’s reading, we can marvel at some 7 different miracles God wrought by Elijah, as well as the 18th appearance of this mysterious Angel of the Lord, Who has been a key player in the story since Genesis 16, from some 1,200 years before!
By Elijah, in chapter 17, God sent a 3-year drought on Israel while Ahab was king. While Elijah was away, he stayed with a poor widow, whose flour and oil never ran out while he stayed with her, that they could all eat and not die. That widow’s son did die, but God raised him up at the prayer of Elijah for him. With chapter 18, we have the very famous account of Elijah confronting the 850 false prophets under wicked Queen Jezebel, when the Lord answered Elijah with fire from heaven, before all the people, whom He was turning back to Himself in repentance. A fifth miracle was right after this confrontation, when Elijah prayed for rains to return to Israel, and they did. Then, a 6th was his own outrunning of Ahab, who was on horseback, to the city of Jezreel in Israel. Then, in chapter 19, more great stories. Here, the one about Elijah fearfully fleeing the murderous threat of Jezebel, and miraculously walking 40 days and nights, to the very Mountain of God, where Moses had led the people of Israel, almost 600 years before in Exodus 19. He did this on the nourishment of one meal provided him by the Angel of the Lord! Elijah will also anoint some Jehu to become king, but he will not rise to the throne for some 15 to 20 years later, after 2 other kings will have ruled in Israel.
These stories fascinate! This is all about God bringing about Messiah into the world. But, this is the time of Israel’s prophesied unfaithfulness still. And, as a result, we see little of godliness in any of these kings or people. It is not that God is not real, or not present, or not caring. It is about the fulfillment of prophecy, of His Word; and to show that human corruption within, is such that, apart from God, as so many people here are, little to no good comes from any of them. We NEED God. We NEED His Messiah. We NEED to learn of our NEED of Messiah thru all these stories and accounts. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell