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Courage! Part 2

April 26, 2013

I really do believe I’ll be able to someday move past I Kings 17:1, but for now, let’s look at it again from a fresh angle. Let’s set the stage for how it possibly took place.   Only this is not a movie being filmed; this is real life.

It was law in the nation of Israel that God’s prophets were to be financially taken care of.*  It’s really hard for me to fathom that Ahab held to that requirement.  He may have, but Ahab and his wife Jezebel were conniving Baal-worshipers.  Because of that, it’s easier to picture major budget cuts to the prophets’ salaries, so I doubt that Elijah lived in luxury or wore clothing of distinction.

I can see Elijah emerge from his humble living quarters dressed in clothing to match.  Yet he can be seen walking toward the palace with determined purpose, eyes fixed on God’s assignment for the day. His steps are firm and resolute as he determinedly walks toward Ahab’s palace.  Those he passes on the street can tell even from a distance that he is on a mission.  He doesn’t even seem to notice his fellow Israelites as he sets off for Samaria to speak to the king.  Each step he takes seems to add fuel to God’s fire burning within him.  This message is like no other he has ever delivered from God.  What will take place in the king’s presence will literally be the beginning of God’s firestorm of judgment that will sweep across the nation of Israel.  Drought.  Famine.  Devastation.  Death.  Each step brings Israel closer to their time of judgment from their God, yet they are unaware.  They, as well as their King and Queen continue to live as they please.

Finally Elijah arrives at the entrance to the palace.  He is not impressed with the splendor around him.  He is so resolute he doesn’t even notice, because what is seen is not a reflection of the true grandeur of the One Who truly reigns.  I can almost hear the introduction.

“Your Majesty, King Ahab, Elijah the Tishbite from Gilead wishes to have an audience with His Majesty.”

Ahab responds with disdain, “You may show him in.”

Elijah is ushered in, unimpressed with either the protocol or the man now before him, seated on a magnificent throne.  The king looks at his visitor, dressed in rags compared to his royal robes.  His eyebrows are raised in question as to what has brought this man before him.  Ahab and Elijah may have tangled before, or this could the first time they have met.  Ahab thinks with a sigh, “This had better be important.  You have disrupted my day.  I have a full schedule of royal duties I must attend to.”

Even a casual observer easily notes that the two alpha males are about to engage in a nose-to-nose confrontation.  Amazingly enough, the one in common clothes bears the true kingly position.  Without so much as any further introduction or conversation Elijah begins.

“I serve the Lord, the God of Israel.  As surely as the Lord lives, no rain or dew will fall during the next few years unless I command it.” **

Freeze that frame.  Elijah is saying:

  • I don’t serve Baal
  • I serve the Lord
  • He is the true God of Israel
  • your god, Baal, is not the one in charge of Israel, rain, or fertile crops
  • the God I serve is
  • You, the king, will see that Baal is a false god
  • The Lord lives; that’s a fact not a personal belief
  • You will see proof not only that He lives but is also more powerful than your god when He carries out this message: no rain and no dew for several years
  • your non-existent god cannot reverse the coming drought
  • This will only change if I command it, as I speak as God directs

What is God directing you to do?  Have you heard a warning from God about what you should or should not do?  Are you the one who is supposed to take an instruction or warning to someone else?  As you lean on Him and listen to what He speaks, you will also draw strength from the Father.  To lean is to gain comfort.  To listen is to yield to Him. As you do both you will find strength to obey.  Move forward with what He has given you to do.  Walk toward your Ahab in the kingly stride and with the unshakable courage as Elijah did, that your mission is His.

*Life Application Study Bible, footnote for 1 Kings 17:10ff, page 544

**1 Kings 17:1, New Century Version

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