Bible Society of South Africa

The right man for a bad time – 11 June 2021

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

Elijah and the Drought

1A prophet named Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to King Ahab, “In the name of the LORD, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so.”

1 Kings 17:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

Elijah, the only person, except maybe for Enoch, who was taken into heaven alive. Elijah is also only one of two people in the Old Testament that I know of who had resurrected a dead person. Elijah was the fearless prophet of God during a time of upheaval in the kingdom of Israel. The bad king, Omri, was succeeded by his son Ahab, who was even worse. The latter took a heathen princess called Jezebel as his wife and with her he became a worshipper of Baal and even built a temple for Baal in the capital, Samaria. The Bible tells us that he did more to arouse the anger of the LORD than any of the kings before him.

God provided for Elijah in miraculous ways. First, there were the ravens that brought him food, and when he stayed with the widow in Zarephath, “the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil.” For three years, God provided for him and then sent him to King Ahab with a message. This eventually led to Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. The victory over Baal and his prophets was so complete and final that the people of God who followed Ahab and Jezebel in the worship of Baal could now only call out: “’The LORD is God; the LORD alone is God!’” The final chapter on Mount Carmel is the soaking rain that fell after many years of drought.

In spite of this great victory, Elijah became afraid when Jezebel threatened to have him killed and he fled to the desert. There he became very depressed, crawled under a bush and wished to die. What a contrast between this dejected person and the one who just a while ago tightened his clothes and ran all the way to Jezreel ahead of Ahab’s chariot. It is almost unbelievable that this man who was carried by God and excelled in the service of God became so depressed.

God did not let him die or leave him there in his misery but sent him to Mount Horeb where he, like Moses, was to experience the full glory of God.

Prayer: Lord, please help me when I, who also know you, sometimes become depressed. Please let me experience your presence and glory every day. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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