Tuesday 14 June 2016

Bible Book:
1 Kings

"The heavens grew black with clouds and wind; there was heavy rain." (v. 45)

1 Kings 18:41-46 Tuesday 14 June 2016

Psalm: Psalm 102:12-28



In the time this passage is set, there had been three years ofdrought and famine and the Israelites had suffered terribly fromlack of food and water. At the same time, King Ahab and QueenJezebel had wrought terror in the land. Jezebel, a fearsome woman,worshipped the false god Baal and on her instructions theIsraelites were persecuted and their prophets put to death.Hundreds had been killed. Her husband Ahab was an Israelite but hewas too weak and afraid of his wife to oppose her evil commands.But Ahab felt guilty for the suffering of the people, thepersecution of the prophets and for his own weakness. Ahab blamedGod's great prophet Elijah for the famine because he believed it tobe God's judgement for his own persecution of the Israelites.

Ahab was in awe of Elijah. He feared him as much as he feared hiswife, but for different reasons. Jezebel represented the power ofevil but Elijah was the power of the living God. Now Elijah hadspoken and had heard the sound of rushing rain. How could this be?Such a sound had not been heard for three years. The people weredesperate for rain. Was Elijah dreaming? Was he imagining thesethings? Elijah responded to Ahab's personal needs, telling him toeat and drink. This showed that Elijah was not dreaming.

Elijah went up Mount Carmel - he had received from God a visionthat rain would come soon. On the mountain his servant was sent tolook for the signs of rain, time and time again. Each time hereturned with the news that there was no sign of rain. Eventually -the seventh time that he was sent - the servant saw a small cloudon the horizon. Then the living God was experienced in thelife-giving, earth-drenching, refreshing rain.

To Ponder

  • In what ways might Elijah's persistence be a symbol of hopetoday?
  • What do you thirst for most?
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