Summary: God is ready to pour out his blessings upon his people. Are we ready to run? Are we prepared to recieve them and allow God to use us?
FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS
By Pastor Jim May
This past week my wife and I took a few days off and went down to Foley, Alabama near the gulf coast. I’ve never been much for swimming or sunbathing. In fact I haven’t done either of them for nearly 35 years now. And besides, I would look like a beached whale. No, we didn’t go to the beach except to drive along and watch the waves for a few minutes. Instead we went to the Tanger Outlet Mall. Now if you guys really want to have a wonderful time – just to the Outlet Mall. You’ll never have so much fun anywhere, especially if you are with the one person you love more than anyone in the world!
I had the great opportunity to spend some quality time with my wonderful wife. That’s something that I always look forward to and sometimes we need to get away.
The first night we were there it was raining cats and dogs. Well, it was more like mountain lions and St. Bernard’s. There were flash flood warnings everywhere and a number of streets were flooded. For nearly 24 hours the rains came hard and heavy. If there is one thing that the Gulf Coast isn’t having, it’s a drought.
But that’s exactly what was happening in Israel in I Kings. Elijah had prayed and the rain had ceased, and no dew had formed on the ground for about 3 years now.
(And we here in South Louisiana think that we have a drought if it doesn’t rain for two months.)
The land of Israel was under God’s judgment for its sin of idolatry. Evil King Ahab and his wife, Queen Jezebel, had brought Israel deeper into sin than ever before so God had sent Elijah to shake them into repentance. But Israel wouldn’t hear, so the drought came.
I have often wondered why Israel waited so long to fall on their face before God. Why didn’t they just get right to start with and end the drought sooner. After all, the Lord would have lifted the drought at the word of Elijah and Elijah was only waiting for Israel to turn from idolatry. But Israel never made it easy for their selves. They were a stubborn bunch if I ever saw one.
Do you know some stubborn folks in the church today? I think that some of them are so stubborn that the only thing that will break their will is for God to break their heads off and throw away that old hard head and install a new one. Some folks can’t be moved with a stick of dynamite. It takes something far more powerful than that to move them. But I’ll tell you this – I do believe that the power of the Holy Ghost is strong enough to move anybody! Just let that fire of the Holy Ghost and the Glory of God to fall on them and they will be moving, I guar-on-tee (like the Cajun humorist Justine Wilson used to say).
Now Israel’s hard headedness had been finally shaken. God had sent down the fire and consumed the sacrifice on the altar, and 450 false prophets of Baal were dead. The people finally turned back to God and the Spirit of the Lord was in the land once again to bless them.
King Ahab even had to admit that God was God and that Baal was an idol. My friend, when the Spirit of the Lord begins to flow and the power of God is revealed and the anointing breaks the yoke of sin, men will turn back to God and worship Him!
Elijah began to “hear” the change that was coming. He knew that God’s judgment against Israel was at an end. The blessings were about to be poured out! Could it be that the praises of Israel were already reaching to the Throne of God and that God was pleased with their praise? Elijah had stopped the rain and now it was time to start it again.
King Ahab and Elijah stood together at the Brook Kidron looking over the dead prophets of Baal. There was no remorse for killing the false prophets, only a sense of having finally accomplished what God had said to do. From the first day that Israel had entered into the Promised Land God’s instructions had been to destroy every living creature lest Israel would become infected with the sin of idolatry that reigned in the land.
1 Kings 18:41-42, "And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,"