Summary: God wants to give us intensive training in the areas of trust and obedience
July 21, 2002
1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word." 2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there."
5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.
I. A Struggle for Power
A. The reality of the struggle
1. The physical struggle
a.) The position of power: Ahab was king of the northern kingdom of Israel and Jezebel was his queen. Both were extremely evil and did everything that they could to gain more power over the nation.
b.) The purpose of power: Ahab and Jezebel used their influence to inflict great harm to the nation and its people. At one point, Jezebel had all of the prophets of God killed and cleared from the nation
2. The spiritual struggle
a.) The spiritual influence
Ahab practiced idolatry and filled the nation with idols. Jezebel even had priests of Baal, a Canaanite God of the harvest, on the payroll of the palace
b.) The spiritual struggle
Ahab was literally placing himself as spiritual head of the nation, he was taking God’s rightful place with the people.
B. God move into the struggle
1. God selects His spokesman
a.) The meaning of prophet: The Hebrew word nabi means one who was chosen to speak on behalf of another. Aaron fulfilled this same role for Moses as he spoke to the Pharoah on behalf of Moses. God was in the process of raising someone up to speak His words to His people
b.) God calls Elijah
This is the first time we are introduced to Elijah. We need to notice a few things
1.) There was no mention of his work: nothing about occupation or trade
2.) There was no mention of his family: nothing is said about his parents or family at all
3.) There is nothing of personal nature: nothing about his age or personal history
There is one key fact that we need to understand his name says it all: Elijah literally means that the LORD is my God
2. God shows His power
a.) Elijah proclaims the person of God
Elijah states his personal faith and belief in God in the palace court
Elijah comes face to face with evil and stands for God
b.) Elijah proclaims the power of God
Elijah literally ends the spiritual power struggle that Ahab was trying to wage. Elijah delivers the message that there will be no rain in the land and this means that there will be a severe famine in the land
c.) Why rain? My best guess has to do with Baal. Baal was the god of the harvest and to cause a great famine would completely discredit the followers of Baal
II. A Submission of Priorities
A. God gives a specific direction