March 25, 2023 - 1 Kings 17-22
The Elijah stories. One after the other they follow. It’s an amazing narrative and, as I have sometimes noted, when reading the stories, with each individual story it seems to me there is a particular lesson than can be gleaned. It’s good to rehearse these lessons.
Elijah spoke truth to Ahab, and consequently found himself in hiding. It can be dangerous to stand up for the Lord.
When Elijah was hungry, the widow of Zarephath gave him the little bit of food she and her son had. In response to her generosity, the Lord kept flour in her jar and oil in her jug. They never ran out; they were just there! Generosity and unselfishness are good things. Elijah also healed her son.
The prophets of Baal destroyed on Mt. Carmel. Baal was no god! There is no other god than the God of Israel!
Elijah fled from before Jezebel. Sometimes even the strongest and most faithful of men lose faith and become frightened.
God said to Elijah, before he anointed Elisha, “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (19:18). God will always have his people, and he will keep them.
Elijah went to Elisha and anointed him prophet. Elijah’s ministry is only for a while longer, but then Elisha will do even greater things. God will always have his spokesmen (prophets or apostles or preachers or just everyday believers).
When Benhadad and Syria threatened Israel, the Lord gave the victory to Ahab and Israel. How often God shows himself strong on behalf of his people, even when they are rebellious! Patience! Grace! Mercy!
Ahab and Jezebel killed Naboth and took his small vineyard. The unjust use of power is noticed by God, and the one unjustly treated will be avenged by God. The Lord said to Ahab, “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.”
At one point, Ahab repented, and the Lord relented of all the judgment he might have brought against Ahab. Even the most wicked, when coming in repentance, will find a welcoming and forgiving God.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in God’s excellent Word!
What more can be said than to you God hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.-- George Keith, R. Keen (1787)