Sunday, July 5, 2015

Reading 18: Elijah Arrives

1 Kings 16:29-17:24

A few kings have come and gone for both Judah and Israel. We now come to King Ahab of Israel. He was a worse king than any of the ones who came before him. Not only did he build altars and worship other gods like the kings before him but he also married Jezebel, a high priestess of Baal, a false god; and her father was the high priest of Asheroth, another false god.

Through Elijah, God told Ahab that there would be a drought for years until Elijah said the word. Elijah then fled to a brook where he depended completely on God for protection from Ahab and food from the ravens that God sent with food for him. Elijah stayed there for a long time trusting in God's provision until the drought lasted so long that the brook was all dried up.

God calls Elijah to move to another village where a widow will feed him. So Elijah goes to the village and asks the widow for some food. The widow is extremely poor. In fact when he finds them she is getting ready to prepare her and her sons final meal for after they eat the last little bit of bread they will have no more food and will die from starvation. Elijah tells them to make him bread with the last bit of food and then there will be enough for them afterwards. She does so and has enough bread for Elijah, herself, and her son.

Elijah tells them not to worry but to trust in the provision of God. God will give them a never ending supply of flour and olive oil as long as the drought continues. Just like Jesus would later split the loaves and the bread to feed thousands God multiplies the ingredients of the bread to feed three when there was really hardly enough for one. And just as God rained manna from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness He would constantly fill their jars with ingredients for bread. 

The widow's son gets deathly ill and dies and she puts the blame on God. Elijah takes the boy upstairs and cries out to God three times and the boy comes back to life. God never abandoned the widow and Elijah who kept their faith in Him and He rewards them by answering their prayers. Even when things seemed hopeless God still came through. There was no food and God provided food. There was death and God brought life.

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