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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Elijah the Tishbite



Elijah the Tishbite

Elijah was not a "writing prophet" and it may have damaged his popularity since he didn't leave any written works to seal his name in the minds of Bible readers, but he was the prophet who met with Jesus and Moses at the Transfiguration of Jesus. Don't discount him. He was very active during his time as the prophet of record in I Kings 17 through II Kings 2. His successor, Elisha, was far more social than Elijah. But before you abandon him, check out his resume'. 

He faced Ahab the king of Israel and declared a three year drought. 
God sent him to at a muddy stream called Cherith where he depended on ravens for meat and bread. They brought him food morning and night until the stream dried up due to the drought.

Surviving the Drought

Then God sent him to a widow in Zarephath, a city in Sidon on the Lebanese coast. When he got to the city gates, he found a woman picking up sticks for fire wood. He asked her to get him a cup of water. As she was going, he asked her for a piece of bread also. She and her son had no food, but Elijah told her the flour jar would not be empty and the oil jug would not go dry. She sustained him until the third year of the drought. 

Elijah Goes to Mt. Carmel

Ahab called all the people and prophets of Baal to Mount Carmel hoping to rid himself of Elijah.

Elijah approached the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions. If Yahweh is God, follow him. But if Baal is God follow him." The people were completely silent.

Elijah addressed the people again. "I'm the only prophet Jezebel hasn't killed, but there are 450 of Baals prophets here." Elijah issued the challenge. 

The prophets of Baal took the bull and cut it in pieces and laid it on the wood and began to call on the name of their god from morning till noon. About noon Elijah began to taunt them saying, "Scream louder. Maybe he's gone on a trip. Maybe he's taking a nap." They shouted and cut themselves with knives and spears. But there was no sound from their god and no fire fell.

Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he ordered it to be drenched with water three times and filled he trench around the altar.

Elijah's Prayer

Elijah approached the altar and said, "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that you are God in Israel and I am your servant and that at your word I have done all these things. Answer me Lord so that these people know that you are God."
Then Yahweh's fire fell. It consumed the wood, the sacrifice the stones, the dirt, the water in the trench, and the people fell on their faces and said "Yahweh He is God."

Have you noticed how Elijah prayed? He used very few words. Most of his prayer was listening, not talking. He heard God's instructions and obeyed them. He was bold in speaking to the people, the widow, and Ahab. Later he is equally bold in his other contacts, and he later suffers great distress, but God is with him. Read about his ministry in I Kings 17--II Kings 2. Study his prayers and learn from his example.