Elijah: Faith At All Times
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 17:1-7
I love the story of Elijah. Close to seven years ago, I listened to a series of sermons that made Elijah come to life for me, and since then I revisit his story once or twice a year. His is a story of courage, boldness and faith. For the next few weeks, we will be spending time with the story of Elijah and see what all we can learn from his life.
We begin with the first seven verses of 1 Kings 17. This is our introduction to Elijah, and we learn something interesting about him right off the bat. Elijah is a Tishbite from the land of Tishbe. A quick search of Tishbe reveals that the word is related to the Hebrew word meaning, “sojourner; traveler.” Elijah was a resident alien; he was nobody special from nowhere special. What is the first thing we see this nobody doing? He is confronting the wicked King Ahab. Ahab had married a foreign woman and adopted her religion of Baal worship. Not only was King Ahab dishonoring God by his idolatry, but he was leading Israel into doing the same thing. Little unknown Elijah has been called by God to deliver a message to King Ahab. What is the message? “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” Elijah has declared a drought in the name of the Lord, and all of Israel will suffer due to King Ahab’s idolatry.
God commands Elijah to go out into the wilderness to seek refuge, and God promises to take care of Elijah. Elijah takes shelter near the brook Cherith, and he has a supply of water and food. The food is a direct blessing from God, as He has ravens deliver Elijah bread and meat twice a day. Elijah, this ordinary man with nothing particularly impressive about him, is being taken care of by the Almighty One. Elijah’s faith is growing every day as God takes care of him, but God has plans to grow his faith even more. After a while of no rain, the brook Cherith dries up, and Elijah has no more water to drink. Now more than ever, Elijah must rely on God to keep him alive.
Call to Action: I find it noteworthy that Elijah’s circumstances, both good and bad, are a result of his faith in God and his prayers. He believed God, and prayed that there would be no rain, but as a result his brook dried up. To be a man or woman of faith, we must trust God with all things. As Elijah boldly stands up for faith in God, he must trust God to take care of him at all times. As we strive to walk by faith, we too must learn to trust God in the good times and bad. God is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. We have nothing to fear in living for Jesus. The world may persecute us, or try to make life harder because of our faith, but our faith is in the One who made the world. Don’t allow fear to hurt your faith. As our Savior said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)