Bible Pathway - Apr. 29, 2011

 

Read 1 Kings 19

Highlights:

Wicked Queen Jezebel threatens the life of Elijah to morrow (I Kin. 19:2). He is miraculously sustained by angels (19:9-12). The plan of God to provide a successor for Elijah (19:15-19). God uses wicked Ahab and proves to him that I am the Lord (20:28-34). Ahab's death foretold.

Because of Ahab's wickedness, God withheld rain from all of Israel for three years. Then He told Elijah to go again to Ahab. Elijah challenged the king to assemble all the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel to prove who really is the only living God. Elijah proved that the God of Israel is the One True God. Elijah probably expected the miracle on Mount Carmel and the execution of the prophets of Baal to turn the nation from idols and bring national repentance. It didn't!

Our hero may have expected that his victory on Mount Carmel would put the fear of God into the idolatrous queen, prepare her to listen with respect to his message, and encourage the king to bring about true worship of the One True God. But it didn't! On the contrary, the Satanic nature of Jezebel was aroused, and she swore revenge for the slaughter of her priests and demanded that the prophet be put to death.

Disheartened, Elijah said: It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life — meaning: I am a failure as Your prophet. You can replace me (I Kin. 19:4). God did not rebuke, punish, or condemn him for his disappointment. But neither did God answer his prayer for death. Instead, He gave him rest and food. On the strength of that food, he went forty days and forty nights across the dry desert of Sinai until he came to Horeb, the mount of God (19:8), where he entered a cave. Then in rapid succession, the most demonstrative symbols of Jehovah's mighty power — storm, earthquake, and fire — passed before him. Not in these, but in the still small voice, the prophet discovered the true greatness of his God-given success on Mount Carmel (19:12).

Elijah desired that Israel be transformed into the Kingdom of God. Much was accomplished, but his real encouragement was in the seven thousand who had remained faithful to the One True God (19:18). Elijah had fulfilled the will of God.

God permits days when heavy burdens press hard upon our hearts. During times like these, like Elijah, we are tempted to assume that we are failures. Elijah's experience should encourage every Christian to look beyond appearances and listen in order to hear the still small voice of God. Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (don't give up) (Gal. 6:9).

Thought for Today:

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Rom. 6:6).

Christ Portrayed:

By the unnamed prophet who prophesied victory to King Ahab so that he would know his destiny was controlled by God: Thou shalt know that I am the Lord (I Kin. 20:13,28). Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:57).

Word Studies:

19:8 Horeb Mount Sinai; 19:14 jealous zealous; 19:21 instruments yokes; 20:11 harness armor; 20:12 set yourselves in array get ready to attack; 20:24 rooms positions, places.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Mo Brookes (AL), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) • Country: Dominican Republic (8 million) in the West Indies, occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 96% Roman Catholic (many are spiritists); 2% Protestant; 1% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be content with and thankful for the things you have (Heb. 13:5).

Optional Reading: Romans 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:12

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