Week of October 1
Confrontation for Reconciliation
During Elijah's time, Ahab was king over Israel. He was a wicked king. Ahab thought that he knew better than his forefathers. Instead of marrying a godly Jewish woman, he married Jezebel, a worshiper of Baal—the god of the Phoenicians. Ahab may have thought he would convert her, but the opposite happened. She converted him and together they worshipped Baal.
Baal is a symbol of Satan. When the Israelites came out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, God told them to wipe out the worshippers of Baal. It was God's judgment on those who refused to believe in Him. Instead, the people of God joined with the worshipers of Baal and the Lord's anger burned against them. Those who bowed down to Baal were killed.
Under Ahab, the people of God reached one of their lowest points in history as they voiced their allegiance to God, yet dabbled in pagan religions. So God sent Elijah to bring His children back to Him by confronting the immorality and compromise in their nation. He did this by confronting the king, the nation's leader, because no nation, home, business or church will rise above its leader.
Elijah went to Ahab and said, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word" (1 Kings 17:1). Every morning, the land of Israel received dew that coated all of the vegetation and gave the greenery life. Without the dew, everything would have died. Elijah, in effect, said that there would be neither dew nor rain for years to prove that Jehovah is the Living God, not Baal of the Phoenicians.
Perhaps Ahab and Jezebel thought Elijah was crazy and dismissed him from the palace. However, it wasn't long before the dew dried up and they were searching the land for him. They could not find him, though, because the Lord had hidden Elijah.
God did not abandon Elijah. In his hiding place, he cared for his needs by providing both natural and supernatural blessings. When he was in Kerith Ravine, ravens brought him food and he drank from the brook. Later, when God directed him to Zarephath, God supernaturally multiplied the meager pantry of a widow to provide his daily bread.
As confusing and frustrating as it may have been for Elijah to wait passively for the next step, God was working in his life. No matter what Elijah felt or questioned about his circumstances, he faithfully followed God's directions.
God does not call us into His work to fail. He wants us to succeed, and sometimes that means being groomed into patient, obedient servants. God can work through anyone who has a willing heart, but sometimes we need to be hidden for a while in order to reach that point.
Has God asked you to do something extraordinary on His behalf? Has He asked you to step out in faith, speaking the Truth, so that His children may be brought back to Him?
Maybe you have stepped out in faith, but you now find yourself in a hiding place of preparation. You may feel frustrated, confused, and even purposeless. Take heart, God is working out His purpose through you. He is preparing you for the next step so that you may be an even more effective servant.
As you pray, ask God what He is preparing you for, and how He needs you to grow and change to accomplish His will.
"My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins."-- James 5:19-20
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