Read 1 Kings 16
The prophecy of Jehu against Baasha — what you sow, you shall reap (I Kin. 16:1-7; comp. Gal. 6:7). More evil kings follow until Omri, who wrought evil . . . worse than all that were before him (I Kin. 16:25). Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel; Elijah's prophecy of drought; Elijah fed by ravens; the poor widow whose son he raises from the dead. Read about the thrilling battle between a man of God and a nation of evil men (chap. 17 — 18).
With Ahab's reign began a new and very ungodly era in the history of Israel. Idolatry and wickedness flourished. Following his marriage to Jezebel and the establishment of Phoenecian idolatry, Ahab introduced her worship of Baal as the religion of the nation. This was followed by fierce persecution of the worshipers of Jehovah and the killing of His prophets (I Kin. 18:4,13-14).
There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell (surrender) himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up (I Kin. 21:25).
Although worship of Jehovah was forced underground, the Lord always has His faithful few; one of them was Elihjah. This godly prophet dared to be bold for God regardless of evil circumstances or consequences. Elijah . . . said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word (17:1). Elijah was a prophet of God but he was also a man like us (James 5:17). He experienced the hunger caused by this drought which he had foretold. Not only that, but the water of the brook on which Elijah had depended gradually diminished and disappeared.
Christians are representatives of God and are here on earth to confirm His faithfulness. Our attitude, words, and actions must all declare that He alone is our true and inexhaustible Source of supply. It is imperative, therefore, and supremely so in financial matters, that we be in a true sense independent of men and wholly dependent upon God. This means that even though we earn a living with our fellow man, our trust is to be totally in God. If there is any weakness here, He will be robbed of the glory that is due only to Him. As the servants of God, we must show forth the abundance of His spiritual resources and rely on Him for all things.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. . . . And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain (James 5:16-18).
Thought for Today:
If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour (John 12:26).
By Elijah, whom God used to provide flour and oil for the needy widow at Zarephath (I Kin. 17:13-16). Christ our Provider supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
17:16 wasted not was not used up; 18:4 cut off urdered; 18:19 eat at Jezebel's table are provided for by Jezebel; 18:21 halt aver, undecided.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Tom Cole (OK), Justice Elena Kagan • Dominica (65,000) in the British West Indies • Major languages: English and French patois • Religious freedom • 75% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who are in adverse circumstances (Heb. 13:3).
Optional Reading: Romans 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:12