James 5:17-18 NKJV
I Kings 17:1-17 and I Kings 18:41-46 NKJV
I Kings 17 and 18 (whole story)
I love reading from and about the prophets. Each Old Testament prophet has a special message and character of God.
The prophet Elijah is no different. He was certainly colorful! There were times he was fearless and on top of the world and at other times he was extremely depressed (mostly because of the evil Queen Jezebel).
In James 5:17-18, we read, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
In I Kings 17:1, we read, “Now Elijah the Tishbite was a prophet from the settlers in Gilead. “I serve the Lord, the God of Israel,” Elijah said to Ahab. “As surely as the Lord lives, no rain or dew will fall during the next few years unless I command it.”
Then we learn in I Kings 17:2-6 that the Lord sent the Prophet Elijah to Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan River and while he was there, the ravens fed him with meat, bread, and water. But in verse seven the water dried up.
God told Elijah in I Kings 17:8 to go to Zarephath in Sidon for there was a widow who lived there who would care for him. It’s important to note that while God instructed Elijah there would be no rain, God also gave Elijah a way to survive the drought.
In I Kings 17:9-16 Elijah went to stay with the widow and her son and she provided for the Prophet. When the Prophet arrived the widow only had enough flour for one small loaf for herself and her son, but the Prophet Elijah instructed her to prepare the bread. He promised her that she would have an abundant supply of flour and oil until the drought was over.
The widow obeyed and flour and oil remained in the containers continuously until the drought was over (I Kings 17:14-17). According to James, for three years and six months it did not rain so the widow’s supply of flour and oil did not dry up.
Then in I Kings 18:41-46 God told Elijah rain was coming to end the drought. Elijah watched for the rain clouds and he believed. Elijah was on top of Mt. Carmel and he sent his servant to look for rain clouds down below. Six times the servant went down the mountain to look for signs of rain and he did not see any clouds. Then when he went down the mountain a seventh time, the servant saw a small rain cloud and in I Kings 18:44 we read, “Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!”
And it rained.
The Prophet Elijah listened and obeyed God.
James used the Prophet Elijah as an example of suffering and prayer. In the midst of suffering at the hands of King Ahab and his evil Queen Jezebel) the Prophet Elijah was faithful.
In I Kings 18:2-4 we learn that the Prophet Elijah went to King Ahab. We read in I Kings 18:4 that Ahab’s Queen (evil Jezebel) massacred the prophets of the Lord. Scripture also says that Obadiah who feared the Lord hid 100 prophets of God in a cave.
Even then, the Prophet Elijah did not back down or away from a fight with Ahab and Jezebel’s Baal gods.
Elijah, one single prophet of Yahweh God took a stand against King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.
Elijah served ONE God.
He did not waiver.
We read in I Kings 18:20-40 that Elijah faced and defeated 450 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. In James 5:16 he outlined his reasons for using the Prophet Elijah as an example:
Elijah confessed his sins.
Elijah prayed that others might be healed (I Kings 17:17-24).
Elijah was effective.
Elijah was fervent.
Elijah was a righteous man before God.
James actually provided a great example for us today.
As we humbly seek God’s face we remember Elijah and the drought when by God’s hand he stopped the rain, and we remember when In obedience to God, Elijah prayed for rain and God opened the skies and brought rain. Elijah’s prayer was effective and in obedience to God, fervent toward God, and righteous in God.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Confess and Pray
BE effective, fervent, and righteous before God through your confession. Focus on one person and pray for them following your own personal confession.
In God, Deborah