1 Kings 19:1-16
This is a story about one of two men that did not die. Enoch had walked with God and was taken so that he did not see death, Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind. In the preceding chapter, Elijah has a contest with evil prophets. In this chapter, Elijah flees for his life.
In verses 1-4:
Jezebel was maddened with regard to the passing of her prophets since they had told her what she wanted to hear, forecasting her future glory and power. Their occupation was to immortalize the king and queen and assist with preserving their realm. Jezebel was likewise furious on the grounds that her allies had been dispensed with and her pride and authority harmed. The finances that she had used to put resources into these prophets were presently lost.
Elijah, who caused the prophet's death, was a steady persistent issue for Jezebel since he was continually prophesying about anguish and destruction. Since she was unable to control his activities, she pledged to kill him. However long God's prophet was around, she was unable to do all the shrewdness that she wanted to do.
So, Elijah flees for his life. He is not heroic or courageous. He runs and hides under a tree and requests to die. His attitude had become what is called the I quits, I give up. How many of us have felt this way and have cried out, what is the use? Why does Elijah feel this way? It could be that he expected a different reaction from Jezebel and Ahab. It might be that Elijah expected God to act in a certain way. His faith was based upon his knowledge of God, not on God Himself.
We see the fear of Elijah, which is evident in the flight of Elijah. Fear had gripped his heart, so he fled. Elijah had become overworked, overwrought, and over-worried. We expect God to act a certain way, but when he does not like we think he should, our faith hits the bottom. . . oh woe is me. A Christian is to be completely fearless, and continually cheerful, and he is constantly in trouble. Next, we see Elijah become despondent and he wants to die. Yet he runs away because he is afraid to die. (Job 3:20-21; Jeremiah 20:14)
We can become illogical when we turn from faith to fear. Self-pity sets in. Elijah says, ‘it is enough,’ basically, he is tired of the whole situation. It could be that he is thinking “I have done my part; I cannot take anymore.” Self-pity is the result of having fallen from faith to self-trust and self-trust results in self-pity. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
In verses 5-8:
At the point when Elijah escaped to Mount Horeb, he was getting back to the holy place where God met Moses and gave his laws to humankind. Clearly, God invigorated Elijah with extraordinary strength to travel this significant stretch, north of two hundred miles, without extra food. Like Moses before him and Jesus after him, Elijah abstained for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:9; Matthew 4:1-2). Hundreds of years after the fact, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus would get together on the top of a mountain (Luke 9:28-36).
God takes care of the physical as well as the spiritual. Elijah needed rest and resuscitation, then afterward, he was strengthened and readied for the next part of his journey. There is something about fasting and prayer that is important. It helps us to focus on God and not ourselves.
In verses 9-10:
Elijah believed that he was the only individual who was still consistent with God. He had seen the priesthood and the royal court become bad. In the wake of encountering extraordinary triumph at Mount Carmel, he needed to run for his life. Forlorn and debilitated, he failed to remember that others had stayed unwavering amidst the country's fiendishness. At the point when we are enticed to feel that we are the final stragglers dedicated to an undertaking, we are not to quit working and feel frustrated about ourselves. Self-pity will weaken all that we are doing that is good. Be guaranteed that regardless of whether we know what their identity is, others are steadfastly complying with God and satisfying their obligations.
So, we see Elijah sitting in a cave and then the Lord wants to know what he is doing there. Elijah proceeds to tell the Lord what all the Israelites have or have not done. He thought that he was the only one left that was serving God (Romans 11:2). There are times that we can get like that. We begin to question if we are in the place that we should be in. We question if we are in the way of performing our duty. Are we where we should be and are we doing what we should be doing?
In verses 11-16:
Elijah is sent to the mountain. Normally when we arere up on the mountain, things appear to be better or go much smoother. For some reason, the wind blew, an earthquake came, and there was a fire. Elijah does not seem to be afraid. But then a still small voice comes to him and asks what he is doing there. Elijah realized that the still little voice was God's. He understood that God does not uncover himself just in incredible, inexplicable ways.
To search for God just in something important (like strict assemblies, places of worship, scriptural meetings, and exceptionally apparent leaders) might be to miss him since he is frequently seen as tenderly murmuring in the quietness of a lowered heart. Have we genuinely tuned in for God? We need to move away from the clamor and the action of our bustling lives and listen submissively and unobtrusively for his direction. It might come when we are not expecting it to.
God told Elijah that he was to anoint three unique individuals. The initial person was Hazael, as ruler of Syria. Elijah was told to bless an enemy ruler since God planned to utilize Syria as his instrument to rebuff Israel for its wrongdoing. Syria brought Israel's outside discipline.
Israel's inward discipline came from Jehu, the next man Elijah was to anoint. As ruler of Israel, Jehu would obliterate the people who loved the bogus god Baal (2 Kings 9 and 10).
The third individual Elijah was told to anoint was Elisha, the prophet who take Elijah’s place. Elisha's occupation was to work in Israel, the Northern Kingdom, and assist with pointing individuals back to God. The Southern Kingdom right now was governed by Jehoshaphat, a ruler dedicated to God.
It may be that when God does nothing, wonderful things are happening that we do not see. God’s program may not involve activity. A change of attitude is often key to a transformed life. God uses trivial things to open mighty ones. When we feel depressed after a spiritual victory, we need to remember that God’s purpose for us may not be over. We are not to be tempted to feel sorry for ourselves. Self-pity dilutes what good we are doing. We need to shut out the noise of the world and listen humbly and quietly to the Lord’s voice. When we come to a place where things seem to be going bad and nothing is happening, and trials come, we should stop looking at the situation and look to the Savior.
1 Kings 17:1-7
Another title could be: When in Drought, don’t Doubt
In the previous chapter, we learn that Ahab is now king of Israel. Unfortunately, he was worse than all the other kings before him. Each king prior to Ahab became worse than the one before. Ahab married Jezebel who led him into worshiping Baal. People that worshiped Baal thought that Baal made it rain and provided good harvests. Ahab had provoked God more than all the other kings before him.
Now enters Elijah. We do not know from where or from whom Elijah was from, but we do know that he was a man subject to like passions as we are. God uses different people for different circumstances. God knows who to send to work for specific situations, and Elijah was the one that fit the bill.
So, Elijah steps up to this wicked king and pronounces that a drought (neither dew nor rain for some years) would take place and that the drought would not end until you hear from me (according to my word), which ended up being about three and a half years. I can just imagine the look on Ahab's face. 'Who is this guy and who does he think he is' probably came to Ahab's mind. Ahab had a mighty army, but neither the army nor all his Baal priests could defend against a drought.
Elijah tells Ahab that the Lord Jehovah is the God of Israel, whom Ahab had neglected; that he is a living God, dislike the dead divine beings he adored; that he himself was God's worker and courier sent from God Himself; “as the Lord God of Israel liveth before whom J stand;” and that God was disappointed with them for their excessive idolatry and would chide them for it by the need of rain (are there any of the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain?)
Now God sends Elijah to the brook Cherith that was before Jordan. He is to hide there and drink from the brook so that the ravens would feed him. Isn't it wonderful to know that even during a dry time in our lives, the Lord provides life-giving water and that He is the living bread of life? God used the ravens, and unclean animals, to bring food to Elijah. What man might see as something unfit, God can and does use to work out His purpose. We do not know how many ravens came nor how much they brought. It was enough. Twice a day they brought food to Elijah. Notice that the scriptures do not mention Elijah's concern or question God as to why these unclean birds of prey were feeding him? He gratefully accepted it for he knew God would supply.
We can look at these verses as:
A time of training or a time of preparation for a trial or task – we do this by praying and studying God's Word.
A time for nourishment or replenishment – grow and increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
A time of rest from a trial or task.
Either way, we may be in a situation like this for a reason or for only a season. When we are called or sent to a place for solitude, as Elijah was, when we apparently cannot be useful or work for God at a place or time, we must be patient and sit still, waiting patiently for God to lead us to where He wants us to be. We are simply dried-up brooks except the Word of God is moving through us. Where would we be without the living water of Christ flowing through us? For those of us who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.
1 Kings 2:28-31
Adonijah was David's 4th son and the logical choice to succeed the throne. He was half-brother to Solomon. Adonijah and Joab (the general) planned to take the throne. However, David declared Solomon the king. Joab and Adonijah went to the altar for safety, but judgment had come. Joab feared for his life, he knew judgment was coming, but he waited until the end to seek forgiveness. King Solomon said to come forth, yet Joab refused and died there at the altar. Adonijah was dismissed but later made another attempt and was executed.
Adonijah and his general Joab figured they would be sheltered by grasping the horns of the altar of burnt offerings in the Tabernacle. They planned to put themselves under God's protection, but it did not work. Solomon conceded Adonijah a relief, however, Joab would not relinquish the horns of the altar, so he died there. The punishment fits the crime of murder like Joab.
Man's customs do not always follow God's will. God's purpose is fulfilled despite man's actions. Outward resort to ordinances does not win salvation. If man waits to hear his last rites, he will die there. Sacraments do not work - communion. Waiting until the deathbed to look at a minister instead of Christ does not work. Feelings of dread, despair, or despondency do not work. Yes, Christ will save a soul that is lost and that is truly repentant, but why wait?
Joab had consumed his time on earth attempting to protect his position as David's general. Twice David attempted to remove him, and on both occasions, Joab deceptively killed his opponents before they could assume their roles. Since Joab was in his administration, David was eventually liable for these deaths. In any case, for political and military reasons, David chose not to openly rebuff Joab. But rather, he had placed a curse on Joab and his family. In rebuffing Joab, Solomon was openly pronouncing David was not part of Joab's violations, in this way expelling the blame from David and setting it on Joab where it should have been. (2 Samuel 3:17-30, 2 Samuel 20:4-10)
Nothing can substitute for Christ's work and role His role in salvation.