This weekend was an all work weekend, which should be a blog post all on its own, and that meant that I got behind on my reading and on my blogging. I happen to know that this Bible in 90 day plan has a day off on day 30, so I’m gonna catch up this week. I bet I can catch up before then.
This section of Kings comes along just when it is needed. Elijah shows up to straighten out one of these kings who has been doing evil. Good stuff.
I’m reading the Bible through in 90 days. Join me. Click here for more information on the ESV Bible in 90 day plan that I am doing.
1 Kings 17
Elijah seems to come out of no where. He just sorta shows up and confronts Ahab (the king who does evil as if it is a light thing for him to do) Anyway, Elijah tells Ahab that rain will cease. Drought is gonna happen, and it won’t return until Elijah says so. Then as soon as he showed up, he leaves.
Elijah is taken care of by God. First, God commands ravens to bring food to him. Next God commands a widow to feed him, but before she does, God uses Elijah to bless ehr and her son who will surely die because of lack of resources of their own. There is an amazing miracle about a jar of flour and jar of oil that never empty. Also, Elijah performs another act of miracle on God’s behalf by raising the widow’s son from the dead. The widow states something for all of us to remember: “The Word of the Lord in your mouth is Truth.”
1 Kings 18
God tells Elijah to return to Ahab, and then He will send rain to the earth again. Ahab accuses Elijah of bringing this trouble upon Israel. Elijah fires back that it wasn’t him, but Ahab who had abandoned the Lord and followed the Baals. This leads to a challenge between the two. God vs Baal.
The audience of israel assembles to witness the challenge. Elijah takes the mic and tells everyone, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal… then follow him.” This sets up the challenge. They each create a sacrifice to see which god will accept it. The prophets of baal dance and chant for hours trying to get their sacrifice to be taken… but there was no voice. No one answered! I love the snarky sarcasm in this written word. Elijah takes it a step further by saying that Baal is either at the moment playing or relieving himself, or on a journey. The prophets start to cut themselves, but it doesn’t matter… no one answered. No one paid attention.
Then Elijah steps forward. He increases the difficulty factor of this challenge by digging a trench around the altar. He calls for water from the people watching. He pours 4 barrels of water all over the altar. Remember that there has been a severe drought. Not only was this crazy in the sheer terms of the challenge, it was a faith calling action.
Well, God does show up. The fire of the Lord comes down and consumes everything. The offering, wood, stones dust and yes the water… all of it. Licks it up.
Elijah calls the people to sieze the prophets of baal so that they can not escape.
Then God sends Rain!
1 Kings 19
After all this, Elijah flees for his life. You see, Jezebel (ahab’s wife) had a special love for the Baals and the prophets of Baal.
Elijah comes to a cave and God confronts him there. He asks Elijah, “what are you doing here?” Elijah tells his fear, and God tells him to “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord”
Elijah obeys and he experiences God in a way that no one else has in record in the Bible. The Lord passes by. Wind tore the mountain. Breaks rocks… But God was not in the wind. THEN there was a massive earthquake… but God was not in the earthquake. THEN fire! But God was not in the fire either. THEN a low whisper. At this, Elijah falls to the ground. He wraps himself up in his cloak. God speaks again, “What are you doing here?”
God promises to keep a people for himself. He will watch Elijah and Elisha will be called for use too.
1 Kings 20
Israel is attacked by Syria. Ahab is visited by a prophet that tells him that they will defeat the intruders. Even a second atempt by Ben Hadad and the syrians proves no chance.
1 Kings 21
This guy named Naboth had a vineyard and Jezebel wanted it. He refused to give it to them. Jezebel and Ahab had him killed. Elijah comes to Ahab and tells him that because of this, he and Jezebel will be killed and dogs will lick up their blood.
Ahab repents. Even though none did more evil in the sight of the Lord than he… he repented. He tore his clothes. Sackcloth goes on. Fasting happens. God tells Elijah that he will not bring the disaster in Ahab’s days… but in his son’s days.
1 Kings 22
At this time, Jehoshaphat is the king of Judah. He and Ahab come together to battle a foreign nation. It is interesting that Ahab tries to hide his kingship by dressing down for battle. Yet, he is the one who is killed in battle while Jehoshaphat lives.
Jehoshaphat, like his father Asa, follows and obeys God.
After Ahab, Ahaziah, son of Ahab, becomes king in Israel. He does evil too. Baal is still worshipped.
2 Kings 1
Elijah tells Ahaziah that he will die because of his evil and disobedience of God and worship of other gods.
You know, what’s interesting in this story, and others of the Bible. God sends fire down often to perform judgement upon evil doers. Yet, on the mountain with Elijah, the fire didn’t take out those performing evil. Just an observation. God is patient.
2 Kings 2
Elisha and Elijah are together when Elijah is taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire. Before this happens, Elisha asks for a little bit of Elijah’s spirit. The people see that Elisha has the Spirit of the Lord upon him as Elijah did.
2 Kings 3
The Moabites are defeated by Israel.
2 Kings 4
Elisha needs a place to stay. A Shunammite woman gives him a place to stay. Elisha tells the Shunammite woman that she will have a son. Later the child becomes very sick and dies. Elisha raises the son from the dead. This story sounds very similar to the one that happened to Elijah. Many stories in the Bible seem to repeat and show similarities later.