1 Kings 17:1-7 slowly and repeatedly.
Main content of the text: Elijah declares to King Ahab that there will be no rain or dew in Israel for several years. God had Elijah hide by the Cherith brook.
All: God is a living God who controls the natural order. In Canaanite religion, drought meant the temporary absence of Baal. However, the drought in northern Israel declared by Elijah is not the absence of Baal, but the presence of God. God actively intervened to judge idolatry. He gives a period of barrenness to the people who believe that Baal gives abundance, but to the people who listen to the ‘word’ (verse 2), he sends ravens even to the barren land to feed them abundantly. Even in this era of economic and spiritual barrenness, God is looking for people who listen to the ‘Word.’ Before asking, ‘Why doesn’t God send ravens to me?’, we should ask, ‘Why can’t I live like Elijah?’
What lesson does God give me?
Verse 1 In a time when a temple to Baal was built in Samaria, the capital of northern Israel, and Baal worship was rampant at the level of a state religion, the prophet Elijah, whose name means ‘Jehovah is God,’ suddenly appeared and predicted a drought. It was a direct challenge to the idolatry of King Ahab, who believed that Baal brought rain. The ‘living’ God proved the falsehood of Baal through drought and declared judgment on Ahab, who treated God as a dead god. Today, when Baal, the god of abundance, is still in power, how do I profess to the world the ‘uniqueness’ and ‘livingness’ of God?
Verses 2-6: In the era when Jezebel destroyed the prophets, the prophets hid in a cave and received bread and water through Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace of Hahab (18:4), and Elijah hid by the Cherith stream and received bread and meat through a raven. The reality that the evil world outside the cave, across the Grerith stream, has not been corrected may seem frustrating. But Elijah completely obeyed. Although he was afraid about Ahab and lonely by the brook Cherith, he cared more for God’s Word than personal security. Have you ever fallen into difficulty as a result of trying to protect your faith? Are you ready to live as a person of God even if it means facing up to fear and loneliness?
Verse 7 The prophet who announced the also experiences drought. The stream he was drinking from soon dries up. God is the one who drought can produce water in the wilderness (Exodus 17:6), but for Elijah, he will guide his life through the ‘Word.’ Israel’s way of life is not food or rain, but the word of God.
Community Prayer – Living God, I believe that your word is the food of life, so in this age of idolatry, please help me serve only the living Lord.
Prayer for the Nations – 80% of school-age women in Afghanistan are not receiving education. Let us pray that the economy will be stabilized, that policies without discrimination against women will be promoted, and that women’s capabilities will be fully developed through education and learning. Let us also continue to pray for the war between Hamas and Israel.