Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for June 26, 1 Kings 17-19.

Today's readings are 1 Kings 17-19. Tomorrow's are 1 Kings 20-21. 

In 1 Kings 17, we meet Elijah, a prophet, sent by God to Ahab, the back-sliding king of Israel. Notice the grace of God working even in a back sliders life. God sends a man to bring the truth to Ahab. Ahab will either turn from his ways or have no excuse when judgment falls on him.  

There is a drought in which Elijah is supernaturally provided for. This drought is with purpose. Ahab worships Baal, the supposed god of rain and vegetation. The one true God clearly demonstrates this His power is greater than any false gods by overpowering Baal and controlling the weather in Baal's home territory, Phoenicia. We see the same sovereign power when God uses Elijah to raise the widow's dead son. Only God has the power of life and death, not any pagan "god". Yahweh is God of all nations and God of all people, whether they worship Him or not. 

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah and Ahab meet. Ironically, Ahab calls Elijah the "Troubler of Israel" when Ahab is the true problem Israel is struggling with. Elijah defeats the prophets of Baal in spectacular fashion, once again demonstrating the sovereign power of the God of Israel. God also prophesies through Elijah to end the drought. The drought in Baal's backyard is completely controlled by God who puts Himself on display magnificently through His prophet Elijah.

Amazingly Elijah is intimidated by Jezebel, Ahab's wife, who threatens to kill him in 1 Kings 19. Elijah runs ending up on Mt Horeb (Mt Sinai) in the same spot where God spoke to Moses. Elijah naively complains that he's the only one on God's side, but God reveals that there are actually 7,000 others that Elijah was unaware of. All this happens after God brings wind, an earthquake and fire, ultimately speaking in a quiet whisper. By all this, Elijah learns that God, at times, moves in quiet ways that we may not always be aware of. God tells Elijah to anoint three men who will defeat Ahab, effectively removing him from kingship and demonstrating that God is the one who raises up kings and brings them down as well. 

One of the three men is Elisha, Elijah's replacement, the beginning of a long series of prophets God will use to speak to Israel and Judah. 

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