Day 70 of 240 Days Bible Reading Group 3947 Chapter 16 to 19
ALONE BUT NOT ABANDONED
⚜We often think that if we are doing God’s will then everything will be hunky-dory. Elijah spent 3 years being fed by scraps of food brought to him by ravens, and drank water from a brook that became increasingly muddy as it dried. 3 years of no one to talk to…
🔑Unlike the Israelites in the wilderness, Elijah did not look back with doubt and longing. Nor did he look forward with anxiety and impatience. He restfully waited for God to come to him with the right instructions at the right time.
⚜ Then God sent him to Zarephath, in Sidon. Again, no overflowing provision… just a small bowl of flour & oil… BUT a powerful reminder that: The LORD'S eyes are on those who fear Him & wait with hope for His mercy, to rescue their souls from death and keep them alive during a famine. [Ps 33:18-19]
Psalm 23 talks about walking with the Shepherd. Sure, there are times of green pastures, still waters… when everything is at peace and rest. But often the path to those meadows of rest lead through stony, dark valleys.
Satan comes to tempt us in those moments with the thought that we have been forsaken by God, maybe we took a wrong turn etc… Elijah certainly did not expect death threats after the marvelous display of God’s power on Mt. Carmel.
Psalm 23 tells us how God spreads a table for us in the presence of our enemies. Even as Jezebel spewed threats, God calmly prepared a simple meal for Elijah in the wilderness. Nothing fancy… bread & water… all that is needed to sustain life.
Elijah’s account shows us that even in the time when God was seemingly silent, He was not absent. God wordlessly revealed His love, goodness & faithfulness to Elijah through the ravens, angels & the widow…
⚜What are the silent tokens of God’s love that I am skipping over?
Then on Mt Horeb, the place where God had met Moses in a burning bush, God revealed to Elijah that works of power may impress, but finally, it is the Still, Small voice of God that brings hope, and new direction. [1 Kgs 19:11-18]
In Christ, we don’t need to climb into caves to hear God speaking to us. He has given us His Holy Spirit through whom we know the heart of God. [Rf 1Co 2:10-12]
Jesus declared, ”My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” [Jn 10:27]
If we have repented of our sins, and desire to follow Jesus, we WILL hear His voice teaching us how to overcome sin, leading us to make wise choices, guiding us to do His Will.
➡ When Elijah’s impatience & fears quietened down, THEN he was able to hear the still, small voice of God speaking to him.
⚜ What is blocking me from hearing God’s voice speaking to me today?
⚜ When I hear His voice, do I harden my heart or obey?
Abba Father, thank You for speaking through Elijah’s life and reminding us that we may be alone but we have not been abandoned. Open my eyes & heart to discern the silent tokens of Your presence & love in my life. Help me to be calm in my soul so that I can hear Your still, small voice teaching me & guiding me. In Jesus Name. Amen.
🍇 Simple thoughts for 💫
1 Kings: 19: 19 "So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat: And Elijah passed by him and cast his mantle
⚡ Before God called him into service through Elijah, we do not know much about Elisha-except that he was a farmer. When the prophet Elijah met him in the field where he was plowing, he threw his cloak over Elisha's shoulders as a symbol of his role as a prophet and called him to follow. With only a request to kiss his mother and father goodbye, Elisha immediately sacrificed his
oxen, burned his plowing equipment, said goodbye to his parents - and followed Elijah.
⚡ In the Bible we see Joshua succeeded Moses in leading the people to Canaan. Here Elisha followed Elijah in ministry to his generation. Centuries later, Jesus would follow John the Baptist in proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. These three followers indicate one significant factor in their names in common. The names Joshua, Elisha, and Jesus have the same meaning" The Lord saves"
⚡ Though not many of us are called to leave behind family and profession to serve God as full time missionaries, God want all of us to follow him and to proclaim the Gospel-"The Lord saves" in whatever situation we are placed.
💥 Remember that serving God can be thrilling and challenging no matter where we are. Are you happy in the situation where God has called you to serve Him ?
Dr. Thomas David.🎯
Why Elijah feared Jezebel?
1 Kings 19: 18
Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
Elijah : when we hear the name of Elijah the ingredients that comes into our mind are: Powerful, Mighty man of God, Dynamic, One man army and so on....
He was alone at one side on the Mt. Carmel and 450 prophets and all the children of Israel on the opposite side. Fire descended from heaven, the children of Israel acknowledged God and the false prophets were all put to death. A great victory!
But the experience followed an episode of fear and failure in Elijah's life. Such a great man of God is now afraid of Jezebel! after all a woman!
This death threat caused Elijah to flee a day’s journey into the wilderness (1 Kings 19:4). At one point Elijah was so discouraged that he desired to die: “And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers’” (verse 4).
Later when God asked him, "what are you doing Elijah? "
And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away (verse 14)
Then God reminded him the key verse (verse 18 ☝)
You are not the only one, more seven thousand are there who have not bowed down to baal nor kissed him.
Elijah had thought he was the only one faithful to the Lord, and he took great comfort in the knowledge that thousands of others had bowed to Baal.
Often we give room for such thought. When we achieve, succeed, fast, read the Bible more, pray for more time, in offerings, etc. if we say I am the only one doing and others are relaxing, such times God will teach us a lesson by making our strength into weakness so that we may acknowledge that God is the only source of strength and we are all just vessels in His hands.
Obedience in spite of trials
God sent Elijah to declare a drought on Israel (1 Kings 17:1) and the very next moment, he had to go into hiding!
He was told to hide by the brook of Cherith, feeding on scraps brought by ravens. Yucky🥴, but how humbling! Ravens are scavengers. Israel was asked not to eat food from dead animals (Lev 22:8) and here, Elijah had to survive on food, unsure of its origin but trusting in God. This took faith and courage.
And then the brook dried up. Having watched our metro supply dry up this past summer, I can totally relate to Elijah's thoughts. He stood strong, trusting the Lord, waiting for his next command, and followed it into Jezebel's stronghold, Zarephath of Sidon.
He walked into the lioness' den, not into the arms of a rich benefactor but into those of a poor widow with whom he survived for 3 years.
We know the story of God's provision in Zarephath. The widow gave all she had to the man of God, and His God gave her enough to survive on until the end of the drought (1 Kings 17:14).
Obedience to God, is sometimes scary when we have to go out of our comfort zone and speak out for Christ in this world that is so hostile to His word, depending on His sole provision. Elijah did it all and through his obedience, not only was he sustained but so was a widow and her son!
Obedience by the woman was totally scary as she had to give up everything she had but she received more than she would ever have dreamt off.
Obedience is scary at times. But if we listen to Him and obey, we will reap both on earth and in heaven. Stay blessed.
I AM THE ONLY GOD
⏳ Baasha Reigns in Israel
The LORD spoke to the prophet Jehu son of Hanani and gave him this message for Baasha:
You were a nobody, but I made you the leader of my people Israel.
⏳ Elah Reigns in Israel
⏳ Zimri Reigns in Israel
⏳ Omri Reigns in Israel
⏳ Ahab Reigns in Israel
He sinned against the LORD more than any of his predecessors.
he went further and married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of Sidon, and worshiped Baal.
⏳ Elijah Proclaims a Drought
In the name of the LORD, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so.
⏳ Elijah and the Widow
⏳ Elijah Revives the Widow’s Son
⏳ Elijah’s Message to Ahab
Elijah answered, By the living LORD Almighty, whom I serve, I promise that I will present myself to the king today.
When Ahab saw him, he said, So there you are---the worst troublemaker in Israel!
I'm not the troublemaker, Elijah answered. *You are---you and your father. You are disobeying the LORD's commands and worshiping the idols of Baal.
Now order all the people of Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah who are supported by Queen Jezebel.*
⏳ Elijah’s Mount Carmel Victory
Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal , Since there are so many of you, you take a bull and prepare it first. Pray to your god, but don't set fire to the wood.
So the prophets prayed louder and cut themselves with knives and daggers, according to their ritual, until blood flowed.
They kept on ranting and raving until the middle of the afternoon; but no answer came, not a sound was heard.
At the hour of the afternoon sacrifice the prophet Elijah approached the altar and prayed, *O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac,
The LORD sent fire down, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, scorched the earth and dried up the water in the trench.
Elijah ordered, Seize the prophets of Baal; don't let any of them get away! The people seized them all, and Elijah led them down to Kishon Brook and killed them.
⏳ The Drought Ends
The seventh time he returned and said, I saw a little cloud no bigger than a man's hand, coming up from the sea. Elijah ordered his servant, Go to King Ahab and tell him to get in his chariot and go back home before the rain stops him.
In a little while the sky was covered with dark clouds, the wind began to blow, and a heavy rain began to fall. Ahab got in his chariot and started back to Jezreel.
⏳ Elijah Escapes from Jezebel
Elijah was afraid and fled for his life;
Suddenly the LORD spoke to him , Elijah, what are you doing here?
He answered, * LORD God Almighty, I have always served you---you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left---and they are trying to kill me!*
⏳ Elisha Follows Elijah
Can anything impossible for me?
Be fair with innocent
I AM COMING SOON
"ALL GLORY AND HONOUR BELONGS TO GOD ALONE"
🌸🌸 JM 🌸 🌸 JM 🌸 🌸
1 Kings 19:4: “But [Elijah] went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'”
In chapter 18, we see Elijah was courageous and confident.
But In chapter 19, he is crying to God, ,” It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life.
🔥Elijah has been called the prophet of power.
🔥But in this verse, this iron man of the Old Testament was filled with fear and discouragement, so much so that he wanted to die.
When Jezebel learns that her favorite religion has been discredited and her prophets killed, she threatens Elijah with death.
Elijah runs for his life on a day’s journey into the wilderness.
👉Like a normal person, Elijah struggled in his relationship with God.
He became downhearted as he ran from Queen Jezebel.
‼ He probably expected God to protect him in a miraculous way.
Elijah probably expected God in the wind, earthquake, and fire, but God wasn't in those heart-pounding experiences.
❤Instead God spoke in a gentle whisper, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"--just a quiet question.
👉Sometimes we may also feel lost, stuck, frustrated, disconnected, depressed.
❓❓When we say “depression,” what do we mean?
‼“A feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that leads to sadness.”
💧 Maybe we feel stuck in a dark valley ,
💧 May be all doors are closed in front of us ,
💧 *May be sickness is affecting us very badly* ,
💧 Maybe we think that God is abandon us completely ,
When we’re exhausted, we have less control over our emotions.
God is a God of surprises.
Sometimes He may work in unusual or unexpected ways.
👉Sometimes He may work through very ordinary people in everyday circumstances.
But He will work.
But here is what we need to do..
📍 Keep your eye on Him, listen out for His “gentle whisper.”
God still has great things in store, maybe it is hard to believe now.
❤ But God is preparing for you and me for our future.
🌸 Jooley Mathew 🌸
I KINGS 17 to 19 Elijah & Elisha, in short...
We don't want to mess up with Elijah and Elisha!
When we deal with these two prophets, this is the warning beforehand, in clear terms!
According to 1 Kings, Elijah has 450 prophets of Baal killed, after publicly humiliating them. ⚔
Then Elijah ordered them, "Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let even one of them escape." So they seized them, and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon and slaughtered them there.
1 Kings 18:40 HCSB
And, in 2 Kings, when a bunch of boys called Elisha "baldhead," he curses them and they are attacked by bears. (2 Kings 2:23-24). 🐻🐻
Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!"
When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.
2 Kings 2:23-24 NASB
Now who wants to mess up with these guys? Wish we had such powers? 💪
Elijah (meaning Yahweh is my God ) reminds the Israelites that God is their only God and that keeping God's covenant means not worshipping the Canaanite Baal gods. In a dramatic story, he shows the idol-worshipping King Ahab and Queen Jezebel that our God is superior to their false gods. (1 Kings 18:21-40). 🙌🏻✝
After two days of our Readings, we see Elijah was recorded as being carried to heaven in a fiery chariot (2 Kings 2:11) as a sign of his greatness, and he was expected to reappear before the "Day of the Lord" arrived (Malachi 4:5).
Elisha (meaning God is salvation ) was Elijah's disciple and successor. He plays an important role in the next Book. He was a man of wisdom and a miracle worker.
💓 These tough guys also had tender hearts, though. Both miraculously multiplied food for widows (1 Kings 17:16; 2 Kings 4:5), and both brought a dead child back to life (1 Kings 17:22; 2 Kings 4:34). Elijah and Elisha are revered for both their uncompromising faith and their compassion for children. 👳🏾♂
How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he has said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
- Bob. 😃
¹ ᵐⁱⁿ ²⁶ ˢᵉᶜ
Ahab's Terrible Apostasy 1 Kings 16:29-33
Taking to wife Jezebel, "the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians" and the high priest of Baal, Ahab served Baal, and worshiped him.
And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria" (verses 31, 32).
Not only did Ahab introduce Baal worship at the capital city, but under the leadership of Jezebel he erected heathen altars in many "high places," where in the shelter of surrounding groves the priests and others connected with this seductive form of idolatry exerted their baleful influence, until well-nigh all Israel were following after Baal.
Ahab was weak in moral power. His union by marriage with an idolatrous woman of decided character and positive temperament resulted disastrously both to himself and to the nation.
Unprincipled, and with no high standard of rightdoing, his character was easily molded by the determined spirit of Jezebel.
His selfish nature was incapable of appreciating the mercies of God to Israel and his own obligations as the guardian and leader of the chosen people.
For many years they had been losing their sense of reverence and godly fear; and now it seemed as if there were none who dared expose their lives by openly standing forth in opposition to the prevailing blasphemy.
The dark shadow of apostasy covered the whole land. Images of Baalim and Ashtoreth were everywhere to be seen. Idolatrous temples and consecrated groves, wherein were worshiped the works of men's hands, were multiplied.
The air was polluted with the smoke of the sacrifices offered to false gods. Hill and vale resounded with the drunken cries of a heathen priesthood who sacrificed to the sun, moon and stars.
Elijah the Tishbite 1 Kings 17
Among the mountains of Gilead, east of the Jordan, there dwelt in the days of Ahab a man of faith and prayer whose fearless ministry was destined to check the rapid spread of apostasy in Israel.
Far removed from any city of renown, and occupying no high station in life, Elijah the Tishbite nevertheless entered upon his mission confident in God's purpose to prepare the way before him and to give him abundant success.
The word of faith and power was upon his lips, and his whole life was devoted to the work of reform. His was the voice of one crying in the wilderness to rebuke sin and press back the tide of evil. And while he came to the people as a reprover of sin, his message offered the balm of Gilead to the sin-sick souls of all who desired to be healed.
As Elijah saw Israel going deeper and deeper into idolatry, his soul was distressed and his indignation aroused.
Viewing this apostasy from his mountain retreat, Elijah was overwhelmed with sorrow. In anguish of soul he besought God to arrest the once-favored people in their wicked course, to visit them with judgments, if need be, that they might be led to see in its true light their departure from Heaven.
He longed to see them brought to repentance before they should go to such lengths in evil-doing as to provoke the Lord to destroy them utterly.
Blessings in Disguise 1 Kings 17:10-24
The widow of Zarephath shared her morsel with Elijah, and in return her life and that of her son were preserved.
And to all who, in time of trial and want, give sympathy and assistance to others more needy, God has promised great blessing. He has not changed.
Our heavenly Father still continues to place in the pathway of His children opportunities that are blessings in disguise; and those who improve these opportunities find great joy.
The Voice of Stern Rebuke 1 Kings 18:18
Today there is need of the voice of stern rebuke; for grievous sins have separated the people from God.
Infidelity is fast becoming fashionable.
The smooth sermons so often preached make no lasting impression; the trumpet does not give a certain sound.
Men are not cut to the heart by the plain, sharp truths of God's word. So men who should be standing as faithful guardians of God's law have argued, till policy has taken the place of faithfulness, and sin is allowed to go unreproved.
When will the voice of faithful rebuke be heard once more in the church?
Those ministers who are men pleasers, who cry, Peace, peace, when God has not spoken peace, might well humble their hearts before God, asking pardon for their insincerity and their lack of moral courage.
Would that every minister might realise the sacredness of his office and the holiness of his work, and show the courage that Elijah showed! As divinely appointed messengers, ministers are in a position of awful responsibility.
They are to "reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering" (2 Timothy 4:2).
In Christ's stead they are to labor as stewards of the mysteries of heaven, encouraging the obedient and warning the disobedient.
With them worldly policy is to have no weight.
Never are they to swerve from the path in which Jesus has bidden them walk. Their message is to be, "Thus saith the Lord."
God calls for men like Elijah, Nathan and John the Baptist - men who will bear His message with faithfulness, regardless of the consequences; men who will speak the truth bravely, though it calls for the sacrifice of all they have.
God cannot use men who, in time of peril, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are needed, are afraid to take a firm stand for the right.
Elijah Makes a Wrong Choice 1 Kings 19:3
Elijah should not have fled from his post of duty. He should have met the threat of Jezebel with an appeal for protection to the One who had commissioned him to vindicate the honor of Jehovah. Had he remained where he was, had he made God his refuge and strength, standing steadfast for the truth, he would have been shielded from harm.
The Fiercest Temptations 1 Kings 19
It is at the time of greatest weakness that Satan assails the soul with the fiercest temptations.
It was thus that he hoped to prevail over the Son of God; for by this policy he had gained many victories over man.
So with Elijah. He who had maintained his trust in Jehovah during the years of drought and famine, he who had stood undaunted before Ahab, he who throughout that trying day on Carmel had stood before the whole nation of Israel the sole witness to the true God, in a moment of weariness allowed the fear of death to overcome his faith in God.
And so it is today. When we are encompassed with doubt, perplexed by circumstances, or afflicted by poverty or distress, Satan seeks to shake our confidence in Jehovah.
It is then that he arrays before us our mistakes and tempts us to distrust God, to question His love. He hopes to discourage the soul and break our hold on God.
Despondency may shake the most heroic faith and weaken the most steadfast will. But God understands, and He still pities and loves. He reads the motives and the purposes of the heart. To wait patiently, to trust when everything looks dark, is the lesson that the leaders in God's work need to learn.
Heaven will not fail them in their day of adversity.
Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the souls that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on God.
When Man Repents, God Relents- Lessons from King Ahab
Lessons from King Ahab! What can this evil king teach us, we think! After all he is described thus:
_Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. 1 Kings 15:30
King Ahab sure had an attitude problem. These words describe him twice.Sullen and displeased.
Sullen when reprimanded
The first time is when he "apparently" showed mercy to Ben Hadad king of Syria who was a man appointed by God for destruction. This was a king who had mistreated the Israelites and threatened to destroy them.
God, in His mercy had twice given victory to the Israelites. He had spoken to Ahab twice through prophets before the battles that turned the tide. Ahab was clearly meant to obliterate the enemy and not compromise or show false mercy. However he did spare Ben Hadad and this caused the Lord to reprimand Ahab for his disobedience. This was what led to him being sullen and displeased. (1 Kings 20:43)
Sullen and displeased at the Lords reprimand? What audacity!
Yet, let's check ourselves. Let's be honest. How often have we been made aware of wrongdoing in our own lives. The Lord has brought to our notice weaknesses, maybe through others. Maybe by way of our consciences. What was our response? Was it a sullenness at being corrected? A dislike of "criticism" albeit constructive criticism? ( I know I am guilty of this! Lord help me!)
May the Lord help us to respond well, when corrected. To move forward and to apply diligence to uproot the evil habits and attitudes in our lives!
Sullen when thwarted
The second instance where Ahab is sullen and displeased is when he covets Naboth's vineyard but Naboth refuses to sell it to him under any circumstances.( 1 Kings 21:4) We see how the evil Jezebel conspires to kill Naboth in order to procure this vineyard. Ahab is not innocent in this incident. Jezebel has told him that she will get the vineyard for him. And when she informs him that Naboth is dead, he goes ahead and takes possession of poor Naboth's property.
We then see how the Lord confronts Ahab through Elijah and pronounces a curse on him...
Behold, I will bring calamity on you. I will take away your posterity, and will cut off from Ahab every male in Israel, both bond and free. 22 I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and made Israel sin. 1 Kings 21: 21-22
He continues to reveal the terrible end of Jezebel.( vs 23)
This time though we see a difference in how Ahab responds to the Lord's rebuke. In verse 27 it says
So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. He repented!
The Lord's response
And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “ See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.”
1 Kings 21: 28, 29
Wow! We see how God honoured the repentance of this most wicked of kings! Just in the previous verses ( 25 and 26) Ahab is described thus:
But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up. 26 And he behaved very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel
Despite this terrible description of King Ahab, when he repents, the Lord relents.
This is the response of our Father God when we turn away from our wicked ways, when we respond to His correction in repentance and humbleness. He more than meets us halfway! He is the Father who waits, watching for us His prodigal children, to just come to our senses, to turn and ask forgiveness and there He is running towards us....arms outstretched! As Jesus explains in the parable of the Prodigal son, He is waiting in love, longing for our return. His heart towards each one of us is full of love. His thoughts towards us for good . All it takes, is turning to Him in humble repentance.
There is no sin in our lives that Jesus did not die for. He paid for it ALL on the cross of Calvary. When the Accuser brings up our weaknesses and sins, we point to the Cross where the punishment has been paid. We are new creatures having been crucified in Christ and having been raised up in Him as new beings. The Cross and the Empty Tomb say it all!
Lord: Thank you for dying on the cross for me? taking my punishment on You. For raising me up as a new being- in You.
Help me to respond to Your correction in a positive way.Forgive my sullenness and displeasure at being rebuked. Help me obey and change my ways when I hear Your voice. Not striving on my own but depending on the Holy Spirit.
🍁 Binu Jacob