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June 24, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Psalm 58-65
Audio: Psalm 58-65

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

1 Kings 17 (ESV)

Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” 15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22 And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”

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Next: 1 Kings 18

Back: 1 Kings 16

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Elijah

    Elijah, whose name means "the Lord is God" was a prophet sent by God to confront Baalism and to proclaim to Israel there is no other God other than the Lord. His name appears ninety-five times in the ESV (twenty-nine in the New Testament) which is more than any other prophet except Moses and shows the significance of his life and ministry. 

    He was also one of only two people who never “tasted death” (Enoch being the other) and was one of two Old Testament saints (Moses was the other) who was on the mount when Christ was transfigured.

    In his book titled, “The Prophet of Confrontation”, John Butler writes, “Elijah was a shock treatment, an exclamation point, a dynamic, no-nonsense personality. He saw things as only right or wrong, Jehovah or Baal. There was no middle ground with him, no toleration of evil. So with Spirit-led intrusion, he was ever confronting people about their sin. He confronted kings in their palaces and a vast crowd in the great contest on Mount Carmel. He sternly challenged idolatry with a strong sanctified scorn, and he fearlessly denounced leaders by announcing right to their face their death and the end of their dynasties.

    “While much of his recorded ministry reflects a man of stern, unbending nature, Elijah was not calloused. He was gentle enough to abide with a widow and her son for several years and compassionate enough to raise the widow’s son from the dead. He was patient enough to train and inspire an Elisha and to encourage the training of young prophets.”

    Butler, J. G. (1994). Elijah: The Prophet of Confrontation (Vol. Number Three, p. 9). Clinton, IA: LBC Publications.”

    Why does Elijah begin his prophetic ministry with the declaration, "As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word" in 1 Kings 17:1?

    In his Study Bible, John MacArthur writes, “The autumn and spring rains and summer dew were necessities for the crops of Israel. The Lord had threatened to withhold these from the Land if His people turned from Him to serve other gods (Lev. 26:18, 19; Deut. 11:16, 17; 28:23, 24). Elijah had prayed for the drought (cf. James 5:17) and God answered. It lasted 3 years and 6 months according to James (5:17). The drought proved that Baal, the god of the rains and fertility, was impotent before the Lord.”

    MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 503). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

    The Lexham Bible Dictionary says Baal "was recognized as sustaining the fertility of crops, animals, and people. His followers often believed that sexual acts performed in his temple would boost Baal’s sexual prowess, and thus contribute to his work in increasing fertility."

    Corduan, W. (2016). Baal. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

    By Elijah praying for a drought and God answering, he is making it clear to all that the Lord is God, not Baal. But Elijah was more than just God’s weatherman! 

    The Canaanite's who followed Baal also believed he could bring life to the dead. Elijah shows that only the Lord God can truly raise the dead and that he was His prophet. When Elijah brings life back into the widow of Zarephath's son, she proclaims, "Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth" (1 Kings 17:24).

    As we will see in the next chapter, Elijah was known for confrontation as King Ahab calls him the "troubler of Israel!"

    I commend this resource to you for more on Elijah and why he was so unpopular:

    https://www.ligonier.org/blog/why-was-elijah-so-unpopular/

    “A primary role of the prophet was to pronounce God’s judgment. And to a wayward, sinful people, the voice of the prophet was hardly welcome. Ahab and Jezebel ruthlessly hunted Elijah, but they failed to silence him. And Elijah’s message—his prophetic call to repentance—is one that still needs to be heard today.”

  2. The life of a prophet must have been very difficult. 

    To be charged by God to tell people the unpopular truths, I imagine, could and probably did make one very lonely. 

    I want to have the courage of Elijah, to be able to effectively share the truth of God's Word with anyone who I find an open door to. 

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