Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The sound of an abundance of rain! - September 6th, 2011

Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”
Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”
1 Kings 18:41-44

History and Context:
1 and 2 Kings were originally one book. The author of the book is unknown but is believed to have been a prophet in Babylon during the exile about 550 BC. The book was compiled from various sources to bring together the history of Israel and Judah. Kings begins with a united, strong kingdom under David and then Solomon, to a divided kingdom inruins taken off into captivity. It is a sad story emphasizing the fact that when Israel was with God they were strong and prosperous, but when they turned away from God destruction came upon them. The majority of the book is devoted towards the line of kings in both Israel and Judah, but there is also a major portion devoted to the story of Elijah and Elisha calling out to the kings and the people to return to God.

The Text:
Elijah first appears in chapter 17 as he confronts King Ahab, one of the wickedest kings of Israel, and tells him that there is going to be a great drought over the land. The story then goes to show how God provides for the prophet during the drought, first through ravens and a brook, and then through a widow who is willing to give up her last bit of grain (which God multiplies miraculously). After this Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal and challenges them to a test to see which God is the true God; "Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” (1 Kings 18:24) Yahweh of course proves HImself to be the true God, all the prophets of Baal are put to death, and then comes this story. Now that God has had the opportunity to prove Himself in front of the entire kingdom of Israel it is time for the drought to end. There are two things that are important to note in this passage. 1) Elijah speaks out what God told him would happen before it happens; Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain. 2) Elijah is persistent in prayer until it comes to pass; And seven times he said, “Go again."

The Challenge:
These two principles mentioned above are important in all of our times of prayer. Whenever we are believing God to bring about something that He promised, we need to speak it out in faith, and be persistent in our prayer. Keep praying until your faith brings it to pass in the physical realm. What is it you are believing for? Are you certain that it is God's will for you but it's still not coming to pass? First check what you are speaking out about it. Elijah spoke out an abundance of rain before a single cloud was in the sky. Then simply be persistent. Keep praying, keep seeking God, until that first sign comes.

The Prayer:
Lord, thank you for your goodness and your promise. I know that your promises are coming to pass and I thank you for them. In Jesus' name, Amen!

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed this post! Persistence in prayer is something that I can work on.
    I am definitely grateful that God's promises are finding fulfillment at this time, that His will is coming to be.