Thursday, October 23, 2014

Faith and Loneliness

Recently on Wednesday nights Pastor has been teaching us about the life of Elijah. Other than being a Tishbite, we don’t know of his family or background. We hear of him first as he stands before King Ahab:

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. (1 Kings 17:1 KJV)

And there wasn’t. Last night’s lesson began over three years later:

And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. (1 Kings 18:41 KJV)

As Elijah said those words, there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. He had faith in God’s words to him that there would be, but Elijah still sent his servant to check seven times before the cloud appeared.

And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. (1 Kings 18:43-45 KJV)

A major point in the lesson was that we cannot count on every biblical promise being applicable in our own lives. Some of the promises are specific to a person / time / place. Some are unconditional, but most are conditional, such as John 3:15-17. We can cause ourselves serious problems when we cling to a promise that does not belong to us.

Or, when we expect our problems to be solved by one incident, one act of faith. Which reminds me of a coming lesson where Elijah sounds very defeated:

Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. (1 Kings 19:2-4 KJV)

He had done as God asked. He faced a powerful king, withheld rain, defeated false priests, proven God’s word was true and returned rain to the land – and this queen promised him death. Elijah felt lonely, so defeated, that he asked to die.

He didn’t, and it’s worth reading further to find out how he was reminded that he was not alone. Neither are we.

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