For our devotional studies this month we are going to be examining the life and exploits of one of the great prophet’s of the Old Testament, the man Elijah. What an important prophet of God, a prophet in some of the darkest days of the nation of Israel.
May the Lord speak to our hearts as we look deeper into the life of this really mysterious man.
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 11
Before we begin a look at the prophet Elijah, let’s consider the conditions of his day and the reasons for those conditions. Israel had backslidden on God, becoming ensnared in the idolatry of their neighbors. Solomon, David’s heir to the throne, had introduced Idolatry in the land through the many wives and concubines had had taken. (See 1 Kings 11:1-4) God had given laws and requirements to Israel and their future kings in Deuteronomy 17:14-20, and Solomon violated each of these, even erecting idol temples and altars in the land of Israel. (1 Kings 11:6-8) The effects of Solomon’s sin would be felt by God’s chosen people for centuries to come, After Solomon’s death, the kingdom divided, with the 10 northern tribes from that time forward being referred to as Israel, and the 2 southern tribes called Judah. The 10 northern tribes, those to whom Elijah’s ministry was primarily focused, never overcame their wicked idolatrous ways until eventually overthrown by the Assyrian Empire in 732 B.C. The two southern tribes fell to the Babylonian Empire around 606 B.C.
Elijah’s ministry began around 910 B.C. during the reign of one of Israel’s most notoriously wicked kings, Ahab. He had married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians, a priest of Baal. Following his wife’s lead, Ahab became a worshipper of Baal, leading the 10 northern tribes in that idolatrous religion. (See 1 Kings 16:29-34) The fact that God raised up such a mighty prophet in those dark days reveals His heart’s desire that His people repent of their sins and serve Him.
Some might question the Lord’s harsh judgment of backslidden, idolatrous Israel, but He had promised them severe judgment for such actions when He entered into a covenant relationship with them. And, Israel had fully agreed with the demands set forth in that covenant. (See Exodus 19:4) Beloved, the Lord is ever merciful and full of grace, but has every right to demand obedience from those who are the recipients of that mercy and grace. He also has every right to chasten His own to bring them back to Himself. This was exactly His goal and plan for Israel. (Compare with Hebrews 12;5-17)
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:1-2
The Apostle Peter wrote the following; “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21) The prophets in Israel held a very important place in God’s dealings with His chosen people. They were His spokesmen, revealing the will of God and reprimanding disobedience to that will. Prophets were “subject to like passions as we are,” (James 5:17) but they were holy men of God that He used for a very special task. The prophet, by nature of the duty and responsibility assigned Him by God, had to be correct in his declarations one-hundred percent of the time. He could never be mistaken or wrong in his prophetic declarations. To be wrong one time carried a sentence from God of death. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20; Jeremiah 14:14-15) Unfortunately, there were many false prophets in the days of the Old Testament, just as there continues to be in our present era. The prophet Elijah was a true “holy man of God” with a message from heaven to a backslidden people, a people quickly heading to a severe judgment for their disobedience.
1. Paul declared that the time of prophetic utterances would cease, (See 1 Corinthians 13:8. The word “fail” carries the idea of being abolished. With the completion of the New Testament, the necessity for the prophet would cease, for God’s revelation to mankind was completed. There are no modern day prophets.) While it is true that the office of the prophet is no longer a valid position of service in the Lord’s Church, does God still call men to the task of proclaiming His truth? Explain. (See Ephesians 4:7-13; Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-7)
2. While modern day “men of God” do not receive prophetic revelations from heaven to deliver, what is their calling from God concerning their office? (See Acts 6:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 Peter 5:1-4)
Father, continue to call souls into Your service, and bless those whose ministries are of Your calling and appointment. Fill them with Your wisdom, power and Holy Spirit, and use them for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:1-7; James 5:17-18
Elijah is a mystery man. We really know nothing about him prior to 1 Kings 17:1. He is called “the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead.” According to Strong’s Concordance, a “Tishbite” was an inhabitant of Tishbeh in Gilead. The only time in Scripture that the word, “Tishbite” is used is in connection with Elijah. Scripture declares that Elijah “was of the inhabitants of Gilead. See Genesis 31:21-25; Numbers 32:29; Joshua 17:6. Nothing is said of Elijah’s family, his father and certainly nothing is said of his past. He is the mystery man.
Of course, he is certainly not a mystery man now. God used this unknown man to convey His message to backslidden Israel and to perform many wonderful works in God’s Name. There is actually a message in that. God is not dependent upon men and women of great talent, great influence or great wealth and power. What He is looking for are people of faith in Him and obedience to His revealed will in His Word. James points out that Elijah was a man “subject to like passions as we are….” He was a man, but a man that had great faith in God. That faith was demonstrated early on when he prayed that there be no rain, and the Bible declares that it did not rain for 3 1/2 years. “The effectual fervant prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Let’s try to ever remember that truth!
1. Often times, evangelists like to fill their platforms with famous people such as athletes or movie stars. While athletes and movie stars can certainly be saved, and can serve God in their lives, a famous drawing card is not a substitute for the drawing power of the Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians 1:18-29. Write out a brief explanation of this in your own words.
2. The Psalmist said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalms 37:25) How is Elijah’s experience in our reading today proof of that blessed truth?
Lord Jesus, help me to ever have faith in You and Your provisions for me. Help me to faithfully serve you, even during times of apostasy, hardships and difficulty. In Your Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:6
“And the ravens brought him bread and flesh….” This conjures all kinds of thoughts for me. I can just see a woman taking out her freshly baked bread to cool only to see a raven flying off with it as she yells and screams. Bread and fish was the lad’s lunch with which the Lord fed the multitude. Perhaps the ravens were grabbing lunch bags for the hungered prophet. I’m not sure where they got them, but they got them and delivered them to the man of God. “Preacher, do you really believe this?” Absolutely! Read the following passages: Exodus 16:1-15; 17:6; John 6:1-13.
Child of God, remember this, the Lord knows your need, and Scripture declares that “…my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” He did it for Israel. He did it for Elijah. He did it for the hungry multitude, and He can and will do it for us. Let’s just believe.
Father, You left us these wonderful stories of Your grace, power and glorious provisions so that we might learn to trust You for all things. Thank You, Blessed Lord, for all that You have done and are doing for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:8-16
Jesus said that the Father “sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) In like manner, when He sends drought, it strikes both the just and the unjust. The widow of Zarephath caring for a fatherless son was suffering from the drought caused by the prayer of the man of God. (James 5:17) She had most likely not been involved at all with the wickedness of Ahab’s idolatrous practices. She was obviously a worshipper of the One True God, for He had communed with her about feeding the prophet, (See Verse 9) but she was suffering.
As she was gathering wood for a fire to cook her final meal, she came upon Elijah. He ask her an unthinkable thing, “…make me a little cake first, and bring it unto me….” Wow! That sounded a bit selfish! Not really, for Elijah knew that God was about to do one of those impossible things; He was about to bring to pass one of those amazing miracles recorded in the Bible.
The woman did exactly as the man of God requested and from that day forward “the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail.” How is that even possible? It’s not! “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) When people of the village saw the widow and her son looking healthy and well fed I’m sure they asked her how it happed. But really, they probably didn’t believe her when she told them how. For you see, “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” (Psalms 25:24) How many times do you imagine that son of the widow told his grandchildren of the man of God and the miraculous provisions of God in the days of the drought?
Lord Jesus, mighty is Your power to save and to keep. Help me to ever trust You in all things in my life. In Your Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:17-24
Bad things do happen to good people, to people like Elijah and the widow woman that cared for the prophet of God in the time of famine. Why did this happen? Of course we know that the Lord allowed the child to die, or he would not have. It’s as simple as that. So, why did the Lord allow this to happen? No one could answer that question definitively, but the results are visible. A great miracle was wrought. The child’s “soul” was allowed by God to return to his body, and he lived. (Incidentally, death occurs when the soul leaves the body. That’s why Paul wrote, “…to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”) When this miracle took place, the woman’s response was, “Now I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.” We must remember that “all things work together for good to them that love God….” (Romans 8:28) The unpleasant and difficult things that come our way are used by God to teach us, to shape us and to help us to keep our eyes upon Him. Rather than questioning God, may we ever continue trusting God.
1. If faith in God and faithfulness to Him and His cause only comes during times of peace and prosperity, is that faith and faithfulness genuine? See the following passages: Job 1:13-22; Psalms 34:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
2. When bad things happen to us, we often rush to the conclusion that this bad thing must be a result of some mistake in our lives, (See Verse 18) but is this always the case? See John 9:1-5.
Blessed Lord, help me to face my trying times in faith, trusting You for healing, or for grace to sustain me with Your sufficiency. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:1-16
Obadiah was truly an unsung hero. Wicked Jezebel had ordered the deaths of all true prophets of God, and he had personally taken one hundred prophets “and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.” This would have been no small task, especially in light of the fact that it had to be done secretly, and Obadiah was the “governor” of Ahab’s house. Through this man’s efforts some of God’s choicest men in Israel were spared certain death.
While in the service of his king, Obadiah chanced upon Elijah. When Elijah told him to return to his king and let him know that the man of God would wait there until the king came, Obadiah was reluctant. His logic was reasonable; “…it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the Lord shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me….” We probably would have been thinking that very thing.
There are times in our lives that the Lord asks us to do something that we are confident we cannot do, or that in doing we will bring ourselves into some sort of great discomfort or difficulty. Elijah assured Obadiah that he would not leave, but would be there when the king arrived. The Lord assures us that when we obey and follow Him, He will be with us to strengthen us and to provide for us what is needed for our task of fulfilling His will. This story in the life of the prophet also reminds us that our Lord will never “forget your labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10) Know for certain that Obadiah’s kindness to one hundred of God’s prophets did not go unnoticed.
Father, help me to ever follow You obediently, trusting Your grace and power to sustain and protect me in Your service. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:16-18
1. Do the actions of ungodly, Christ denying, Bible rejecting governmental representatives cause the people over which they govern to suffer?
2. Can unjust individuals make good governmental leaders? See 2 Samual 23:1-4.
3. What effect does the character of those that rule have on the ruled? See Proverbs 29:2
Elijah was right, it was not his prayer that the rains stop over Israel that had caused their problems. His reply to wicked Ahab was spot on; “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou has followed Baalim.”May the Lord bless us with godly governmental representatives!
Lord, have mercy on America and bless her with representatives that fear You and have respect for Your Word and Will. Remove those from office that do not! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:19-20
Some interesting observations can be made in these verses. First, look who is really in charge. There was the king of Israel, Ahab. He had been searching high and low for Elijah, even into other countries according to Obadiah. (18:10) He was the man in power and he was going to get something done. I can almost hear him saying, “Go find me this prophet. I’ll see that this troubler comes to justice.” Now, as Ahab stood before the “troubler of Israel,” look whose issuing the orders. “Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.” Ahab may not have saluted, followed by a quick, “Yes sir,” but he immediately obeyed the prophet of God without question or challenge. Interesting, is it not?
Another interesting observation is Elijah’s condemnation of a man that clearly was not a worshipper or follower of the One True God, “ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord….” Ahab might have answered, “But I don’t even believe in God. I am a worshipper of Baal.” The fact is, Ahab was accountable to God, whether or not he believed in God, and he was accountable to his response or lack thereof to God’s commandments. So are all! All of the governing and the governed of the world, all believers and all unbelievers, are still accountable to God. And all will answer to Him someday. Unfortunately for most, their realization of Who the One True God and His Christ are will come all too late.
Father, You are just, and the justifier of all that place faith in Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. All will answer to You someday. Thank You for preparing us for that day through Your Son. In Whose Name we pray, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:21
Here was Elijah’s message to the people; if Baal is the true god, then serve him with all your heart. Dedicate yourselves to him. But, if God be God; if He be the One and only true God, then serve Him. Be obedient to His Word. Dedicate your lives to Him. “How long halt ye between two opinions?”
What a message for today! If God be God serve Him. However, if the world system be god, if wealth and fame be god, if wickedness and immorality be god, then serve that god. You cannot have it both ways. Look at Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:20-24. Consider James’ words in James 1:5-8 and 4:7-10. Note the foolishness found of those mentioned in 2 Kings 17:24-33
The people of the 10 northern tribes were still tentatively holding on to God, while at the same time indulging in the wicked idolatrous practices of Baal worship. See Isaiah 48:10-11. The Lord was never willing, and rightly so, to share His glory with another. Therefore, He was never willing that the Children of Israel, or any other for that matter, claim Him as their God while at the same time embracing false gods.
1. Look carefully at the first commandment. You will find it in Exodus 20:3. He was not saying that other gods were permitted as long as none were above Him. He was saying, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me, before My face, in My presence, beside me, or except Me.” In your own words, explain briefly how many things can become gods before the Lord God.
2. What happens to people who “halt between two opinions? See 2 Corinthians 6:14-16; James 1:18.
Lord Jesus, help me to never allow anything to take Your place in my heart or in my life. May You ever be Lord Supreme in every area of my being. In Your Name I pray, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:22–39
Elijah took twelve stones, a bullock, a pile of wood and twelve barrels of water and, praying a short prayer of 63 words, proved to a nation that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the One True God. The contest with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel is one of the most amazing and well known stories in the Bible. It has all the elements that make for a great story; drama, suspense and even humor. The story proves what one person armed with faith and a determination to do something for God can accomplish.
God is still looking in our world today for someone who through His power and direction can make a difference. It really doesn’t take individuals with great talent, just great faith and obedience. Elijah was just such a person. You can be that kind of person also. Your circle of influence may not be very large, but think of this, child of God; if you could influence just one person for Christ, the result could be many souls coming to His truth. Jesus reached one woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria and the result was a great multitude coming to faith. (See John 4)
1. An interesting observation: One man was totally in charge on Mt. Carmel that day. Every order that Elijah issued was acted upon without delay. Where did he get that authority, and why did these worshippers of Baal respond as they did?
Answer: Elijah’s authority came from the Lord. His certainty, bold faith and shameless dedication to the Lord caused these confused souls to stop, to listen and to respond to his faith.
2. Observe the following passages and pray that the Lord make them a reality in your life: 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Thessalonians 3:13; Galatians 6:9.
Father, help me to be obedient to you and to be willing to take a stand for faith in a faithless world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:40
A rather humorous story turned extremely serious very quickly. Idolatry is a very serious matter. Look at the following passages and understand what the Lord thought about idolatry among His chosen people: Leviticus 19:4; Deuteronomy 4:14-19; 13:1-5; 27:15.
Idolatry was a grievous sin in the eyes of the Lord, and it needed to be addressed decisively and Scripturally. And it was. The very first of the ten commandments had been broken; “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The Lord was not requiring that He be first among many, but the He be only. It was as though He was saying, “Thou shalt have no other gods before My face.”
Beloved, let us not be guilty of idolatry, for anything that takes the place of God in our lives becomes an idol to us. Sometimes that idol takes on the form of an automobile, a house, a ball, or a boat. The Lord is not against us having things, but He is against things having us that have been bought with His great sacrifice. The Apostle John wrote, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21) May the Lord help us to recognize the idols that would corrupt us, and then to keep ourselves from them. Amen!
Lord Jesus, help me to ever give my heart completely to You and not another. In Your Name I pray, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:41-46
Elijah had prayed that there be no rain upon Israel because of their wicked idolatrous ways, and the rain had ceased for over three years. Now the prophet was going to pray that the Lord send rain upon the ten northern tribes again. (See James 5:17-18) When the man of God sought Him first for judgment, and then for mercy, his prayers were answered. Maybe its time for God’s people to take our nation to God in prayer, seeking Him to do what is necessary to bring a spiritual revival to our land.
1. See 2 Chronicles 7:14. Who alone is capable of calling upon God for healing upon their land?
2. See 1 Timothy 2:1-6. Paul admonished God’s people to take the leaders of their nation to the throne of grace in order “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” How should God’s people pray for their leaders? See Acts 26:27-29; 2 Kings 5:3.
Father, I do pray for our land. We have drifted far from You and Your Word. Heal our land. Move through this land by the power of Thy Spirit to bring souls to Christ. Move in the hearts of our elected leaders. Bring them to the reality that all are accountable to You and that only that nation that fears You can be blessed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 19:1-3
Jezebel was a devilish woman, a priestess of Baal and hater of all things pertaining to God. She wasn’t just an unbeliever, she was a despiser of God, His Word and certainly His man, Elijah. He had ordered the slaying of all her prophets, and she was determined to avenge their deaths.
Elijah “was a man subject to like passions as we are….” (James 5:17) He had boldly stood before the prophets of Baal, but now a powerful and wicked woman set her sights on him and his heart was filled with fear and perhaps a bit of confusion. He had just experienced a great movement of God and revival at Mt. Carmel, but everyone was not so thrilled about what had happened, and now his life was gravely in danger. Would she dare have a man killed that stood in her way? Absolutely, as we will see later.
Beloved, “Marvel not…if the world hate you.” (1 John 3:13) See Luke 6:22; 21:17. Jesus told the disciples that “the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2) Those disciples to whom He was speaking experienced that literally, and many have since the time He spoke those words.
Let’s not be too hard on Elijah. As a prophet of God he was bold and brave. As a man he was human, and as a human he was subject to fears, apprehension and disappointment. So are we! Here are some passages to remember: Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 6:12-13; 1 Peter 5:8-9; Lamentations 3:21-23.
Lord, help me to be faithful to You even if the world hates me. Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 19:4–8
The Lord ever knows what His people need, and He is gracious to see that those needs are met. (See Philippians 4:19) Elijah was confused and tired, and he just wasn’t thinking clearly. What the man of God needed was a little rest under the juniper, some nourishment and a little comforting. Our God is so understanding and kind, and His graciousness knows no bounds. The angel came and prepared the man of God an angel food “cake baken on the coals,” and a “cruse of water.” Just what the doctor ordered, and just what the weary prophet needed most.
Can I give you some advice, child of God? Remember that you are human. When you’re overly tired, and when you have faced a particularly hard time, when the world has piled up on you with its animosity and hatred, this is no time to make important decisions if you don’t have to. Have a good meal and some much needed rest, perhaps a little quiet and alone time. Get refreshed, fellowship with the Lord, spend some time in His Word, and then make those decisions that must be made. Don’t face the adversary without some face time with God. Amen!
“I need Thee. O, I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee! O, bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 19:9-10
“What are you doing here, Elijah? What has brought you to this place in your life? You are discouraged, seeking death rather than life. (19:4) You are depressed and despondent. How did you get to this point in your life?” “Lord, You know my heart. I have been jealous for the Lord God of hosts. I see how Your people have forsaken You and Your covenant. They have thrown down your altars and have slain your prophets. I’m the only one left, and my life could be taken at any moment. I’m just very low.”
We forget sometimes that the heroes of our faith were just human. They were champions for God, but at times were tired, discouraged and downhearted. Like Elijah, some felt that they simply could not go on. They were not super humans, just men and women struggling to live for God in a time when living for God was not easy. Have you ever felt that way? If you have, you are in good company.
The blessed truth is that our Lord knows and understands this. In fact, we read this about our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ; “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Blessed truth! And, because of this we are encouraged, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16) Don’t give up, child of God. Keep looking up and trusting in our Lord. He knows exactly where you are and exactly what you need. God had not forsaken Elijah, and He will never forsake you. Praise Him for that!
Father, You are so gracious, loving and understanding. You know that we are but clay, and that we often question You and Your direction of our lives. Help us to trust You, serve You and keep looking to You for all things in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
1 Kings 19:11-12
He was not in the strong wind. He was not in the earthquake, nor even in the fire. God caused them all, but He was not to be found in them. He displayed His power through these natural calamities, but His love and grace was not to be found there.
We like the demonstrations of power, do we not? We like the fire coming from God out of heaven consuming the sacrifice. The quaking of the earth is thrilling when magnifying the One that created all things. The wind sweeping through the mulberries (2 Samuel 5:22-24) lets us know that our God is still in control and is becoming a “man of war” (Exodus 15:4) on our behalf. These are all testimonies of His power, but He’s not in them. It was when Elijah heard the “still small voice” that God most manifested Himself to the weary prophet.
That voice bellowed from Mt. Sinai. It condemned the guilty pair in the Garden of Eden. It thundered atop the Mount of Transfiguration, “This is my beloved Son. Hear ye Him!” The prophets heard this voice passing judgment on the idolaters of Israel. But, praise Him for the “still small voice” saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy leaden, and I will give you rest.” We surely worship Him for softly saying, “Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” It is when we need it most that we hear Him saying, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Thank God for the still small voice. If you will be still, quiet and just listen with your heart, you will hear His still small voice speaking to you today.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your still small voice in my soul. In Your Name I worship You. Amen!
1 Kings 19:13-18
1. Was the Lord’s prescription for Elijah retirement, rest and relaxation? Or did the Lord want him to busy himself in the Lord’s work? See Verses 15-16.
2. Sometimes the Lord’s counsel is, “Rest, arise and eat. Rest, arise and eat.” 19:4-8) At other times, His command is, “Go forth,” (Verse 11), “Go, return…” (Verse 15) Only the Lord knows what we need and what is best for us. Compare this with Matthew 14:1-20. There is a time to “depart…into a desert place apart” and a time to busy ourselves in the Lord’s work. Let’s seek His counsel to know what time it is.
3. There is a principle in Scripture we could call the principle of the remnant. That principle simply states that the Lord will always have a number of faithful souls that love and serve Him. When Elijah felt that he was the only one left serving the Lord in Israel, the Lord straightened out his mistake by informing him, “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.” You’re not alone, child of God. You’re not alone, church. There are many scattered through the land and throughout the world that are faithfully serving our Lord. There will always be a faithful remnant. Let’s ever be part of that blessed number.
“Lord Jesus, help us to be ever faithful to You and Your Work. Amen!
1 Kings 19:19-20
The prophet Elijah’s mantle was significant. It was an outer garment, a cloak of sorts made of the skin of an animal, perhaps wool. It played an important role in the prophet’s life. See the following passages: 1 Kings 19:13, 19; 2 Kings 2:8,13,14; also 1 Samuel 15:27. It was, as it were, a symbol of Elijah’s prophetic office, so when he “cast his mantle upon” Elisha, it signified to the young man that God had called him into prophetic ministry through the elder prophet. Elisha well understood this based upon his response and answer. After fulfilling what he felt was his responsibility, Elisha “arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him. Part of his duty as a prophet of God was to minister to Elijah and to learn from him.
The calling into the ministry is a sacred calling. Unfortunately, many do not see it that way, but it is true. Only those called of God can understand that clearly. There is really no Scripture given that provides the secret of understanding the call to the ministry. The closest passage providing some explanation of God’s calling is found in 2 Timothy 3:1, “This is a true saying, If any man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” The word “desire” means, “to stretch one’s self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something.” One of the ways God calls men into ministry is by putting a desire in their hearts for that service for Christ and His Church. Oft times the most unlikely characters are called into ministry, as Elisha being called from behind a yoke of oxen plowing. He went from plowing the fields of grain to the plowing of souls with the Word of God
You and I have been given the duty of praying that the Lord will call workers into His harvest. Jesus said, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:38)
Let us thus pray the mantle of ministry would fall upon many for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.
Father, may Your mantle of ministry be cast upon young people in Your Church, that the harvest of souls might be reaped for Your honor and glory. In Christ’s Name we pray, Amen!
1 Kings 21:1-26
1. What does Scripture say about a person who has no self-control? See Proverbs 25:28
2. What does Scripture declare about sin that is “hidden” and unconfessed? See Proverbs 28:13 with Numbers 32:23
Ahab was truly a wicked man. It did not bother him at all to malign a man’s character, rob him of his inheritance and end his life violently for his own greedy benefit. And, honestly, his wife was even more vile than he was. They are a picture of unbridled ungodliness and the power to make their vile lustful desires possible. Don’t kid yourself, child of God; there are many Jezebels and Ahabs in our world today. Thank God for the true servants of God like Elijah who knew no fear of man because of the fear of God. Those who fear God and serve Him need fear nothing else. Amen!
Father, help me to walk in simple obedience to Your Word, and to live in such a fashion as to bring glory to Your Holy Name. Amen!
1 Kings 21:27-29
I don’t believe the verses we read today mean that Ahab died a saved man. His actions were not those of true Biblical repentance, but did show evidence of his belief in Elijah’s prophecy of coming judgment. What we do see is the “humbling” of the wicked king upon the pronouncement of Divine judgment, and what stands out most is the longsuffering mercy of our God. Judgment would still fall upon Ahab and his household for his extreme wickedness, but in God’s mercy it would simply be postponed. There was a similar humbling in the Book of Jonah in the city of Nineveh. God indeed is merciful and slow to anger, but when His wrath is finally unleashed it is merciless. While it is true that “He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9) it is equally true that the Lord will judge severely all who will refuse to repent and turn from their wicked ways.
Lord Jesus, I praise You for taking my sin to Yourself on Calvary, and for cleansing me from all sin. In Your Name I pray, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 2 Kings1
I suppose it is really a good thing that modern day “men of God” do not have the power with God that Elijah did, because if they did the ground would be covered with black spots where fire came down from heaven to devour the enemies of truth. (See Luke 9:52-56 if you doubt this.). Any honest Christian would have to admit that such power would certainly be appealing, at least occasionally. And, of course, we wouldn’t want to really burn up our enemies entirely, maybe just singe their hair or fry some of their idols of gold or silver. Elijah was an extreme character that was needed in a day of extreme wickedness in Israel, and his power with God was a vivid testimony to a people that had become truly blinded by their ungodliness.
Did this really happen? Did fire come down from heaven devouring two captains and one hundred soldiers? It really did. One hundred and two families in Israel were bereaved. A lot of children lost their dads that day. A lot of wives became widows. Wickedness is truly a costly thing, and these men paid a high price for the sins of the nation and of their king. Elijah was simply a tool in the hand of God to exact judgment on such vileness.
1. Look at the following verses that speak of some of the attributes of God: 1 John 4:8,16; Psalms 99:9; Daniel 9:14; Hebrews 12:29. The ministry of the prophet Elijah revealed that God is holy and just, and that He does exact judgment on sin, and that judgment can be most severe.. Can you see from this truth why sin should be so despised by God’s people?
2. Read Psalms 9:17 and Matthew 25:41-46. Is the doctrine of an eternal hell consistent with the Scriptural teachings on the character of Almighty God?
Lord God, I know that You are gracious, merciful and loving, but I also know that You are just and holy. Your Word speaks of Your wrath and the eternal judgment facing the unregenerate. Help me to be Your witness in a world that is facing that wrathful judgment. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-15
The “sons of the prophets” were the ministerial students of the day, men that felt the call in their lives to be heralds of truth calling God’s people back to a walk of obedience and faith. Men like Elijah were referred to as their father, master or their teacher and model. Elisha was a student and servant of the man of God, Elijah. He traveled with him and ministered to him as he was learning from this seasoned man of God. Through this training, Elisha learned how people respond to truth and how to remain faithful regardless of their response. Christ’s disciples were His students. learning at His feet lessons that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.
1. Note the exchange between Elijah and Elisha found in Verses 2, 4, and 6. Could these exchanges not be seen as a test for Elisha given by the prophet of God as to the younger man’s determination and faithfulness?
Could it not also have been a lesson to Elisha of the necessity of faithfully attending to one’s duties in order to receive the blessings of God for such faithfulness?
2. Older, more seasoned followers of Christ have a responsibility of being teachers and models to younger Christians. See Titus 2:1-8 and 2 Timothy 2:1-2. Elijah took that responsibility most seriously, and so should we.
Lord Jesus, help us to be good models to younger Christians. In Your Name we pray, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:11-12
There were two men in the Old Testament that went to heaven without dying. Here, in 2 Kings, we read of the man Elijah going up into heaven by a whirlwind on the chariot of fire being drawn by horses of fire. (Compare this with 2 Kings 6:17; Psalms 68:17; and Psalms 104:4.) Who was the other man that cheated death, going to heaven bypassing the grave? See Genesis 5:19-24 with Hebrews 11:5. There will be an entire generation of Christians that will thus be “translated” that they “should not see death” when the Lord comes back for His Church. (See John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:52-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 4:1-3.)
Elisha must have been filled with mixed emotions as he watched his “master” being drawn up into heaven in the whirlwind. No doubt his heart was filled with sorrow, for he would miss the man that had been his mentor, but he was also thrilled by what he had witnessed, and in knowing the blessings enjoyed by Elijah. We have that same mixed emotion when one we love is caught up into heaven by the chariot of death. Our hearts grieve for our loss, but rejoice for the blessings awaiting our loved ones on the other side. May the Lord grant us His grace in giving us a spiritual vision of the glories awaiting the redeemed at the departing of this life.
Lord Jesus, through Your resurrection, and through the promises You have given us in Your Word, You have given hope beyond this life and the grave that awaits us. Help us to ever hold on to that hope. In Your Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:1-9
In your King James Bible, the name “Elias” comes from the Greek rendering of the Hebrew word translated Elijah. Along with Moses, Elijah appeared with the Lord Jesus when He was transfigured on the mount before Peter, James and John. Here they were enabled to see the Lord in all of His kingly glory, the glory that the world will behold when He sets up His kingdom upon earth. The choice of the two men that would be so honored as to be with the Lord on this day was significant. Moses represented the law, and Elijah represented the prophets. In John 1:45 we read, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Jospeh.” In Romans 3:21-22, Paul wrote, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, Even the righteousness of god which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is not difference.” Moses and Elijah were bearing witness to the Person of the Lord Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration just as the Old Testament bore witness of the Coming One, the Messiah.
Beloved, you and I that have been born again are to be witnesses to a lost and dying world of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to be those who tell others of His death, burial and resurrection, and that salvation is in none other. The world desperately needs that witness. May the Lord help us to let others know of the grace of our God found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, help me this day to let others know of Your grace and offer of salvation to all. In Your Name I pray, Amen!
Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:10-13
“Elias (Elijah) truly shall come first….” Compare these words with Malachi 4:1-6. This is an obvious prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ. This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, and will see fulfillment before the Second Coming which is pictured in Revelation 19. Many believe that the two witnesses spoken of in Revelation 11 will include Elijah and one other, possibly Moses. Again, this would agree with our thoughts on Moses and Elijah in yesterday’s devotion.
Note the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 17:11-13, especially the words, “…Elias is come already…Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” While John the Baptist was not the complete fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy, (See John 1:21) he did come in the “spirit and power of Elias…” according to Luke 1:17. Before the Second Coming, the prophet Elijah will come with a message from heaven preparing hearts for the Coming King of Kings.
Beloved, the Lord Jesus is coming again. Praise God for being saved and having assurance of that salvation! If you do not have that assurance, you can this very day. Call upon the Lord Jesus in faith believing in His death, burial and resurrection.
Blessed Savior, I praise Your for salvation, and for the hope of Your glorious Second Coming. In Your Name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: Romans 11:1-5
Elijah’s discourse with God found in 1 Kings 19 revealed many things, not the least of which verified that God is not through in His dealings with Israel. Some believe that since Israel rejected the Lord Jesus, all Divine attention was turned to the Church and that all promises given to Israel were transferred to the Church. This replacement theology is incorrect, for “God hath not cast away His people which he foreknew.” All the promises and prophecies God made to Israel will see fulfillment, for He and His Word never changes. Praise God for that truth!
The difficulties Elijah faced served a Divine purpose. They worked for Elijah’s good, God’s glory and for our benefit also. Through his difficulties, we are given assurance of God’s faithfulness to His own and to the promises He has made to them. This adds meaning to such passages as Romans 8:28. Praise God for His unchanging faithfulness.
What does Scripture tell us about God’s Word? See Psalms 119:89, 152, 160; Matthew 5:18; 1 Peter 1:25.
2. What does Scripture tell us about God’s relationship with His own, with those who have been brought into a relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ? See John 6:37; 10:28; 18:8-9; 1 Peter 1:1-5.
Lord Jesus, thank You for salvation’s assurance. Amen!
Scripture Reading: James 5:16-18
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are….”
We have been learning lessons from the man Elijah. Here is one we definitely need; as great a man as Elijah was, and as many wonderful things which he was enabled to do, he was just a man. As being a man, Elijah was a sinner in need of God’s salvation. He was prone to sin just as you and I. He had the same frailties and faced the very same temptations. Why is that important to know? Because we have a tendency to elevate heroes of Scripture to a level beyond the human, and that is simply not a reality. This ought to bring us joy and hope, because if God could use men and women in the Bible the way that He did, He can use us also. We are imperfect, so were they. We are sinners, so were they. We make mistakes, so did they. Never think, child of God, that He cannot use you. He can, and longs to do so. Here are some verses worth our consideration: Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:17,23,24; Psalms 2:11; 100:2.
1. Can the Lord use common, ordinary followers of Christ to accomplish His will and plan? See 1 Kings 17:8-16.
2. Can the Lord use you?
Lord Jesus, help me to be available at all times to do those things that You lead me to do, enable me and use me for Your glory. Amen!
Scripture Reading: Esther 4:1-17
“…for such a time as this?”
The “time” makes demands of the type of people needed for the Lord’s work. Elijah’s time required a servant of the Lord that was fearless, bold and firmly implanted and established in his faith. It required one that could look in the eyes of a king and cry out against his ungodliness. Elijah’s time required an Elijah, and as we have witnessed this month, Elijah was sensitive to God’s call in his life.
Beloved, there has never been a time like our time. Literally! We are living in days that were prophesied thousands of years ago, and we are living to see those prophesies fulfilled. Mordecai said to Esther, “who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such as time as this?” Could that not be said to each of God’s children living at this time? Here are some challenging passages to consider today: Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 5:8; Philippians 2:15-16; 1 Peter 2:9. In His sovereign wisdom, the Lord chose for you to enter into this world and to live during this specific time. Let’s do so for His glory!
Lord Jesus, help me to use this “time” You have given me for Your glory. In Your Name I pray, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 21:19; 22:34-38; 1 Kings 21:22-23; 2 Kings 9:10,30-37.
Scripture declares that the test of a prophet is in his prophecy. The prophet of God had to be 100 percent correct 100 percent of the time. Elijah was. the above passages make that perfectly clear.
Fulfilled prophecy is one testimony of the accuracy and trustworthiness of God’s Word. The prophesies of Elijah, just like the prophesies of every other prophet in the Bible, were as though they were set in stone. That can be said of all of the Word of God. Beloved, God has given us a Book that we can trust, that we can rest assured in and that we can trust our eternity to the truths found therein. Read it. Study it. Apply its truths to your life. Trust in its promises, and hide its words in your heart. It will never ever fail you, and everything it says is true.
“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalms 12:6-7
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Proverbs 30:3
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17