Monday, 8 March 2021

Who was Elijah in the Bible?

Hello Readers & Followers,

It's a new week! Praise be to God for whom all blessings flow! 

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Some interesting facts about Elijah
  • What was special about Elijah?

Introduction

Elijah was first mentioned in the Old Testament in the Book of 1 Kings 17. In 1 kings 17:1, the Bible says: "And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
  • Tishbite was a city in Gilead.  
  • Elijah was an Israelite.
  • Elijah was a prophet. A prophet was the mouthpiece of God to His people –the bringer of God’s Word to the nation.

Some interesting facts about Elijah

  • His parents were not mentioned in the Bible.
  • The year he was born was not mentioned in the Bible.
  • How he grew up was not mentioned in the Bible.
  • How he was anointed as a prophet was not mentioned in the Bible.
  • I am unsure as to why his background was not shared with us.
  • Elijah was suddenly mentioned in 1 Kings 17:1.
  • Elijah lived during the reign of King Ahab. King Ahab was the seventh and worst king of Israel during his reign as he had forsaken the commandments of God and followed Baals alongside his wife, Jezebel.
  • Elijah was referred to as the troubler of Israel by King Ahab due to Elijah. informing him that he had caused the drought in Israel. Elijah made the record straight by explaining to Ahab that it was due to his sins that there was a drought (1 Kings 18:17 & 18).
  • Elijah was taken into heaven by a whirlwind. In 2 Kings 2:1, the Bible says  "And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal."

What was special about Elijah?

  • He was obedient to God's commands. He followed the instructions that God gave him. This allowed God to use him for kingdom work on earth. (To know more about how Elijah was obedient to God's commands. Please read 1 Kings 19:11-18, 1 Kings 17:1-7, 1 Kings 17:24, and 2 Kings 1.

  • He was a man of prayer; he was persistent in the place of prayer. In 1 Kings 18:42 and 1 Kings 18:43, it was recorded that Elijah bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees. In verse 43 of 1 Kings 18, it was recorded that Elijah made a proclamation 7 times; he kept asking for his servant to check if it was raining as he was praying for the drought to end. A lesson that I can draw out from Elijah's unending prayer is for us to never stop praying. When God has promised to do something for us, we should continue to pray for its fulfilment to come to pass.
  • Elijah's persistent prayer reminds me of the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. The persistent widow wanted justice from her adversary (enemy); she was persistent in seeking justice. The unfair judge eventually listened to her plea due to her persistence. Jesus Christ said if an unjust judge could favour the widow, won't he grant justice for those who cry out to Him day and night to him? So, a reminder to never stop praying to God. May the Lord strengthen you in the place of prayer in Jesus' name.

  • I am reminded of a Scripture in the Book of James, James 5:17-18 says "Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!  Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops." This is telling us that our prayers can be answered just as Elijah's prayers were answered.

  • Elijah was an intercessor; he interceded on behalf of Israel and he interceded on behalf of the widow's son that died. After Elijah prayed, the widow's son came back to life. You can read more about this in 1 Kings 17:17-24.

  • The hand of the Lord was upon Elijah (1 Kings 18:46) - The hand of the Lord connotes the presence of the Holy Spirit. He was divinely empowered by the Spirit of God. In 2 Kings 2:15, the Scripture records that the spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha. This means the hand of the Lord that was upon Elijah was the Holy Spirit. From studying the Bible, there were a number of prophets including Kings that the hand of the Lord was upon. Have a look at Ezekiel 1:3, 1 Samuel 10:6. The hand of the Lord makes one be an extraordinary person for God. It is a good request to ask God for His hand to be upon us. Something interesting for you to know is that it was recorded in 2 Kings 2:16 that the Spirit of the Lord transported Elijah from one location to another. There was somebody else that had a similar experience. Philip had a similar experience; it was recorded that the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away so that the eunuch saw him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea (Acts 8:39-40). I would like to be transported to different countries by the Spirit of God to teach the Word of God and to return home using the same route. How lovely would that be?

  • Elijah was a man of faith - He believed his prayers were answered by speaking about his answers before he saw the physical manifestations (1 Kings 18:44-45). This reminds me of the Word of God that says that we should speak those things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17b).

  • Linking to the above point, Elijah believed in the power of his words. He used his mouth to call down fire to consume the enemies of God (2 Kings 1:10-12) and the enemies of God were consumed. Elijah also said it was not going to rain and it did not rain. Job 22:28 says that thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established. Proverbs 18:21a says that the tongue has the power of life and death. When God said let there be light, there was light. What is the state of your mouth? Are you using your mouth to create, build or destroy? Are you using your mouth to gossip? Are you using your mouth to grumble?

  • Elijah was influential for God during his time on earth - He delivered God's messages. He shared some uncomfortable news with King Arab. He told him that God had condemned him and God was bringing calamity on him. Let's read 1 Kings 21:20-26: "So Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?”And Elijah answered, “I have found you because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord: ‘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. 
  • 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.’ 
  • And concerning Jezebel the Lord also spoke, saying, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’ The dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Ahab and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the field. 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. 
  •  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." See the dangers of sinning against God? Also, it takes a lot of boldness for Elijah to have delivered this message to the king.

  • Elijah was a man of authority - He spoke with authority. He called down fire, he mocked the 450 prophets of Baal for not being able to call down fire (1 Kings 18:25-40). Despite the odds of 450 prophets against Elijah (1 person). Using our human reasonings, you would think the prophets of Baal would overcome Elijah, right? However, this is a reminder that God is our defender. Psalm 94:22 says "But the Lord is my defence, and my God is the rock of my refuge."

  • Prior to Elijah's departure from the earth, the Lord commanded him to anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel and Elisha as a prophet in his place (1 Kings 19:16). I wonder how Elijah felt undertaking this task. He must have known his time on earth was numbered. This teaches us that God always prepares people to continue his work on earth when someone leaves. So, when someone leaves a place, God will prepare someone else to take over his work. In fact, God told Elijah, when Elijah had felt that he was the only prophet that was left, that he had a remnant (7,000) prophets who had not bowed down to Baal (1 Kings 19:18).

  • Elijah became discouraged along the way when King Ahab's wife (Jezebel) threatened to kill him because he had killed prophets of Baals. In 1 Kings 19:1-2, the Bible says "And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time." Oh, dear!
  • Jezebel threatened Elijah once and he fled. Elijah was emotionally affected by the threat. He said to God that he wanted to die. 1 Kings 19:4 says "But he himself 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!"

  • However, God encouraged Elijah by sending an angel to show him that he was not alone (1 Kings 19:5-8). This is a reminder that Christian leaders also get discouraged and we should remember to pray for them. Also, it is another reminder for us to know that whenever we feel discouraged, we need to remember that God is with us, He has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. It is not unusual for Christians to become discouraged in life. However, it is reassuring to know that whenever we are feeling discouraged, God is with us.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.

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I am praying for God's protection to be with you today and throughout this week in Jesus' name. 

Have a lovely week!

Yours in Christ,

Mysses Lafunky

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