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Verses that Inspire: 1 Kings 18:1-4

September 23, 2010

After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly, and when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.)1 Kings 18:1-4

Elijah is one of my all time favorites. Maybe not so much for what he did but for the doubt he had even while doing what he did. You know, the kind of whiny voice that he seems to have right in the middle of God doing great things.

There are several aspects of this story that I absolutely love. First, even Elijah who is to be used by God spends several years doing who knows what in Zarephath. You know it just gets a sentence and yet it contains three years. Three years of what? Reading? Writing? Did Elijah put out some kind of memoir or how to be a prophet book? Nothing is recorded and yet it took three years.

Second thing I like is that there is this group of one hundred prophets that are stuck living in a cave. You read it didn’t you? Living in caves. Who were they? What are their names? Which books did they write? What great stories of God’s power do they have to tell? I have not heard of the book of One Hundred Prophets, certainly never watched the movie. I have not even touched the other option that these prophets had. “Off with their heads.”

I of course also love this part because it comes before the really good stuff in 1 Kings 18. The part of the story that we typically teach from and look to for inspiration. Our God reigns! Our God has authority over everything. Praise God. I couldn’t agree more and I’m sure the prophets in the cave eating bread and water appreciated this fact. No, I’m sure they probably did. Now I’m not sure we would. I”m not sure I would. I’m not sure that modern Americans would think God was so powerful without two of everything. Two cars, two TV’s, two pets, I think you get the point.

I pray God works in powerful ways today. I believe we need a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit. I’m guessing everyone would agree. My question is would I be satisfied as a prophet in the cave or do I fancy myself Elijah all out front in living color? Our nation could use a healthy dose of God’s hand, I hope I can be thankful no matter my part.

Scripture from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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