Yahweh, He is God
Good day saints of the Most High God,
Let’s follow up from last week by reading 1Kings 17 & 18. What is God’s antidote/remedy for His people who have gone off and worshipped other gods? He raises up a prophet to declare truth and reveal that there is only One God and all others are mute, powerless figments of man’s imagination. The church of Jesus Christ is sooo in need of true prophets who will rise up in the spirit of Elijah and call out the Baal worshippers and get them out of the church! I digress:).
Chapter 16 of 1Kings ends with the king of Israel worshipping Baal and building altars to other gods. And even worse, Hiel rebuilds Jericho, the city God destroyed under Joshua; and Hiel does so at the cost of two sons, in defiance to the word of God (Joshua 6:26). Israel is in a terrible spiritual state! Then, out of nowhere, Elijah steps into the picture! His very name is an indictment to the people of Israel – “Yahweh is my God; My God is Jehovah”. Immediately, he pronounces a curse over the wayward king Ahab, and prophecies that there will be no rain – a judgment for turning away from the one true God to Baal – Baal is the Canaanite god of fertility, rain and storms. He is ultimately associated with Beelzebub, demons and the devil (Luke 11:15-19). Yahweh, through His faithful servant Elijah, will prove to all that He is the only true God, in control, ruler and Lord over all creation – He controls all of nature, and is the author of life and death. This is the message of chapter 17. Yahweh, the One true God is able to provide water and send ravens to feed His people (vs. 3-9) - “I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there”; “I have commanded a widow there to provide for you”. God is in control of nature and people! He is all-sovereign, all-powerful and Lord of all! Yet, He is an intimate relational God who even cares for the raven (Job 38:41; Psalm 147:9; Luke 12:24), and a poor pagan widow. Surely, there is none like Him!
Friends, let’s not miss the irony of this amazing chapter 17! In Chapter 16 we are introduced to Jezebel, the pagan wife of Ahab, who entices Ahab to worship Baal. We are told that her father is the king of Sidon, where the soul of Baal worship emanates. Then, by the word of the Lord, Elijah is told to go Sidon, in the very centre of Baal idolatry. There, in the middle of the judgment - a famine and drought, God sends His servant to minister to and bless a gentile widow and her son. This widow is in such dire circumstance that she is preparing to die (17:12). But, reluctantly she obeys the command of the Lord and receives the blessing, while the rest of her kinsman suffer under judgment. (vs. 14-16). Again, the widow gets to witness the miraculous hand of God raise her son from the dead (vs. 17-23). God has demonstrated to this poor widow that He is the only God, ruler of all creation and Author of life and death. The prophet is proven to be truly of God and to truly have the word of God in his mouth (vs. 24). In the heart of idolatry and paganism, God reveals Himself through a faithful servant.
I cannot but think of our current culture, filled with idolatry, death and disease, and in a nutshell…sin of every kind. Yet in the middle of all the depravity, God sends a prophet to display His majesty and glory, and offer a forgotten widow a chance at knowing Him. Friends, we are the church of Jesus Christ, anointed and appointed and endowed with gifts of various kinds to testify to a dying world about the one true God - an all-powerful, loving God who cares for the least. We have been equipped with prophetic gifts, and miracle-working gifts to “declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1Peter 2:9), and that “the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10). Each one of us is to be an Elijah – a light in the darkness that reveals the only true God as He works through us in power to demonstrate His love, care and even existence to a world under the power of a false god. Were not the miracles Jesus did performed to prove that He was indeed God? Was this power to do miracles He passed on to the church not intended for us to witness to the world that our God is the only true God? Are we not in some way all called to be prophets to our generation testifying to the reality of the God of the Bible – “you shall be my witnesses when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8). I believe that as each one of us walks with Jesus, hears and obeys His voice, and steps out to live a life in the power of Holy Spirit like the man Elijah, many will say because of our lifestyle and obedience, “Yahweh…He is God”. May it be so Lord…even in the church! (James 5:13-20).
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