Wednesday, 22nd September 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
God was preparing Elijah, at the same time, God was also examining into Ahab’s life and the lives of Israelites. God loved the tribe of Judah as well as the other tribes of Israel, and He was waiting for them to return. In the three-year’s period, God was preparing and training Elijah’s faith, and through the famine and drought, He was waiting for the people of Israel to repent. God also prepared Jesus for three years until His timing was right. God always rules and reigns, His reign will not change despite of the change of environment and the people.
Section One V1-16 God’s Timing
God knew the battle Elijah had to fight was difficult, therefore He used three-year’s time to prepare Elijah, through the famine, through the drought, and through the widow’s household. God knows us, He knows our weaknesses and He will use environment to train us and prepare us. Elijah was willing to wait for God’s timing, he could have prayed for the rain before the end of the three years, but he didn’t. Then when Elijah was at the widow’s house in Sidon, he could have stayed there, because all his miracles could have made him famous there. But when God’s timing come, Elijah left Sidon and went back to Ahab.
Are we also willing to wait for God’s timing? When God wants us to move, are we willing to leave our comfort zone and follow God’s guidance? It was not easy for Elijah to go, God didn’t only tell Elijah to see Ahab, but for Ahab to see him. At the time Ahab was struggling to find food for people and for livestock, it was hard even to keep the horses and mules alive! But despite this, Ahab was unwilling to seek God. It was such a hard time, when God wanted Elijah to go back.
Ahab asked Obadiah, who was in charge of his house, to find grass for the livestock. Obadiah was Ahab’s well-trusted servant and even though Ahab was a wicked king, his servant Obadiah feared the Lord. God has His timing and His way of doing things, Obadiah knew Ahab’s wickedness, but he didn’t run away, instead through him, God saved one hundred prophets during the time of the famine. Obadiah to the one hundred prophets was like the raven to Elijah, to provide food and water to sustain their lives. Why did God keep the one hundred prophets? Because God still remembered the Israelites and He was still waiting for them to repent. They were God’s chosen ones, and He did not give up on them. Do we also see ourselves as God’s chosen ones? Do we also believe that God would not give up on us?
Section Two V17-29 Men said Nothing
When Ahab saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” And Elijah answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.” Elijah was not afraid of Ahab, he pointed out his mistake and told him the truth behind the famine. Furthermore, Elijah challenged the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table. Elijah was not afraid to speak out the truth and point out the people’s mistakes. But the people said nothing.
When we hear the Word of God every morning, do we respond by faith? Or do we also say nothing like the people of Israel? When God pointed out the problems in our lives through our authority, do we say nothing? God wants to bless us, but sin separates us from Him. We must open our mouth to respond, to pray and to repent. When the people did not respond, Elijah started to build the altar.
At noon, that Elijah mocked the false prophets, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention. These people knew God but they were relying on Baal for the material gains. Do we really believe God will provide us with everything we need? Or do we still seek the things of this world to give us security and comfort?
Section Three V30-46 Jehovah is the Only God
God rules and reigns, He has His timing, and even though the people stay quiet, it doesn’t change the fact that He is the only true God. Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. God wants us to set our lives apart for Him, to take an action of faith and show our trust in Him. Then when the people came, Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. Elijah was demonstrating to the people that they must repair the altar of the Lord, not for other gods. Elijah was using visual to educate the Israelites, to bring back their memories and to remind them of their origins. Elijah could have just prayed then the rain would come, but because the Israelites stayed quiet, so Elijah used this opportunity to make sure they knew what they should do as the people of God.
Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” All of Elijah’s preparation work was to educate the people and remind them of the true God. So when the fire of the Lord fell, the people believed. Why are we scared of people? Because we don’t believe in God, we try to please people instead of saying the truth. When God wants us to teach, do we speak the words of truth for Him?
Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” Elijah did not want Ahab to influence him, he did not want to fall into the temptation of Ahab. After Ahab left, Elijah went up to the mountain to pray. We must set our lives apart for God, don’t let ourselves fall into temptation but to really focus on seeking God. Elijah prayed again and again for seven times, and finally the rain came. Do we also believe in God and pray non-stop? And when God answers our prayers, can we run away from temptation? Elijah ran away from the people because he didn’t want the people to see him but to see God’s Work.
Do we also let people see the Work of God? Or do people only see us instead of God and our authority? Let us humble ourselves, submit to God, to see more of God, and less of people.
Worship: Lord, I Praise You with All of My Heart我要一心稱謝你 https://youtu.be/oSrGuuhX1O0
Prayer & Pursuit
This morning, God’s Spirit is with us, He is talking to the people He has gathered. He knows our hearts, that we rely on God but at the same time, we rely on this world. We are not willing to let go and to trust in Him completely. Let us come before Him and ask for His forgiveness.
Lord, we come before You and ask for Your forgiveness. We said we trust in You but at the same time we trust in this world, and we trust in ourselves. Lord, forgive us that we forgot about You, we did not put You first, instead we focus on our family, our work, and other things. Forgive us for sinning against You, take away our fear and worries, give us faith so we can see You are the only One True God. You have always prepared and provided for us, we just want to seek You and put our trust in You. Let Your Word dwell not only in our head but also in our heart. Amen.
V43-44 以利亚没有因为过去的神迹骄傲，而是耐心祷告完七次 – “七”这个数字在圣经里就代表完全。我们是否能像他这样不放弃地向神祷告？