Focal passage: 1 Kings 16:29-33, 17:1-6
We live in a world that often chooses the less difficult path. People often select the easier alternative or one that requires less work. My dad always told us growing up, “if it were easy, everyone would do it,” signifying the reward of not choosing the same path everyone else took.
In much the same way, the life of a believer is one often filled with difficulty and pain as one seeks to faithfully serve the Lord. This week introduces us to six episodes the prophet Elijah faced and the difficulty that he experienced in following the Lord. When Elijah came on the scene, we find that spiritual foundations had crumbled through Israel’s painful dealings with idolatry and other sins.
Considered to be more wicked than any king before him, King Ahab further introduced Baal worship to Israel through the influence of his wife Jezebel. Elijah enters the stage to serve as a witness for the true God of Israel and courageously proclaims God’s message.
Led by the presence of God, Elijah went before King Ahab and told him that a drought was coming for a few years that would devastate the nation. This message would call Israel to wake up to their indifference, expose the worthlessness of Baal and be a message in direct opposition to the king’s authority. It took courage for Elijah to stand before the king and deliver the word from the Lord.
Elijah abruptly leaves the king and rather than continuing to prophesy to the people, he heeds the Lord’s direction and hides in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. God did not give him the reason for retreating to the wilderness, other than assuring him that he would survive this retreat as the Lord would provide drink from the brook and food from ravens.
Elijah’s courage reminds us that we should be faithful in the call God places on our lives, knowing He will protect and provide for us.