Faith Of Our Fathers #5: What Are You Doing Here?


Photo by John Rodenn Castillo on Unsplash

1 Kings 19:1-9 .. Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. 9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Who is this sad and suicidal man who prays that God will kill him? He is depressed, despondent, disturbed. Life holds no interest for him any more. Who is this man?

He is Elijah.

I love studying Elijah. Elijah is a bit of a mystery in the Scripture. His birth and childhood are never discussed in the Scripture. Elijah’s name in the Hebrew is אֵלִיָּהוּ, Eliyahu, meaning “My God is Yahweh”. Elijah is simply introduced in …

1 Kings 17:1 … And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead …

He was a person who dwelt in Tishbe of Gilead, a place east of the Jordan River near Wadi Chorath. Scholars can tell us little about this area, or about Elijah’s origin.

Elijah Was God’s Answer To Evil

We do know that Elijah was born during an evil age. He grew up in Northern Israel under the reign of the evil King Omri. The Bible says:

1 Kings 16:25 .. {King} Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him.

When Omri died his son King Ahab reigned over {Northern} Israel in Samaria twenty two years (1 Kings 16:29). The Bible says of Ahab:

1 Kings 16:30 ..Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him.

Ahab’s daddy was the most evil king Israel ever had – that is, until his son reigned. As goes the parent, so goes the child. If the parent is godless chances are the child will be godless. Ahab was godless. That isn’t to say he didn’t have a god. He did. Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal King of the Zidonians (1 Kings 16:31). Jezebel was a priestess of the false Canaanite god named Ba’al. When Ahab married Jezebel he rejected Yahweh and built a temple for Baal. God raised up Elijah to confront Ba’al and his followers.

Yahweh Confronts Ba’al With Elijah

Elijah’s name means “My God is Yahweh”. He confronts Ahab saying:

1 Kings 17:1 … As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

What gave Elijah his boldness? He had his eyes on the Lord. Elijah said “I am standing before the Lord God of Israel”.
He was focused on Yahweh – not on himself or others.

Elijah stood against Ba’al. Ba’al was not a name of a false god but its title. Ba’al means “Lord”. The Canaanites believed Ba’al to be the god of rain, thunder, lightening, and dew. When Elijah says “there shall not be rain nor dew these years” he is giving a direct challenge to Ba’al and his worshipers. There is only ONE God, and YAHWEH is His Name.

Was Elijah a superman, some super human person like unto Jesus Christ? No, not at all.

James 5:16-18 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

Elias” is the Latinized form of Elijah. James tells us that the fervent or sincere prayer of a righteous or Christ Driven person does much. Elijah was a person just like we are. He was subject to like passions as we are. He had the same failings as we do. He was just a man – a man who kept his eyes on the Lord. Elijah simply listened to God – and God listened to Elijah.

Elijah listened to God, and God listened to Elijah.
If you want your prayers to have power, listen to God.
Hear His Word. Heed His Voice. Put away your toys.
Get still. Be still. Know that He is God.

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

God will be exalted among His creation. He does not exist for us, but we for Him. God is not our slave, nor our tool. God is God. He will be glorified by His elect. He will be exalted by those He has saved. Elijah heeded God, and God used Elijah. “He prayed earnestly – with all love toward God – and it did not rain for 3 ½ years!”. Elijah had nothing to do with this drought. This was all of God. God speaks to Elijah:

1 Kings 17:2-4 .. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, 3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

God protected Elijah. He watched over him.

Why do so many Christians never hear God? Because we will not put ourselves into a position to hear God.

  • We will not hear because of SIN. We allow sin in our lives – unconfessed and unrepentant sin. The Psalmist said..

Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Jesus said “If any one serve Me, let HIM FOLLOW ME” (John 12:26). God will not speak to the heart riddled with sin. REPENT! Confess your sin before the Lord. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-10).

  • We will not hear because of SELFISHNESS. Often I am trying to tell someone something and someone else will come up and break into the conversation. I was raised to be polite, so I stop talking. And wait. And wait. And wait. And then I give up. God is the same way. God will speak to us, but we are so busy hearing someone or something else that God can not get our attention. So He waits. And waits. And eventually gives up. The Prophet said:

Habakkuk 2:1 .. I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

What do the words “Stand, Set, and Watch” all have in common? You do these things with your mouth CLOSED. SHUT UP! Listen to God, for He has promised to speak to us. Jesus said “My sheep HEAR MY VOICE, and I know them, and THEY FOLLOW ME” (John 10:27). Start your day listening to the Voice of God (Isaiah 50:4). Elijah listened to God, went to the brook Cherith, and was blessed.

God Takes A Little And Makes It Big

God told Elijah that when he went to the brook Cherith that he would be cared for. Faith means to DO what God says to DO, and to GO where God says GO. God said:

I have commanded the ravens to feed you.

Elijah “went and did according unto the Word of the LORD” (1 Kings 17:5). Every day Elijah woke up, went to the Brook Cherith, drank, and God gave him food by the ravens. What is interesting is that ravens are omnivores. Elijah got a variety of food every day because God love him.

  • It is an act of unbelief to HEAR God and not DO as He says. God can use a raven to feed a man in the wilderness. God can send manna from Heaven. But God will not bless us if we do not DO as He says. He does not ask our opinion. He just directs us to do – and we are to obey. Today if you will hear His Voice, harden not your hearts (Hebrews 3:15). Israel hardened their hearts and lost the blessings of God. Let us not harden our hearts, but OPEN our hearts to Him Who loves us so!

When the Brook Cherith dried up our God was faithful. Our God is always faithful! God gave rest to Elijah, and will give rest to us.

Isaiah 28:12 .. To whom {God} said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Psalm 85:8 .. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

Oh how God wants to bless us. Oh how He blessed Elijah! When the Brook dried up (for God had cursed the land for His sake) the Word of the Lord came to Elijah:

1 Kings 17:9 .. Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

Faith Is Not Moved By Fear But By God

God told Elijah to first go to the Brook Cherith and be fed by ravens. Now the Lord tells him to go to Zidon or Sidon which was an ancient Phoenician city which we today call Lebanon. Why send Elijah to Sidon? Why was Sidon so important? Because Ahab’s evil bride Jezebel was the daughter of the King of Sidon.

1 Kings 16:31 {Ahab} took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians {or Sidonians}

God sent Elijah into the very center of Ba’al worship, the City of Sidon. God sent Elijah to a widow on her last legs. He put Elijah in the very worst place he could be based on human logic. Why? The Apostle tells us:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 {God said} My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

God puts us in the least places and gives us the less strength so that we can learn to be empty vessels by which He can fill us.

When Elijah got to the widow’s home in the midst of enemy territory he asks her to bring him a drink of water and a morsel of bread.

1 Kings 17:12-15 … she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

This woman was not a believer in our God. How do I know? She told Elijah:

as the Lord THY God liveth”

not “our God” but “thy God”. She was probably a worshiper of Ba’al. God sent Elijah to an unbeliever’s home to feed him and care for him throughout the drought. When we have little we need to look up and trust God. We need to understand that the unbelieving world is watching us. They may not hear what we say, but they watch what we do. Are we DOING faith? If not, no one is impressed, neither the unbeliever nor our God. This woman and her child was prepared to die. But God sustained her.

Then her son died. This is the first account of a miraculous resurrection found in Scripture. When her son died she grieved and said to Elijah:

1 Kings 17:18 .. What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

Elijah took her son up into the loft where he was staying. The Bible tells us that:

1 Kings 17:21-22 … {Elijah} stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. 22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

Why did all this happen? So that a widow would come to know the Lord our God. After the resurrection of her child she told Elijah:

1 Kings 17:24 … Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.

What is the greatest cause of atheism in our world today? A Christian group called DC Talk said it best:

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” (April 13, 2013)

Elijah lived for the Lord. He kept his eyes on the Lord. In Chapter 18 Elijah stands on Mount Carmel and challenges 450 prophets of Ba’al and 400 prophets of Asherah to a duel. I love this section of Scripture, but I’m running out of time so I’ll abbreviate the story.

Elijah won!

The 450 prophets of Ba’al and the 400 prophets of Asherah were terribly defeated. These servants of Ba’al – who was supposed to send lightening on the earth – would not do so. Of course he couldn’t. An idol is just a figment of the imagination. But God is God. Our God is real.

1 Kings 18:36-38 … Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

An entire day of crying and pleading from the 850 false prophets yielded no results. “Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.” (Psalm 115:3-7). God is real. The God of Scripture is real, and true, and holy. The false gods of the world are nothing but pretend. Our God is real!

Don’t Take Your Eyes Off Of God

When we started this lesson we saw a defeated, demoralized, and self destructive Elijah. Why is Elijah depressed? Why is this great man of God ready to die? Why is his powerful prayer turned to:

1 Kings 19:4 … It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Because Elijah took his eyes off of God. When Jezebel threatened him he ran away, and when he ran away he REALIZED he had played the coward. Now he is defeated, because he is looking at himself and not at the Lord Who loves him. The devil defeats us when we begin to look at ourselves instead of God.

Eve looked at the Tree instead of God.
Adam looked at Eve instead of God.
Noah looked at a vineyard instead of God.
Moses looked at the people instead of God.
Saul looked at his strength instead of God.
Samson looked at Delilah instead of God.
David looked at Bathsheba instead of God.
In every failure we look at anything but God.

God took Elijah back to Mount Horeb (Mount Sinai) where Moses received the Law from God (1 Kings 19:8). On this mountain was where the Word of God first came to man. It was here that God spoke to Elijah with a still small voice. It was here that God touched the hurting heart of Elijah, and re-instilled purpose in his heart and in his life.

If we will make a difference for our Lord, if we will stand against the Ba’al of this age, we must return to the Word of God. Only on this mountain can we receive His Word. Only on this mountain can we find purpose for living. Let God take you to His Mountain, and speak to your hearts. Live for Him. Hear His Word. Do as He says. That is where the power of God is – in His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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