(1 Kings 17:1-14; 18:1-45; 19:1-21)
Elijah's Prayer Answered
The life and ministry of Old Testament prophet Elijah is the focus of today’s daily Bible reading. In a time of turmoil and unrest, with the throne of Israel occupied by wicked King Ahab and his malicious wife Jezebel, God sent Elijah onto the scene with a super share of faith and forcefulness.
King Ahab and Queen Jezebel had proclaimed a mission of killing all of the Lord’s prophets. The prophet Obadiah hid 100 faithful prophets in caves (see 1 Kings 18:2-6).
An Attention-Getting God
During this season, Elijah prophesied a drought, through which the Almighty God would gain the attention of the people. And it was so.
As the drought persisted, the Lord fed Elijah by sending ravens to supply him with bread and meat (see 1 Kings 17:2-7). Surely Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, cares for those who belong to Him.
Wonders for a Widow
The Lord sent Elijah to visit a widow at Zarephath. This widow and her son were on the verge of total poverty, with just a day’s worth of rations remaining for the two of them. Even so, at Elijah’s request, the widow baked bread to feed him. After her faithful obedience, the Lord miraculously provided the widow of Zarephath with an ever-replenishing supply of flour and oil, which lasted until the end of the drought.
Not long afterwards, the widow’s son died. Elijah interceded with the Lord, and the boy was raised from the dead. This Old Testament event is remarkably prophetic, with many parallels to Jesus’ own miracle of raising the daughter of Jairus (see Mark 5:35-43).
Is any order too tall for the Lord? Can He not still supply provisions and life-restoring power to those who call upon His Name? How much are we willing to trust the Almighty God?
A True Test
Faced with a direct confrontation with evil King Ahab, Elijah proposed a contest at Mount Carmel. The 850 idolatrous prophets of Baal and Asherah build an altar to their false gods. Elijah built an altar to Jehovah. Both sides prepared their animal sacrifices and waited for a fiery answer to consume their offerings.
First, the false prophets called upon their idols. They danced and chanted and even cut themselves with knives. (Does anyone doubt that the modern practice of cutting, or self mutilation has occult roots?) But they received no answer from Baal or Asherah.
Next, Elijah poured water upon his offering. Buckets and buckets of water were spilled out over his sacrifice, until the water ran all around it in a moat. Then Elijah prayed that the Lord would demonstrate His power for His own glory. And He did. (see 1 Kings 18:22-40).
Fire and Rain of Revival
God sent Holy Spirit fire to consume Elijah’s offering. The flames even evaporated the water in the trench around it.
The people fell on their faces, crying out to the one true God. And the prophets of Baal and Asherah were slain.
On the spot, Elijah prophesied a heavy healing rain, which appeared (see 1 Kings 18:41-45).
What Brings Holy Spirit Revival?
Today, we love to talk about revival. How we need the cleansing and healing power of the Lord. Still, do we have any idea what it may cost?
Revival does not depend upon our settings or our schedules. Revival does not appear magically in our midst, if we sing the right songs, utter the right words or perform the right actions. Revival comes only from the Spirit of the Living God, who delights in the sacrifice of our praise and worship. God is honored when we are humbled, weeping over our own sin and clinging to the nail-scarred feet of our suffering Servant-Savior, the holy Son of God.
Only when our hearts are truly broken over sin can God send a healing rain of revival to wash us with His Holy Spirit power.
Do we dare to pray for revival? May God grant us the boldness and the humility to do so.
Will you pray with me?
And Wondrous One,
We can hardly comprehend
Your greatness and glory.
We long for Your healing touch,
We fall flat before You,
Painfully aware of our sin.
Thank You for Your holy sacrifice,
Which wholly washes us pure forever.
We long for the world to know You
And the power of Your grace.
Send Your revival,
As broken hearts cry out
For holy restoration.