Today’s Scripture is 1Kings ch. 18 & 19
Ahab The Next “Most Wicked King”
King Omri was said to be the most wicked king in all of Israel’s history, that is, until his son, Ahab ruled the kingdom. Ahab quickly took the moniker of “Most Wicked King” (1Kings 16:33). However, he did have the help of his wife Jezebel; the Phoenician princess turned Queen of The Northern Kingdom.
During this time, in Ahab’s Kingdom, there was a battle concerning faith going on. In the new capital city, the gods of Baal and Astarte had temples, and the prophets of Baal and Astarte had seats of influence at the palace, while at the same time the Lords people were being persecuted.
The Hebrew Heritage of a King
God sent Elijah to the palace to remind the Israelite King of his Hebrew heritage. Elijah told Ahab that God was sending a drought where neither rain or dew would be seen in the land until God brought them forth again. In response, Jezebel had God’s prophets searched out and killed. Elijah made the Kingdom’s “Most Wanted List,” but he was safe; protected by God as the drought wore on for three and one-half years.
The droughts end came in a very dramatic way, in a showdown of prophets on Mount Carmel. The story recorded in the scriptures feels very much like an Old Testament story complete with miracles and bloodshed; however, let’s focus on the prayer of Elijah for now.
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that 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.
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. (1Kings 18:36-37)
Elijah offers His sacrifice at the appointed time given in the Law of Moses, at the “evening sacrifice.”
Elijah came near and declared that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, is the God of Ahab’s kingdom; that Elijah is God’s servant, and Elijah is speaking in the name of God.
He next gives a forward-thinking prayer that the “people may know” the true God and He, God, is the one who turned their hearts back again to the God of Israel.
The Lord God Himself gives the benediction in the next verse:
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. (1Kings 18:38)
Next, the people give their response to the prayer and benediction.
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. (1Kings 18:39)
Benediction to A Prayer
At times there are poignant moments at the close of our prayers especially at significant milestones in life, for example, a birth of a child, a prayer of faith for a loved one, or committing to follow our Savior in our mortal sojourn. When we have a dramatic benediction, we can also say “The LORD, he is the God.” When we have this type of benediction, we need to hold on to our faith and follow the Lord. These benedictions strengthen our faith, and we find ourselves committing or recommitting our life to the Savior. Life will not suddenly get easy when we commit anew to Jesus Christ, but we will know of whom we follow.
One of Seven Thousand
There is no happy ending for The Northern Kingdom or even Ahab and Jezebel. The Kings do not follow the Lord, and eventually, Assyria carries off the Northern Kingdom. Elijah can even see that the country will not fully turn and follow the Lord, but the Lord does reveal to Elijah:
Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. (1Kings 19:18)
God does remember those who follow Him and is faithful to those that do follow Him. If we are one of seven thousand people in a wicked country the Lord will know of us and we will find Salvation.