so i won't be so ridiculous as to call this new series "5:00am devos," as i am unsure that i ever actually succeeded in writing one at 5:00am, nor that i will ever again be capable of getting up at 5:00am on a routine basis, but nevertheless, this is the start of a new series. i've been meaning to read up on Elijah for awhile now - he keeps popping up. so today, in the midst of a mini-funk brought on by the combination of a late night (and subsequent loss of sleep), pms, and a friendship that periodically gets a little fritzy and seems to be there again (sigh) - i made a choice: i will not give in. i will not just be in a funk. i am going to eat reeses' peanut butter cups and feel sorry for myself, but i am not going to do it alone. so i went to the Book, hoping to hear from the Lord, and started hunting for Elijah. i don't know if this is the first appearance of Elijah, but it's where we're starting. :) so turn in your Bibles, please, to 1 Kings 17. or click on it, and pick a translation. :) (and you'll want to go read that now...)
So here's Elijah, lucky enough to be alive in the days of King Ahab, one of the most, if not the most, rotten of all Israelite kings. Ahab, we're told in 1 Kings 16: 19-33, "did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him" and "did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him." And Elijah, the nice man from Gilead (you know, the sweet land where there's that really nice balm, according to the song, that makes everything better? :) that place...) - Elijah gets to go tell the mean king in Samaria that since he's being so bad, it isn't going to rain for three years.
I bet that made his day.... can you imagine it?
"good morning, Lord!"
"Good morning, Elijah. Hey, guess what, I need you to do
something for Me today."
"oh, cool. what is it?"
So God tells him.
when Elijah recovers, he gets up and heads off to see the king. oh, to have had a window into his head that day!
"um, excuse me, King Ahab?"
"yes, ... what's his name? Elijah? oh that's right, from
Tishbe... well, what the blazes do you suppose he wants? yes, Elijah?"
"um... it's just ... well... see, here's the thing. um..."
okay, so it probably didn't go exactly like that. :)
So Elijah actually tells the king, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."
Silence reigns for a moment, as it sinks in.
Elijah just told the king of Israel that he (Elijah) alone would speak the words that would allow the rain to fall again. "As surely as God lives, which He does, this is the way it is."
danger!! (immediate! and to Elijah's person!)
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there."
I imagine Elijah was more than a little relieved. Never mind the bit about birds feeding him; he'd think about that later. For right now, all that mattered was that he didn't have to stand here with King Ahab staring at him like that...
part 2 can be found here