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1 Kings 16-18

Once upon a time, there was an evil king ruling over Israel. He was famous for being more corrupt than the ones before him, and married an even more evil woman. The king's name was Ahab and his wife's was Jezebel.

He "began to serve Baal," instead of God and built a temple and an altar for him also. By doing so, he provoked "the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger more than did all the kings of Israel before him." we read in 1 Kings 16:29-33 (NIV).

As a result, God decided to bring a time of drought to his country; to teach him a lesson. But first, he sent the prophet Elijah to him, forewarning him about this possible calamity. Thereby giving him a chance to repent before the drought would arrive. However, the king did not repent. Instead, he began to persecute the prophet, who delivered the warning.

God always forewarned his children about the results of their actions, even if just for a moment, both when they lived in sin or, when they contemplated to sin. By doing so, he gave them a little time of grace during which they could have repented. Or, in the latter case, they could have chosen not to sin. Then, if they decided to repent; or chose not to sin: he didn't bring about the promised chastisement. But, if they continued, or gave in; he went through with his plan.

He does that with us too. Just remember a time or two, when you entertained a sin for a while. Didn't you hear a tiny little voice warning you about the consequences of what you are doing? Or, when you were tempted to sin: didn't you hear the Holy Spirit's warning before you gave in? You probably did. I know, I did. Yet, sometimes the desire of the flesh, or they eyes got you and I so involved that we ignored, or didn't even hear that still, small voice.. Therefore we continued to live in sin, or gave into the temptation. On the other hand, at times when we took his warning seriously, and repented of our sin, and/or rejected the temptation; we felt very happy, free, and thankful. For, we realized that our God protected us from great trouble. Let us therefore, always listen to the still, small voice of his Spirit!

Ahab, on the other hand, insulted God even more by persecuting his messenger. Thus, the drought hit his nation; which resulted in hunger all over the country.
Of course, the people began to experiment with the worship of Baal also. Why? Because the sins and lifestyle of a nation's leader has a great impact on the people and/or the whole country. We can clearly see that in our days too. Just examine the leaders of some famous countries and you will realize that where there is an evil, godless, adulterous, etc., man or women on the throne; the people are following his/her example.

Thus, Baal worship eventually spread all over the country of Israel. Therefore, the chastening of God arrived too. At which time, everyone suffered. Please pay attention: everyone in Ahab's environment suffered for, what originally started as, one person's sin! And that's the same always and everywhere. We can never excuse our actions by saying: "I'm not hurting anyone. I'm only doing this to myself." For, our actions will impact the future of people around us, as well. Furthermore, the higher the position of a person; the more people will get hurt. Therefore, if not for our own sake, at least for the sake of our loved ones, and surroundings; let us avoid sin at any price!

In Ahab's case, after three years, God had compassion on his suffering people. For, he is an extremely loving, understanding, and forgiving heavenly Father! Therefore, he sent Elija to the king again.
When the king saw him he said:
"Is that you, you troubler of Israel?"
To which he replied:
"I have not made trouble for Israel... But you and your father's family have... You have abandoned the Lord's command and have followed the Baals."
(1 Kings 18:16-18 NIV).
Evidently, the king acted as if the drought was the result of the prophet's action; not his own. Sad to say, but many times we act the same way; blaming others, or our circumstances for what we did wrong.

Then Elijah asked the king to invite his people and all the prophets of Baal and Asherah to mount Carmel. When everyone was in place, he announced:
"How long will you waver between two opinions?
If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing." (1Kings 18:21b NIV). Evidently, they were torn between two gods.
They were practicing Baal worship; but didn't completely give up the worship of their true God either. They wavered. This too is evident in our days. For, there are people, who say that they believe in God, but don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Or worship him, and at the same time worship nature, or an object, or a man, etc., also. They too are wavering.

In Elijah's case, the people were silent. Then, Elijah asked for two bulls and gave one to the Baal's prophets to offer up; and kept the other for himself. Afterwards, he challenged them saying:
"The god who answers by fire, he is God." (1 Kings 18:24 NIV)

First, Baal's prophets put together their altar and put their bull on top of it. Then, began to pray till noon. But nothing happened. Then, Elisha stepped forward, fixed his altar, poured lots of water over it, and prayed to his God saying:
"O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, (1) let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that (2) I am your servant and (3) have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that (4) you are turning their hearts back again."
(1 Kings 18:36b NIV).
Elijah uttered a simple but clear prayer. He had four basic requests.
God likes simple but clear petitions.
Let us therefore follow his example as often as possible.

Then, the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried,
"The Lord, he is God! The Lord, he is God.!" In other words, God answered Elijah's prayer thereby proving that he is the one and only true and living God of all the universe. As a result, the Israelites believed and chose to serve him exclusively; and in return he granted them the blessing of rain again.

In James 5:17 (NIV) we read:
"Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops."
Meaning, that a man just like us was able to pray earnestly and bring about a mighty revival. Thus, we can pray as earnestly as he did and bring about revival, or other blessings that bring glory to God's name also!
Are you and am I taking advantage of this opportunity to the fullest?

Let us try to do so by first of all, making sure that Jesus lives in our heart. (Inviting him in. If we didn't do so thus far.) Then, let us totally yield ourselves to him, and by listening to the still small voice of warning; let us avoid all temptation and sin so that we may not cause problems for ourselves and our surroundings. Then, in case we still stumble or fall; let us repent as soon as we realize what we did, instead of blaming others or our circumstances, for our actions. And let us faithfully worship, believe in, and serve our thri-une one and only true and living God in Heaven. Namely, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; all in one. In addition, let us use the power of prayer to the fullest by uttering regular praises and thanks to his Name combined with as many brief, clear requests; as he lays on our heart to intercede for. Then, we will see revival and/or many other blessings, as a result; like Elijah, who was a man like us, did.


Jesus is my life, strength, peace.
Jesus is my companion, my joy.
I trust in You. You are the Lord.
I do not have any fears any more because You live in me.
I do not have any fears any more because You live in me.

Jesus lives! Halleluja!!!

Translated by Eva Varga



Some experience with ill people by Istvan Gazdag


Edit by Rozalia Makai

Istvan Varga & Rozalia Makai website

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