New chapter! Huzzah!
(NIV1984) 1 Kings 18:1-2b – “After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: ‘Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.’ So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.”
I once again want to comment on Elijah’s faithfulness. God says go and Elijah, without any mention of bickering, squabbling, or questioning, goes. He doesn’t doubt that it’s the LORD he is hearing or test God, and he doesn’t worry about his own inadequacies. Neither does he seem to be intimidated by what we’ll learn later (SPOILER) – how much Ahab has been searching for him. (END SPOILER). I mean, Ahab could kill him. But he goes anyway. God says it and he does it.
Secondly, there’s no mention of how the rain is going to return. There’s nothing yet about (SPOILER) the contest between the prophets of Baal and Elijah (between Baal and God) or about the prayers Elijah will have to give before the rain comes. (END SPOILER). Only “present yourself to Ahab” (NIV1984 1 Kings 18:1). Does Elijah know how much more God has in store here?
Third – another comment on timing. This time, it’s been “a long time” (NIV1984 1 Kings 18:1)! Not just “some time” but “a long time”! And this is when we first get a more concrete indication of length – “in the third year” (NIV1984 1 Kings 18:1). But is the third year of the drought? That’s the general interpretation. This again brings up the question – how long was Elijah alone at the brook? And how long was he at the widow’s?
As far as an application is concerned, I mostly want to focus on that second point – on whether Elijah knows what’s going to happen or not. I mean – a lot of times we don’t know what will happen in our immediate future. Like for me – I didn’t know whether God wanted me to stay here or not. I sent out job applications but also planned on going back home if that’s what I needed to do. (I posted earlier about my worries there.) But now I have a job offer, so it seems to me that God wants me to stay here for right now.
But that doesn’t mean I know what’s going to happen at my job. I have no clue how God will use me there or anywhere in this city in the upcoming months, days, years – however long it is that He wants me to stay here. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I don’t even know what’s going to happen today. I don’t know how He’ll use me, but I know that He will. I know He has big plans in store for me, and I can’t wait to see how He unfolds them!
And I think that’s something amazing about Elijah – that even though he doesn’t know, he goes. He follows God wherever he is led so that he can follow wherever he is. And maybe he does know more than we’re told at this point in time – and if so, then it’s amazing that he’s not freaking out because if I was him and knew exactly what was coming next, I would freak out. But he doesn’t. Elijah’s very cool and calm and collected and he obeys and that’s an admirable trait that God has given him.
It’s something I hope to learn…but I still have a ways to go. 🙂