Special Guest Contributor
by William C Linn
Founder, Harvest Renewal Ministries
This is a series of messages on the life of Elijah
Elijah and the Famine
1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”
Sixty-two years had elapsed in the history of Israel since the nation had stood at the pinnacle of power under the rule of David and Solomon. There’s a split in the kingdom after Solomons death and Jeroboam becomes the king of the northern kingdom. Because he was afraid that the people would go down to Jerusalem for worship and not return he set up high places where idolatrous worship was given a place. In less than one century God’s chosen had regressed from righteousness to rampant evil.
1 Kings 14:9 defined the leadership as the most evil that had ever sat on the throne of power. Ahab was the epitome of that line, he was a man who was literally addicted to evil.
1 Kings 16:30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. Seduced by a Sidonian (Phoenician city) princess from the worship of One God to a plurality of worshiping Baal and Asthorah. It was into this mix that Elijah had walked out of the burning desert. Elijah makes three declarations.
1. The Lord God liveth.
2. Before Whom I stand
3. No rain or dew these years. I. Cherith wasn’t a luxurious experience. The word in Hebrew literally means a cutting place. Leonardo DiVinci’s rendition of the Charath experience depicts a babbling cool brook and Ravens bringing delicious morsels to him. That’s not a what it was. Raven’s are dirty and in Jewish thinking unclean and defiled animals. The water was a seep full of algae and slime. The ravens were hiding the scraps of scavenged garbage and carrion from animals that died in the drought. Everyone goes through a Cherith experience at one or another time in life. A building of character
II. Zeraphath – bad to worse. It was the epicenter of Baal worship. A widow and orphan were protected from exploitation by law in Israel.
Exodus 22:22-24 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
III. The audacity of Elijah
Means a place of refining and that is what it did to Elijah.
I was reading a commentary that started with a few words and I just kept going. Actually here’s the first message in the series which I didn’t send because the final point is an experience I had when I was in college which isn’t detailed. Out of money because I had used all my money to get into college and an apartment. I was out of people who I could ask for help and not enough food in the cabinet for the week, put my last few dollars in the gas tank and we wouldn’t have a paycheck from the job I had been working at for 2 weeks because they paid everyone every two weeks and I hit the pay cycle and so I wouldn’t get paid until the next week. A miracle occurred when I was impressed to go fishing in the middle of the winter which is the worst time to go fishing. The water where I threw my line started to bubble up and turned from the brownish color to a vibrant blue and green color. There were several black people fishing who had caught a few very small fish. I had to cast right into the water which was the different colors, if I casted right or left I caught nothing but when I hit the area I immediately caught one of the biggest panfish I had ever seen. Sixteen to be exact, just enough for us to eat with the other meager groceries we had to last until I got a paycheck.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. All of those things will be added.
Elijah’s Prophetic Encounters
By Reverend William C. Linn
1 Kings 17:17-24 KJVS
By Reverend William C. Linn
And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.
Results, resources, replacement and revival were the four evidences that Elijah displayed at Zerephath. Have you ever wondered how the Israelites, who observed all of the mighty miracles that God performed, could so easily forget them? But as the nature of all humanity is, that soon after experiencing the goodness of God forgetfulness strips faith away. Forgotten are His bountiful provision as a result of the assault of the adversaries of our soul, the lust of the eyes and flesh and the pride of life.
The symptoms being a lack of God consciousness and instead of focusing on the eternal the tendency is to revert back to living in the moment.
I. THE CRISIS OF FAITH
1 Kings 17:17 says, “And it came to pass after these things, [that] the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.”
We live in a fallen world where sin and Satan are ever active and where even nature, God’s own creation, groans under the curse of the fall. All natural disaster and disease are the groanings of a world that has been cursed because of sin (Rom. 8:18–22).
James 1:1-8 KJVS  James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Romans 8:18-23 KJVS For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
God wants us to long for the joys of eternity. In fact, it is this focus and hope of eternity which is to lighten the burdens of this life (cf. 2 Cor. 4:16-18).
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 KJVS For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
II. THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF FAITH Verse 18
Look at the widows replay in the situation.
No one had ever been raised from the dead before–at least, not in the record of Scripture up to this point. What Elijah did was a first. Here was tremendous faith, but he knew nothing was impossible.
III. THE COMPASSION OF FAITH verse 19
IV. THE CONFIDENCE OF FAITH verse 20-24
Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is being sure of what we hoped for and certain of what we do not see.”
The prayer that Elijah prayed had origin and spiritual energy in the Spirit wherein articulated are groaning that cannot be uttered.
He stretched himself three times over every part of the dead body. What a great insight. We can cover every aspect of the death and decay of the world we live in.
Stretching our faith over whatever we face – how many times?
The world view is dark and despair. Christian view is light and delight.
V 1: PROMISE
After a long time, God’s word comes to Elijah to tell him to go to present himself to Ahab. He promises Elijah that the time has come for Him to send rain on the earth. All of God’s promises are yes and amen to those who believe. God is not slack concerning His promises.
According to one account, there are 3573 promises in the Bible.
Verses 2–15: PETRIFIED-PESSIMISM- PARALYZED the way to present himself to Ahab and during a severe famine in Samaria, Elijah meets a faithful servant of the Lord, Obadiah. He instructs Obadiah to tell his master, King Ahab of Israel, that Elijah is ready to meet him. Obadiah is terrified. Knowing Ahab’s unsuccessful attempts to find Elijah, and how God’s Spirit can take him out of any situation to hide His servant, he fears that if he tells Ahab that Elijah is on hand, there is a strong possibility that Elijah will not be there when Ahab comes to meet him. Then he fears that he himself will be killed. Nevertheless, he fears the Lord, and has hidden a hundred of God’s real prophets from the persecution under Jezebel. Elijah assures him that he will be there to meet his wicked adversary, King Ahab. V 16–17:
PRESENTATION The meeting happens as promised, with Ahab asking Elijah if he is the troubler of Israel. V 18–19:
PREDICTIONS Elijah openly condemns Ahab for his idolatry, disobedience to God, and Baal worship. He demands that Ahab cause all Israel to witness who is the true God, with Ahab being represented on Mount Carmel by 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. These wicked prophets are all maintained by Jezebel, Ahab’s wife. V 20–29:
PAGANISM The difference between the real worship of God and man-made religion will soon be obvious. Elijah calls for a clear decision to be made to either follow the Lord or Baal. He alone represents God in this contest. Sacrifices are to be prepared and the idolaters are to call on Baal. He will call on the Lord God.
Whoever answers by consuming the sacrifice by fire will be recognised as the true God. All day long the prophets of Baal cry, cut themselves, and leap about the altar which they have made. But there is no answer from their false god. Elijah asks if Baal is asleep or otherwise engaged! V 30–39:
PREPARATION Elijah repairs the broken altar of the Lord and uses twelve stones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, to build another altar with a trench around it. He lays wood on the altar and prepares the sacrifice of a bull. He invites the opposition to douse it thoroughly three times with water. At the hour of evening sacrifice, God answers Elijah’s prayer, vaporizing the contents completely. The Israelites prostrate themselves and declare that indeed God is the One True God. V 40:
It was the evening, about the time of the evening sacrifice when Jesus said it is finished.
Psalm 141:2 KJVS – Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
PROPHETS Elijah has the prophets of Baal executed at the Brook Kishon. V 41–45a:
PRAYER Elijah tells Ahab that the rain will come, and then prays to God seven times. God answers him after an unpromising start, in which there is no cloud in the sky. Elijah’s God answers prayer thereby vindicating the truth of Elijah’s message from God. The rebellious people, wicked King Ahab and his even more wicked wife, Jezebel, clearly know that the Lord is God and that He reveals His word through Elijah. V 45b–46:
POWER Ahab rides away in his chariot God endues with power to run before him to Jezreel. Runners ran before kings’ chariots as a sign of loyalty and respect for the dignity of the office of the king. Elijah thus shows his high regard for the position of the king of Israel, even despite Ahab’s abhorrent personal wickedness. He also demonstrates clearly that God’s powerful hand is upon him, even in the physical realm.