Elijah: The Proclamation

Against the aforementioned darkness comes the brightness of the Living God?s testimony in the person of Elijah. This man comes, announcing a sign of judgment on the people as proof of his ministry. He stands in the king?s court untouched and resolute in his proclamation that there would be no rain, not even dew, for the next 3 years?until he gives the command.

The Lord directs him away from the king?s court and firstly puts him in a valley by himself where God himself ministers to him. It?s almost as if God is strengthening the man for his ministry in the years ahead as ravens bring him bread and meat each morning and he drinks from the stream before it dries up.

He is then told to go to Zarephath in Sidonian territory?a gentile province under the power of Jezebel?s father. There the prophet lives with a widow and showers on her the very grace of God by the miracles that were worked in that house. Dying from hunger, the woman is found gathering sticks for a fire so that she could cook a last meal for her and her son. Elijah, pointing out to her the miracle that God plans to do, requests that she makes him some cake first. In the midst of this heavy trial, the woman makes him his cake and is astounded by the miracle of the flour bowl never running empty and the oil jar never running dry throughout the drought and subsequent famine.

This, amazing in itself, is only the first sign which leads to the gentile woman rejoicing in God?s provision. As her son lies with his last breath gone, she mourns that the prophet was sent there to condemn her sin and to take away her son. Elijah, prays to God above who in His infinite grace gives breath back to the boy, simultaneously offering the proof to this gentile that Elijah is a prophet of the Living God. As Elijah carries the boy downstairs, alive and well, the woman knew that the Lord really does speak through Elijah!

Interestingly enough, another man came after the pattern of Elijah?s ministry and proclaimed impending judgment. He also lived in the wild, where God met his daily need and called out to the people to repent for the very kingdom of God was at hand. This man spoke powerfully in the wild and many did repent?yet the signs of the one after him proclaimed the very grace of God to those sick and dying people in a land of spiritual draught.

In this period of grace towards a gentile, Elijah will have to prove that his God is the Living God, and he will do so on a hill with a sacrifice?

-r-

Eliijah, servant of the Living God, announces a 3.5 year drought (17:1)
The Lord tells him to leave and hide in Kerith Valley near Jordan and to drink from the stream and be fed by the ravens (17:2-6)
When the stream dried he went to the Sidonian territory (17:7-9)
A widow is told to provide for Elijah (17:10-11)
She admits that she has no food but a little flour and oil for her son and herself?s last meal (17:12)
Elijah tells her to gather her sticks for her fire, but first make him his cake then make something for the son (17:13)
Because God commanded that the flour and oil will not run empty until the Lord makes it rain again (17:14)
She obeyed and her jug was never empty (17:15-16)
The widow?s son gets sick and loses his breath (17:17)
The widow questions why the prophet came (17:18
Elijah calls out to God after taking her son (17:19-21)
God gives breath back to the boy (17:22)
Elijah handed boy back alive (17:23)
This confirms that Elijah was a prophet and that the Lord really does speak through Elijah (17:24)

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