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EHS: Journey Through the Wall

13-05-2018

Introduction…

Let me ask you, have you ever gone through the dark night of the soul? Have you ever had a crisis of faith or felt like you were walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death? Let me reassure you, you’re in good company!

Elijah was the greatest prophet of the entire Old Testament. 1 Kings describes a civil war in Israel after which the 10 tribes in the north broke off to become “Israel” with their capital in Samaria and the remaining 2 tribes, centred on Jerusalem, became Judea. The author then goes on to describe 60 years of turmoil in the north in which king after king “does evil in the sight of the Lord,” turning towards idolatry. Finally, after a number of kings are assassinated, Ahab comes to the throne. The author of 1 Kings points out that Ahab was even worse than all those who had come before! And Ahab married Jezebel, a princess from another nation, who was even worse than Ahab was himself. Jezebel turned out to be the power behind the throne, driving the nation of Israel even deeper into the worship of Baal and Ashera.

Ahab began ordaining Israelites to be priests for Baal, the storm god, and his consort Ashera. Together they were believed to oversee fertility in the land, bringing rain, sunshine and good crops. As Ahab was ordaining priests for Baal, Jezebel was killing off prophets of the Lord, Yahweh!

Onto the scene appears Elijah. We are told that Elijah was called “Elijah the Tishbite” meaning he came from Tishbe, somewhere in Gilead. But Tishbe was so small and insignificant a town that we have no idea where it is today. So from the sticks in the hill country comes the fiery prophet of God whose very name means “My God is Yahweh.” Elijah appears out of nowhere in the narrative and the first thing he does is tell Ahab that for all his worship of Baal the storm god, it will not rain again in Israel until Elijah says so. Elijah promises that it will not just be days, weeks or even months, but years until it rains again!

Then Elijah is directed by God to go hide East of the Jordan river. There God provides for him miraculously through the years of drought in Israel. God even provides for Elijah in a foreign country by means of a widow whose oil, through God’s provision, never runs out!

After 3 years of drought, Elijah returns to Israel and confronts Ahab for a great showdown. On Mount Carmel, facing off against 400 prophets of Baal and Ashera, two sacrifices are presented. The real god will answer with fire. After Baal fails to answer all morning, Elijah prays that God would turn the hearts of his people back to Him by answering with fire. God answers dramatically with so much fire that not only is the sacrifice Elijah offered consumed, but even the water Elijah had poured around it and the very stones of the altar themselves are consumed! The people are amazed and begin chanting that Yahweh is God!

At Elijah’s command, the prophets of Baal and Ashera are rounded up and slaughtered. Then Elijah tells Abah, “You better get home, cuz it’s gonna rain!” Elijah prays for rain and God sends it. Under the power of the Spirit, Elijah then races on foot against Ahab’s chariot and beats Ahab back to Ahab’s palace. There, Ahab informs Jezebel of all that Eljah had done (interestingly all that Elijah had done, not Yahweh!), including slaughtering her priests of Baal. Jezebel sends word to Elijah that she is out for blood and swears that she will see Elijah killed just as she had killed the other prophets of Yahweh.

 

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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 40.32MB - Duration: 44:02 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)