Elijah: A Man Of Dependence (1 Kings 17:1-16)Rev. William L. Barron, April 25, 2021
Preached at a Sunday Morning service
Elijah's time is also King Ahab's time. It is an evil time, yet also a prosperous time for the northern kingdom. Ahab married Jezebel, a Sidonite idolator. Baal worship spread throughout the kingdom. Ahab ignored God's warnings against idolatry. God raised up Elijah as prophet, who came from Gilead, east of the Jordan River, northeast of the Dead Sea. His name means " My God is the Lord." The meaning is that God is faithful to His commands, and curses will come to the disobedient. This was the reason He sent the drought and famine to Israel for 3-1/2 years. God attacked the perception of Baal, who was supposed to be the god that brings rain. Elijah obeyed God's commands in the midst of the drought. Just like us, Elijah was dependent upon God for water and food. God directed Elijah to a brook and commanded ravens to bring food to him. When God dried up the brook, He sent Elijah to Phoenicia, to Sidon, where Jezebel came from. God directed Elijah to the home of a poor widow, who was at the end of her resources in the drought. The Holy Spirit persuaded her to trust in the Lord's provision, and He provided for Elijah, the woman and her son. We, just like Elijah, are called to be proclaimers of God's Word; then the Holy Spirit uses it. We and the whole world are commanded to follow God, becoming dependent upon and obedient to Him every day. Are we faithful in this?
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1 Kings 17:1–16 (Listen)
17:1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2 And the word of the LORD came to him: 3 “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’” 15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.