SUNDAY DECEMBER 8, 2013
IT SHALL RAIN AGAIN (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…And Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain…And a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain…’ 1 Kings 17:1, 18: 41, 45
THE God of Elijah is a living powerful God, never asleep, never withdrawn but always at work. Each time His people call upon Him, He performs miracles. He said ‘call upon me in the days of trouble and I will answer you’ (Ps. 50:15). It is in His name that: IT SHALL RAIN AGAIN. This time, the rain shall bring showers of blessings, healing, deliverance, open doors, prosperity and abundance in the name of Jesus! Amen.
In the Old Testament, Elijah is regarded as one of the greatest prophets, very fearless, courageous and did not defile himself. It was at the risk of his life that he spoke to King Ahab, who married a wicked wife Jezebel ‘… as the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘before whom I stand, by my word there shall be neither dew nor rain’ (1 Kings 17:1).
Interestingly, Elijah appeared in the Land of Israel at a most crucial time. The Land of Israel was then divided into two kingdoms: the kingdom of Judah and the kingdom of the Ten Tribes. On the throne of the latter sat king Ahab, but the true ruler of the land was his wife, Queen Jezebel, originally a Phoenician princess, who never gave up her Phoenician way of life. Her influence was very great, and not merely over her husband, but throughout the kingdom. As a result, the worship of the Baal, the god of the Phoenicians, spread with greater force, and was the cause of much trouble that befell the land of Israel.
One day, the prophet Elijah and King Ahab met. Elijah warned the king of the divine punishment that would be visited upon his land if he did not abolish idol worshipping and cause a general return of all Israel to God.
Ahab scoffed at the idea, saying: ‘Didn’t Moses already warn us in the Torah that the rain would cease and the land would not give forth its produce, if we should worship other gods? Yet, nothing happened as yet!’
‘God has been patient with you, but you don’t seem to realise it. Now, you will see that not merely shall Moses’ words be fulfilled, but mine also. I tell you in God’s name that as from today there shall be no rain until I shall say the word!’
From that day, years of drought and famine began in the Land of Israel. The famine spread even abroad, beyond the borders of the land, so that no bread could be purchased for its weight in gold!
So there was tension in the land caused by this great drought for three and half years. Added to the above was also the slaying of the 450 prophets of Baal that did the bidding of Jezebel. However, three things could be responsible that at the word of Elijah it rained again.