Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Under Authority

Jesus stayed tight with the Father: always listening and doing what the Father revealed. Elijah did the same,and his prayers demonstrated the power of God's authority.

There are some unusual events in 1 Kings 17 that God "commands." I expect God and Elijah had been discussing the altar for Baal that King Ahab had set up in the temple before Elijah told King Ahab that God would stop all rain until He gave further word.

That the rain stopped for three years affirms God's commandment that would create hardship for many. For Elijah to have such powerful confidence in God's commands, he had to be a man under authority -- a man of faith.

The word of the LORD came to Elijah again and directed him to leave and go hide in the Kerith Ravine. There God had ordered the ravens to feed Elijah. Ravens! Dirty (unclean) birds! To feed one of His choice prophets! (Surprise, Elijah!)

The LORD gave further directions to go to Zarephath where God had commanded a widow to supply Elijah with food.

Gathering sticks to cook her last meal with her son, she had to have been afraid of the future -- perhaps even depressed. Elijah assured her she need not be afraid for, if she would do what God asked, the God of Israel would provide flour and oil for her till the famine broke.

She had to trust God's word ... and sacrifice her plans. She was to give Elijah the first cake of bread before she prepared a meager meal for her son and herself. Her adherence to the word of the LORD through Elijah saved their lives. Obedience was her doorway to blessing.

But obedience does not guarantee smooth sailing. Her son got ill and died.

Responding to Elijah's passionate plea that the boy's life be restored, the LORD commanded life to return to this young lad. The result was the mother became assured that Elijah was a man of God whose words were truth.

What lessons might we learn? As we stay under authority by trusting, listening, and obeying God's word, we get to be conduits of God's good purposes so righteousness can come to our land.

For Your Consideration

In addition to 1 Kings 17, see the story of Jesus and the Roman centurion, a man under authority, in Matthew 8: 5-13.

Obeying God may take you to uncomfortable places. How can you make sure that you keep current with God is showing you?

Do you have confidence that God cares about your walk with Him? Or, that God loves to give you what you need and reveal His righteousness?

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