I have become fascinated with the prophet of Elijah in the past few years, and maybe so in the past few months. He is known as the prophet of fire, and the reason for that title becomes apparent as you read the Scriptural accounts of his ministry and life.
The name Elijah means, “My God is Jehovah [YHWH]” or “YAH is God”, and thus the title of this post. I want to spend some time looking more into the life of Elijah who seems to just appear on the scene in the days of the rule of Ahab and Jezebel over Israel; the Northern kingdom.
“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, ‘As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.'” 1 Kings 17:1 (KJV)
The above verse is the first mention of Elijah in the Bible, but certainly not the last. According to my check, Elijah’s name is mentioned at least 108 more times through the New Testament with thirty in the New Testament. Being a “Tishbite” and since it seems that no one knows the location of a city by this name, then maybe the Strong’s application may be of service to us,
“tishbı̂y tish-bee’ Patrial from an unused name meaning recourse; a Tishbite or inhabitant of Tishbeh (in Gilead): – Tishbite.”
Notice the word “recourse”, and that could apply more to the person’s; the prophet in this case; interest and heart. Recourse meaning,
“1: a turning to someone or something for assistance or protection: Resort 2: a source of aid.” MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY
So could this not mean for us that Elijah was from Gilead, and had a burden for the children of Israel to turn to the One whom they were refusing for the protection and aid they really needed? I think it is a great possibility. The prophet was a man who had a heart for God and for the Northern kingdom to turn to God.
Elijah told the king Ahab that there would be no rain, or dew until he called on the LORD God to give it. We know from the epistle of James that was three and one half years without dew or rain (James 5:17). Oh, how the people of God today need a heart like Elijah who will spend time with the LORD, know His heart, preach His Word, even to the kings of the earth; and tell them what God is about to do.
-Tim A. Blankenship