Troubler of the Land

Are there any people or any one person who is the problem when a country, or land is troubled, and plagued by drought, famine, hunger, poverty, or disasters?  Do these things just kind of happen?  I think there are a lot of things we need to consider.  One is, does that nation or people group call themselves a people of God? Do they claim to live by the laws of God?  In the case of which we look at today the answer to those last two  questions is “Yes!”

Let us hear from God’s word…

“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table. So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.”  1 Kings 18:17-20 (KJV)

Because of the godlessness of Ahab and Jezebel, and their leading the northern kingdom of Israel into rebellion against the LORD God, Elijah had prayed for a period of no rain.  It was a 3.5 year period without rain.

That poses the question; “Who is really a troubler of a land or country?”  The answer to that question with a Biblical answer is the one or one’s who depart from God’s law and His word.

Elijah was accused by the king of being the troubler, but Elijah turned that back around telling the king, “…You and your father’s house have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and have followed Baalim”.  They departed from the living God, to follow a fake God, who had no power, no life, nothing to give, but destruction.

Who troubled Israel?  The one’s who departed from the word and law of God.  Who troubles our land?  The one’s who have departed from the word of God, and the law of God fulfilled in His Son Jesus Christ.

Let us return to the LORD our God with all our  heart.

Christmas Day Eighty and Two

What do I want for Christmas today?

No matter what experience I may have today; no matter how exciting, terrible, or painful it may be; I want my greatest experience be that of experiencing Jesus in closer walk with Him.

And Jesus came and touched them, and said, ‘Arise, and be not afraid.’ And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.” Matthew 17:7-8 (KJV)

Chariot of Fire

This will be my final study in the life of Elijah; Prophet of fire.  It almost seems that this great prophet of God has arisen by the hand of God, the calling of God; out of the ranks of the unknown of people.  Now every Jewish, and Christian individual who knows the Old Testament or the New Testament has heard of Elijah.

He has challenged the prophets of Baal; liars, deceivers, cheats and thieves; leading the people of Israel away from YHWH, and toward destruction.  Of course, if people are deceived, it is usually by their own choosing, and willingness to follow what they want and choose to hear.

Ahab practically called Elijah the “Troubler of Israel” (1 Kings 18:17-18), when was the weak, spineless, spiritually bankrupt king of Israel who was troubling Israel; as Elijah said it.

Now, I want us to turn our attention toward the final day in the life of this prophet of fire.  It is no wonder to call him that.  It was a challenge of fire that Elijah challenged the prophets of the false gods.  It was with fire that God heard Elijah’s prayer, and answered by fire; and as we shall see Elijah was called into the presence of the LORD by fire.  WOW!

And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.  And Elijah said unto Elisha, ‘Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel.’ And Elisha said unto him, ‘As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.’ So they went down to Bethel.  And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, ‘Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day?’ And he said, ‘Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.’  And Elijah said unto him, ‘Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho.’ And he said, ‘As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.’ So they came to Jericho.  And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, ‘Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day?’  And he answered, ‘Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.’  And Elijah said unto him, ‘Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan.’  And he said, ‘As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.’  And they two went on.  And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.  And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, ‘Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.’  And Elisha said, ‘I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.’  And he said, ‘Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.’  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, ‘My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.’  And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, ‘Where is the LORD God of Elijah?’ and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.  And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, ‘The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.’ And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.”  2 Kings 2:1-15 (KJV)

Our view of Scripture from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22 will help us determine a Biblical understanding of what happened to Elijah.  If we do not believe the Genesis account of Scripture and merely give it a nod as Scripture, but leaves much unsaid, then we may do the same with the rest of Scripture.  Merely giving it a nod without viewing it as without error and God-breathed we could explain all of Scriptural miracles as myth, allegory, or just a fine story.

However, if we acknowledge the truth of Genesis 1 through 11, and Genesis 12 through Revelation 22 as well, then we must see the previous miraculous events as well as that of Elijah’s being caught up in the chariot of fire as actual events, which happened just as God describes them in His Word.

Elijah has obeyed the LORD, by anointing a new king for Israel, and by anointing the new prophet in his stead (Elisha), following his run-in with Jezebel.  We are not told how much time as elapsed between these two events – the challenge to the prophets of Baal, and the chariot of fire.  However, it has been enough time for Elijah to give Elisha some training, and prepare him for his own journey with the LORD.

Let us take a few moments and think about this Chariot of Fire.

First of all it was the means by which God took Elijah out of this world.  Second, it was the means by which Elisha was initiated into the prophets ministry, and prepared him for a life of faith.  Third, it put the other prophets on notice that Elisha had the Spirit which was upon Elijah upon him.

This was an expected event.  Elijah knew the event was about to happen; Elisha knew the event was about to happen; and the other prophets were were watching knew it was going to happen.  They asked Elisha, “Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head today?”  They asked him two times.  Elisha wanted to be there when it happened.  I say, “Who would not have wanted to be with him?”

Was Elijah’s being taken a punishment for his run from Jezebel?  In no way.  It was more a reward for his faithful service.  Now he would be in the presence of the Lord, and without having experienced death.  We can be fairly well assured that Elijah’s body was changed in the process of this great event.

There is coming a great event for the faithful Christian.  A day when our bodies will be changed “In a moment; in the twinkling of an eye…We shall be changed.”  Read 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.

Jesus was raised to life following the crucifixion, and burial with a new body, and forty days later ascended up into heaven to be forever with His Father.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and your house, and you will be saved.

-Tim A. Blankenship

 

Elijah and Elisha

It has been several weeks since posting anything on Elijah.  I will finish up with this post and one more following.

As you recall the ministry of Elijah was as a prophet of fire.  It seems that the fire of the LORD was upon his life.  He heard God.  He spoke what God commanded him to speak; without fear or favor; and was not intimidated by kings or princes.  You might say he was a bit intimidated by an evil queen; shown by his running for his life, rather than by confronting her.

After Elijah ran from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1-3) he is told by God to anoint Hazel king over Syria, and Jehu king of Israel; and lastly to anoint Elisha prophet “…In  thy room.”   Meaning of course; to take the place of Elijah.  The ministry of Elijah may have been cut short due to his fear and running from the evil queen.

Let’s look a little at the man whom Elijah anointed in his stead.  Elisha was plowing with a dozen yoke of oxen.  He was probably in charge of his father’s field; and himself had command over one yoke in particular; but was the leader of 11 [eleven] other yoke.  There was a total of 24 head of oxen, and at least twelve men, including Elisha.  It is quite clear that Elisha was a farmer and evidently a fairly well to do one at that with twelve yoke of oxen; and hired servants.

“So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.  And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.’  And he said unto him, ‘Go back again: for what have I done to thee?’  And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.”  1 Kings 19:19-21 (KJV)

First of all Elijah would have known that his ministry was nearing an end.  Second, he would have known that the word of God would continue to be proclaimed.  Third, this was probably God’s way of showing Elijah that he was not the only one who could or would preach the word.

Notice some things about Elisha.  First of all he was busy doing the work of his life’s training – he was busy at laboring.  Secondly, he recognized the messenger of God’s word and was willing to leave all for God’s sake and for God’s glory.  Third,  he was showing responsibility in “burning the bridges” behind him to show his commitment to the service of Elijah and the LORD.  In the sacrifice of the oxen, he committed himself to the LORD’s work, and following the life of the  prophet of God.  In short Elisha did what needed to be done, and he did it with the haste that was necessary.

May the God of all glory and power get the Christian of the 21st century to be committed to serve the LORD with such devotion and diligence.

-Tim A Blankenship

Elijah’s Confrontation of Evil

There is evil in the world.  I do not think there is anyone with a clear and sober mind who would deny that is true.  The definition of evil may be different for some people.  Some who call evil good; and call good evil (Isaiah 5:20).  Our understanding of evil must be based upon how the Word of God explains evil.

It is quite clear from our understanding of Scripture that what Ahab has done is evil.  He has hated, and despised God, His Word, and His prophet greatly.  There are some who would call the victory of Mount Carmel over the prophets of Baal, “evil”, because they were all put to death.  Those who would call that evil are probably haters of God and righteousness.

Ahab was an evil king; the king of the Northern kingdom called Israel; and he had a very wicked wife.  This all become more and more apparent as we get into chapter 21 of First Kings.  There are a couple of verses I want to post in this article 21:20 and21:25.

First let me give you some background.  It seems that the wicked, vile and evil king saw something he wanted, and he sought to get it.  It was a beautiful vineyard owned by a man named Naboth.  Now, Naboth had reverence for the commandments of the LORD,

“And Naboth said to Ahab, ‘The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” verse 3

Naboth was thinking of the law of the LORD concerning land ownership and the law of God (Leviticus 25:23).  When Naboth refused the land to the king, Ahab went home flopped himself down on his bed, because someone stood his ground; and he pouted and moaned; and I would not be surprised to know that he also cried like a baby who did not get what he wanted at the candy store.  Guess what.  His wicked wife Jezebel, set him straight, and promised him that she would get that vineyard for him.

Jezebel set about with a scheme – a wicked and vile plan – by which she would break the ninth commandment.  “Thou shalt not bear false witness…”  She set Naboth up; set up liars against him, accused him of blaspheming God and the king.  It is not like she cared for God; because she hated and despised him as did her precious hubby.  The accusations stuck, and they took Naboth out of the city and stoned him to death (v.13).  Then, she tells Ahab, “Naboth is stoned, is dead, now go and claim your vineyard.

The prophet of fire hears of this evil deed the king and queen has devised and performed; because “the Word of the LORD came to Elijah”; and God’s Word to Ahab is this,

“And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD, ‘Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?’ And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD, ‘In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.” 1 Kings 21:19 (KJV)

The Word of the LORD is spoken thus it shall be done.  Notice how the wicked king responds, and Elijah’s response to that,

“And Ahab said to Elijah, ‘Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?’ And he answered, ‘I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.” verse 20

He sees Elijah as an enemy.  It should be quite clear to all that if Elijah was his enemy; Ahab hated the Word of God, hated God, and he hated God’s prophet; thus Ahab considered God his enemy.  The love of God for Ahab is quite apparent in these verses.  He has sent Elijah time and time again to warn him, give him direction, and prove Himself to Ahab, but Ahab refuses the mercy, grace and love of God.

The two verses I mentioned at the beginning, was verse 20, and the last part of that verse,

 “I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.” verse 20

and verse 25,

“But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”

Elijah tells Ahab, “You have sold yourself to work evil in the sight of the LORD”.  Just what does it mean to “sell yourself”.  When one sells themself; they are no longer the one in control.  Their owner is in control.  The owner of Ahab, and his wife Jezebel was their lustful, vile, and evil desires for possessions, power and prestige.  Ahab sold himself to do evil.  He loved evil and hated righteousness.

When Ahab hears the word of God he humbles himself (vv. 27-29).  My first thought would be to say that he only humbled himself because he knew he was caught; but God knows the man’s heart.  Nevertheless the word of God is true.  It will not be voided; it will come to pass just as the LORD has spoken (1 Kings 22:27-29 and 2 Kings 9:30-37).  It has been said, “Some sow their wild oats, then pray for a crop failure”.  Some may sin against God, His Word and His prophets again and again, but judgment is coming.

O hear the Word of God.  Repent of your sins and be saved through the blood of God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ.  Confront the evil of your life today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Ahab’s Unbelief

In 1886 a man was born who would become a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and preached a sermon, which is one of the best known sermons of all time.  The sermon is titled “Payday Someday”; and the preacher is Robert Greene Lee.

Payday Someday is a narrative sermon dealing with the event of Naboth’s vineyard, and the wicked, sinful, murderous actions of a king and queen of Israel; and their peril.  The sermon is in print, and it would be a good read.  I hope those who read this will be motivated to read R. G. Lee’s work.

Ahab has been given ample opportunity to trust the LORD, believe Him and live a life that will glorify the LORD; but instead he has a greedy, murderous heart which brings himself to eternal peril, and the fires of hell.

In 1 Kings 20 we see that Ahab is given a chance by the king of Syria to avoid battle; and that is by surrender to him.

“And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.  And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, ‘Thus saith Benhadad, thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.’  And the king of Israel answered and said, ‘My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have.’  And the messengers came again, and said, ‘Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, ‘Although I have sent unto thee, saying, ‘Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children; yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.'” 1 Kings 20:1-6 (KJV)

One thing we can perceive from this text is that surrender in the case of evil is never a good thing.  When Ahab surrendered to Benhadad this evil king wanted even more.  Invasion into their very homes was what came next.  Even Ahab sees that this will not work and sends message to Benhadad (v. 9).  Then we read of a “prophet” who came to Ahab.

“And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD, ‘Hast thou seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.’  And Ahab said, ‘By whom?’ And he said, ‘Thus saith the LORD, ‘Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces.’ Then he said, ‘Who shall order the battle?’ And he answered, ‘Thou.'” 1 Kings 20:13-14

Who this prophet is we are not told.  It does not have the markings of Elijah.  I think that had it been Elijah we would have his name here; but it is not.  However,  see how the LORD promises Ahab that He will give him the victory over Benhadad. “Behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day.”  Note the purpose of the victory; “…thou shalt know that I am the LORD”.  The LORD would be perfectly just to let the siege continue, and the destruction, but He gives Ahab a chance of restoration.

At least two other times God gives Ahab chances of trust and belief in Him.  He sends the prophet once again (v. 22) and tells him that Syria will return, then, He sends another prophet, who tells him;

“Thus saith the LORD, ‘Because the Syrians have said, ‘The LORD is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.'” 20:28

Ahab is a rebel in the cause of the LORD, and thus his greed and lust for power, land, prestige, and prominence takes control of his heart and life.

There is much warning here for all who will hear that if we refuse the grace and mercies of God when they are presented to us our hearts will grow cold, hard, and our ears will grow dull to the hearing of the words of the LORD.  When the LORD speaks; hear Him.  When the LORD moves; move with Him.  What the LORD does; do along with Him.

Ahab will progress from bad to worse as we look at the next chapter; and we will see the prophet Elijah once again as he confronts the king of Israel; yet again.

The move toward God begins in hearing the message of the cross of Jesus Christ; His death for our sins; His burial, and His bodily resurrection.  Hear, repent and believe the Lord Jesus Christ.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Elijah and Elisha

Sometimes these two men can be confused; at least they used to be to me.  Elijah was the prophet who confronted Ahab, and the culture of the time; and the departure from the LORD God for man made idols; human imagination run amok.

Elisha is a young man when Elijah is called by GOD to anoint him “in thy room” (1 Kings 19:16).  He was still in his father’s home, because he was plowing with the oxen when Elijah came to him (vv. 19-21).

I ask myself what the reason is for GOD calling another prophet to take Elijah’s place.  Is GOD angry with Elijah, thus getting another?  Is the ministry of Elijah coming to an end?  Maybe soon?  If we read ahead we find that Elijah would confront Ahab another time; concerning Naboth’s vineyard.  We will look at that sometime later.

The LORD wants to put to rest Elijah’s assumption that he is the only true prophet of God.  The LORD tells him,

“Yet I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:18 (KJV)

Elijah obeyed and went as the LORD commanded him.  He finds Elisha plowing with twelve yoke of oxen.  That seems to be a plenty of ox power, and more than necessary; but that is what we are told.  It probably means that there were twelve teams of oxen plowing – a yoke containing two – and with a man leading  each yoke; and Elisha taking up the rearward.   The mantle of Elijah is mentioned in Scripture at least five times; the first in 19:13; the second in verse 19; then the other three in 2 Kings chapter two.

The mantle seems to be used as a token or symbol of the power of God upon Elijah.  With it Elijah covers his face when he hears the still small voice, he cast it upon Elisha, he smote the waters of the Jordan River (2 Kings 2:8), Elisha receives it as Elijah is taken away (2 Kings 2:13-14); and then Elisha divides the Jordan using it as well.  More on that will come later in future study.

When Elisha passes by Elijah; Elijah cast his mantle upon him.  Now Elisha left his oxen, asked Elijah to go and tell his parents he was leaving, then he would follow him.  He would be Elijah’s student as a prophet; being prepared to take Elijah’s place in ministry of the Word of God.

“And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.’  And he said unto him, ‘Go back again: for what have I done to thee?’  And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.”  1 Kings 19:20-21 (KJV)

Elijah’s telling Elisha to “Go back…” was telling him to do as Elisha had requested, but to not reject his calling.  Elisha goes and tells his parents of his calling in life, and they have a celebration, by the killing of Elisha’s yoke of oxen, and having a feast.  In his training as a prophet he was a servant unto Elijah.

Elijah was a faithful prophet of God.  Though he was weak in some points the LORD still used him.  In human weakness GOD is strong.  In our weaknesses God is glorified.

Be strong in the LORD and the power of His might.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Elijah, and a Still Small Voice

Following the victory at Mt. Carmel Elijah has ran from Jezebel, in fear of losing his life; then, prays for God to take his life.  Depression, fear, and doubt has crept into the man of God’s life.  However, as I can look at this and see it God is by no means silent with Elijah.

God sends an angel and provides food and water for him (1 Kings 19:5-8), and then, he goes for forty days and nights in the strength of that bread and water.  Now, only God can give a man the physical energy and strength to make that type of journey with no other physical bread or water.  Moses did it on Mt. Sinai, evidently twice at least (Exodus 24:18; 34:28).

The LORD led Elijah to Mt. Horeb called the Mount of God, which is Mt. Sinai where Moses had been with God.

Elijah was in need of a learning experience, as many of us are at times.  We are pretty given to believing that God only moves dramatically, and visibly, and always powerfully; but that is not always so.  God will move in His own way and His own time; and it may not be through answering by fire.

The man of God, the prophet came to a cave, and he made his lodging there.  That is when the word of the LORD came to him again,

“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said unto him, ‘What doest thou here, Elijah?’  And he said, ‘I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.’  And He said, ‘Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.’  And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”  1 Kings 19:9-12 (KJV)

Maybe, after the victory Elijah was expecting God to remove Ahab and Jezebel from the kingdom, or some kind of powerful and miraculous thing; but it did not happen.  We do not know what was in the mind of the man of God, but he ran for his life.  God asks Elijah, “What are you doing here?”.  It is kind of like He asked Adam in the garden, “Where are you?”  Have you ever had someone ask you a question they knew the answer to; only to get you to think things through.

The LORD and His prophet are in session together, and Elijah tells the LORD that he is the only one of the prophets of the LORD left.  He has felt that way since before the victory on Carmel (1 Kings 18:22).  He had much to learn yet.

The LORD sends the prophet out of the cave, to stand and witness events the LORD would cause to pass before him.  A strong wind which tore the mountain, and broke the rocks of the mountain; then, an earthquake; then a fire.  In all three of these catastrophic means we are told, “the LORD was not in” them.  There came that “still small voice”, and Elijah covered his face;

“And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, ‘What doest thou here, Elijah?'” 19:13

The wind, the earthquake and the fire did not spark much action from Elijah; but when he heard the still small voice he covered his face.  Surely he must have realized his fear, and realized the voice was that of God at work in his life.

He was still feeling as though he were the only prophet of God left in the land.  God tells Elijah to go and call Elisha the son of Shaphat (19:16) to be prophet in his place.  He also tells him that there are “seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal…” (v. 18)

It would seem that God is about to do something spectacular in the life of Elijah.  Even in our doubts and fears God is with us.  He still speaks to us.  Just because there is nothing dramatic with falling fire happening in our lives does not mean that we are forsaken; it is really the time for us to hear that “still small voice” and believe.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Elijah, and the Hand of the LORD

The prophet of fire had been told by the word of the LORD that he would send rain on the earth (1 Kings 18:1), that he was to go and show himself unto Ahab.  The greatest trial of Elijah’s life had been won, the prophets of Baal defeated, and even sentenced to death, and the sentence carried out; and the rain had come, just as the LORD and the prophet had said.

“And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”  1 Kings 18:46 (KJV)

It seems to be abundantly clear by all that has came to pass, with the challenge of fire, the death of the false prophets of Baal, and the rain; that the hand of the LORD is upon Elijah.  Evidently Elijah was a very fast runner.  With Ahab in a chariot, and Elijah on foot; Elijah seems to have out run the king to the entrance of Jezreel.

We begin seeing something about Elijah that shows us that Elijah was only a man who had human flaws, just like the rest of us.  He had his moments of doubt, of fear, and feeling as though he stood alone against the mobs of Ahab and Jezebel.

Elijah coming off the greatest victory of his life; at least up to this point; faces the threats of Jezebel.  Upon hearing what Elijah had done,

“Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.” 19:2

Elijah, the man, the prophet who had the “hand of the LORD” upon him, then, runs for his life.  Not only that he begins requesting that he might die (19:4); instead of taking his life the LORD sent and angel to care for his needs; feeding him a baked cake of figs, raisins, or something else, and giving him water to drink.  My, how the prophet was being ministered unto by the LORD through an angel.  It is proof that the LORD is not finished with Elijah.  The hand of the LORD is still on him.  The angel prepared the cake and the cruse of water.

My  the power of the angel’s food, the LORD’S food.  For Elijah went forty day and forty nights in the strength of that food (19:8).  I find it fascinating that often after great victories, comes great let downs.  Fears, doubts, and just not knowing what lies ahead, can bring temporary defeat.  This was a time of renewing for Elijah.  He was hearing from the LORD.

God took him to a place where he would learn about the greatness of the LORD and His Word, again.

The hand of the LORD is on all those who put their trust in Him.  Your trust is in Him through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; His death, burial and bodily resurrection.  Believe Him, trust Him, and God’s hand will be on you for blessing and eternity.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Sound of Abundance of Rain

Elijah had faced the greatest trial of his life, and won the greatest victory for the name of YaHWeH/Jehovah.  He had prayed a simple prayer to God,

“LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word.  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the LORD God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.”  1 Kings 18:36-37 (KJV)

The LORD God heard Elijah’s prayer, and did just what Elijah asked for.  Fire fell (v. 38), burnt the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and licked up the water in the trench which Elijah had placed around the altar to display the power of God.  This was no magicians trick; no wizards wand was needed; it was the fire of God falling just as the man of God had requested.

The people of the Northern kingdom of Israel fell on their faces declaring, “The LORD, He is the God; the LORD, He is the God.”  At that moment in time there was no doubt in their minds who the God of Israel and the earth was.  Now these prophets and priests of Baal needed to be dealt with; and they would be dealt with unto death.

“And Elijah said unto them, ‘Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.’ And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” 18:40

When the LORD is God there is no room for false prophets and teachers.  They will be dealt with quickly.  The prophet Jeremiah was confronted by a false prophet, who prophesied differently from his own prophecy, and the LORD told Jeremiah to return to Hananiah and tell him that due to his lies he would die within the year (Jeremiah 28).  That prophet died by the hand of God Himself; just as the prophet had said.

Why deal so harshly and directly with false teachers and prophets?  These had in large part been responsible for leading the nation into apostasy, turning their backs on the GOD of Israel, leading them into all kinds of debauchery and rebellious living against the GOD  of all creation.  It needed to be seen by Israel that this will not be tolerated.

In this the Christian of 2012 can learn that the LORD God will not tolerate false teaching in the Christians life; and we are to weed out those teachings from our lives that distract us from Him; the LORD of the universe.  We are to keep our individual lives free from false teaching, teachers; from unholy living; and keep these things from our local congregations.  When a church begins propagating lies, heresy, and distracts from the Word of God and from our Lord Jesus Christ that church will fall, and its fire will go out.  No matter how large the attendance is, how great the crowd is at their weekly gatherings; it can still be without the fire of God.

When Elijah had dealt with the false prophets, then he told Ahab,

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, ‘Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.” 18:41

For 3.5 years there had been no rain.  The land was parched, dry, brooks were dry the rivers were low, water was in short supply.  Now without even seeing a cloud, the  prophet tells the king, “…There is a sound of abundance of rain”.  The fire of God had fallen from the heavens.  The people had seen the fire of God fall, and they had fallen on their faces crying out, “The LORD, He is the God” and the liars had been put away.  Now rain was coming.  Refreshment, renewing and restoration to the land was coming.

You can turn to the LORD God today, and live forever.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; that He died for your sins, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave; and is one day returning for His own.  He is the fire that John the Baptist spoke of in Matthew 3:11.  “…He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire…”

When God’s people return to the LORD there will be and we can hear “…The sound of Abundance of Rain”.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Elijah, and the Challenge by Fire

As a young boy I can remember being fascinated by fire.  I took matches, and would set old brush piles on fire, while I got up the milk cows for milking, and watch it burn.  I never deliberatly burned anything that did not need burned, but I was still moved by watching the flames as they flickered and flared upwards.  As a teenaged boy I would go camping with friends, we would build fires for the light and the heat; and even then I was enthralled by the flames, watching it devour the wood fuel which was put on the flames.  It would seem that I am still fascinated by fire.

The name of this blogsite “FIRE” and Hammer’, which comes from Jeremiah 23:29.  And my prayer, and heart longs to see the fire of God fall on His people; and for the glory of the LORD to be revealed to the world; and it one day will.

I wrote all this to lead us to the prophet Elijah’s challenge of fire to the prophets of Baal, and the Northern kingdom of Israel.  The drought had been on the land now for about 3.5 years according to the apostle James (5:17) and Jesus (Luke 4:25); and God had told Elijah it was time for some rain (1 Kings 18:1).  The nation, however, needed to know who was sending the rain.  They could not possibly go on thinking that it was Baal who through temple prostitution, illicit behavior, music and deceptions was doing the provisions for the people.  The drought would prove nothing for the glory of the LORD to just send rain.

Elijah gives word to king Ahab,

“Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.’  So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.” 18:19-20 (KJV)

Now the stage is set, the challenge is issued; the faith of Elijah is on display for all to see.  I am sure there were those who were thinking, “What is Elijah doing?  God does not work like this.”  My thoughts are “Oh Really!”  One thing Elijah was sure of and that was that those prophets of Baal were deceivers, masters of deception; and in the challenge of fire he put at least one stipulation on the trial;

“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.’  And the people answered him not a word.   Then said Elijah unto the people, ‘I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.   Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:   And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God.’  And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.” 18:21-24

Notice, if you will the stipulation of the challenge; “…Put no fire under”  which indicates that Elijah was pretty positive that deception was at the heart of any power the priests or prophets of Baal had.  They would put a hidden flame under their altar, than call for fire, and with some oil, fire would arise from the altar; thus amazing and deceiving the people.  He too would “put no fire under” and would depend solely upon the presence, power and glory of the LORD for the fire to come down.

The prophets of Baal built their altar without any deceptive fire; killed their sacrifice; danced and shouted with all their might; all their heart; maybe they were sincere in what they believed, but what they sincerely believed just was not true.  They finally ended up cutting themselves, bleeding they continued to plead with the god who could not hear; because he is only the god of human imagination, human evil, human greed and lusts.  The sincere efforts of the worshippers of Baal failed; they wore themselves out physically; trying to appeal to this deity of the human heart (18:25-29).

Now, it is Elijah’s chance.  He is confident in Jehovah.  Why?  Because Jehovah/YaHWeH has sent him.   He does not build a new altar, but repairs the “altar of the LORD that was broken down”.  The altar of the LORD had been neglected, and rejected, and now was being repaired by the man of GOD, and He was going to be glorified again in Israel.  You can read the rest of the story.

Let me tell you, that Elijah simply calls out to GOD; after having the altar and the offereing and the wood drenched in water; and God answers by fire from the heavens,

“Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the LORD God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.’  Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” 18:37-38 (KJV)

“The fire of the LORD fell”  it came down from above.  The LORD He is God.  Elijah knew that.  He was much more than sincere, he was faithful to believe the word of the LORD.  Christian, revival will not come by dancing, cutting, music, and alternative styles of worship.  Revival will not come through evangelism or evangelistic efforts; which are usually nothing more than human effort, with fire under the altar; rather than the fire of the LORD.

We are called on to be faithful in worship to the LORD, loving Him through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour; the reading and study of the Word of God and prayer.  When God’s people get right with God, then there will be great preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and many trusting Him.

The fire of GOD will fall.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Elijah, Obadiah, and the King Ahab

The prophet received word from the LORD that it was time for the rain to come on Israel.  That meaning in essence that it was time to call the nation to repent of their sins; and it was to begin with the king, and the false religion he and his wife espoused in the land.  The worship of Baal was a vile and evil religion which was an earthy, self-centered, pleasure oriented religion; and led the children of Israel away from the God of all creation.  That was partly why Elijah had prayed for no rain; to show that Baal was powerless.

Elijah meets Obadiah, and tells him to take message to Ahab that he  was ready to meet with him,

“And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, ‘Art thou that my lord Elijah?’ And he answered him, ‘I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.'” 1 Kings 18:7-8 (KJV)

Now, Obadiah was a bit cautious, and knew that the LORD was protecting Elijah, and feared that the LORD might just go back to moving Elijah around, hiding him from the king, but Elijah convinces Obadiah to get the message to  Ahab that he wants to meet with him (18:9-15).

Notice the king’s words to Elijah when he does meet him,

“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, ‘Art thou he that troubleth Israel?’  And he answered, ‘I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.'”  1 Kings 18:17-18

It is accusation of dividing the nation, causing trouble.  I find it aggravating, insulting, and almost blasphemous to hear those who cry against the holy and righteous as always being the ones who are the “Troublers” of a nation or people.  That is what Ahab was charging against the prophet.  That is the cry of our post modern culture against those who stand against the unholy promotion of unholiness, and ungodliness.  Those who stand against same sex marriage are accused of being bigoted, haters, mean spirited, trouble makers.  We are supporters of what is holy, righteous and good.

Just as Elijah faced the king and told him “I have not troubled Israel; but thou and thy father’s house…”  You have troubled Israel.  Those who stand against God, righteous living, holy conduct, Biblical teaching, and Biblical conviction; they are the troublers of our nation and lives.

We are faced with a challenge.  Will we live for God?  Will we live by the words of the Bible, the words and life of Jesus Christ; or will we go along to get along?  I choose to live by the words of Jesus, the words of the Bible;

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”  John 8:47 (KJV)

-Tim A. Blankenship

Elijah in Prayer

No where in the context of the writing about Elijah are we told of Elijah’s praying, however, the New Testament does tell us of Elijah’s prayers,

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.   And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”  James 5:16b-18 (KJV)

So we know that Elijah had power with God, and he received that power because of his commitment to God and earnest prayer.

As we were looking at Elijah ministering to the widow of Zarephath I neglected to mention that this widow was a Gentile.  As Jesus mentions in Luke (4:25-26) there were widows of Israel who could have used some help, but God sent Elijah to Zarephath instead, due to the hearts of the people of Israel being in rejection of God and His Word.

Now as Elijah is praying “the word of the LORD came” to him…

“And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, ‘Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.'”  1 Kings 18:1

This third year could possibly be the third year since he came to stay with the widow and her son.  God is ready now to call Israel to repentance, and to return to Him; and He will use Elijah to call the prophets of Baal to a challenge of fire.  We will not get into that just yet.

We notice in the verses to come that there was a servant of Ahab’s who was a God fearer, and had protected some of the other prophets of God;

“And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: for it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)” 18:3-4

Ahab had called on Obadiah to search with him for water in fountains, brooks, and grass for caring for the king’s animals.  It seems quite pointed to see a king searching for food for his animals while maybe a unconcerned about the needs of the people.

We need to learn from Elijah the necessity of prayer.  However, without faith in God, much prayer avails nothing.  The power of prayer is not praying.  The power of prayer is GOD.  And Elijah loved the LORD, and believed Him and trusted Him unto life.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Elijah; Man of God

Those of us who have been involved in church and Christianity; and even some other religions know the term “Man of God”.  The basic idea behind the phrase is that a man is faithful to believing God, His Word and living it in His life.

We have seen where the “Man of God” confronted the king Ahab and told him of an absence of rainfall until he [Elijah] calls for it.  We know from the book of James that it was 3.5 years.  That is a drought.  We have read also where God provided for the prophet, the man of God, by sending him to a brook off the Jordon River, and God supplied him bread and meat until the brook dried up; and then he sent him to a widow woman with a young son; and he asked her to give him her last portion of food.  Because of the woman’s faith, she fed Elijah, and her barrel of meal never ran out; as the King James says, “Wasted not”, neither did her container of oil run dry.

While the man of God is present in the home of the widow and her son; the son dies; and the woman is very distraught.  She is like many of us.  Since the man of God is in the house and home, then, “How can such an evil and bad thing happen to us?”  Now before someone goes off on a tangent fit let me first explain that it does seem implied by the reading of 17:18;

“And she said unto Elijah, ‘What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?'” (KJV)

Remember in John 11 Lazarus a close friend of Jesus was on his death bed; Mary and Martha (Lazarus’s sisters) sent for Jesus, but he lingered where he was.  Jesus said,

“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”  John 11:4

To read the rest of the event we find that Lazarus died, was buried, and had been dead four days; and Jesus calls his name and Lazarus comes out of that tomb alive.  God receives the greater glory by the resurrection of Lazarus, then by healing him of a sickness.

The resurrection of the widows son, helped the woman see more clearly that Elijah was the man of God.  She announces in the final verse of chapter 17,

“Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.”  1Kings 17:24 (KJV)

The man of God in today’s world may not raise anyone to life after being dead; at least in the physical sense.  However, the man of God will be able to clearly present the way to knowing God, having fellowship with Him, and how God declares one to be righteous.  That is by way of the cross of Jesus Christ; His death, burial and bodily resurrection.  Believe the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will experience resurrection.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Widow Challenged by the Prophet

The brook Cherith to which the LORD had supplied for Elijah was dried up due to the drought which Elijah had prayed for, received, and was supplied for by God.  Could God have not kept the stream flowing, water coming just for Elijah, rather than moving him on somewhere else?  He could have, but He chose not to do so.  There was  a widow woman, with a son who was about to come to terms with the possibility of starving to death; so the LORD sent the prophet to her.

Zarephath is the place where she lived, and to which Elijah went.  According to Strong’s it means “Refinery”; so there may have been some sort of oil refining going on in that location.  This widow woman, unnamed, has a young son she is providing for, and she is about to fix their last meal; and the LORD sends Elijah to her, and he presents her with a challenge,

“So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, ‘Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.’  And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, ‘Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.'” 1 Kings 17:10-11 (KJV)

Does Elijah know this woman is in dire straits?  He probably knows she is needy, that this woman needs some hope, and God sent him to help her.  Do you ever notice the circumstances God brings into our lives, good and bad, are often the means by which God shows Himself strong, and at work in His people’s lives?  This woman tells Elijah,

“As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”  verse 12

The economy stinks.  It has not rained in months, maybe a year or two, and this woman has great need.  Some would say; and I know they would because I have heard it; “How dare a man of God to ask a widow down to her last bit of food, feed him first”.  Who does this man think he is?  First of all he is a prophet of God.  Not the first one, or the last one, but he is one who is faithful to the LORD.  This widow was about to be blessed and provided for throughout the final months and days of the drought.  The prophet believed God would provide.

The prophet uses two of the greatest words you will find in Scripture to speak to the woman,

“And Elijah said unto her, ‘Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.  For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, ‘The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.’   And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.  And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.”  17:13-16

We are not told how Elijah knew to speak these words to the woman.  I think it could be possible that Elijah was walking with God, he knew the heart of God, and God knew Elijah’s heart, that anything Elijah would speak that glorified the LORD would come to pass.  No man walking with God will speak contrary to the will or glory of God.

Would to God that had that walk.  That is my prayer.  How about you?

Walking with God is possible only through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit who comes to live within is always with you, and leads you in your walk with God, to glorify Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Commanding the Ravens; Feeding the Prophet

When a prophet preaches the Word of God to his nation or to his church he must realize that word will affect his life too.  Elijah was certain to find this out shortly after he pronounces judgment by drought upon Israel, and king Ahab.

We also find that the LORD takes care of those He calls, and equips as well.  When Elijah told Ahab of the drought coming God already had a place for the prophet to go; to a brook; and there he would have water to drink and bathe, and God would send ravens with “bread and flesh” to eat in the morning and evening.

“And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, ‘Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.  And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.’  So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.  And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.  And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” 1 Kings 17:2-7 (KJV)

For those who have a problem with the Sovereignty of God, and His directing the affairs of this world, we need to hear what the Word of God says here.  “I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there”.  The LORD has the perfect place already for the prophet.  The prophet must be obedient to the LORD’S leading and follow.

It does not occur to preachers some times, but what we preach affects us too.  Even if you are not a preacher, but are a follower of Jesus Christ the Word of God is for you too.  You can obey God and His Word; or you can be disobedient and completely miss God’s provision for your life.

God’s provisions are more bountiful and wonderful than anything our disobedience can give us.

Elijah did as God commanded went to Cherith, which flowed by the Jordan.  I cringe a little when I think of having ravens bring bread and flesh to eat.  However, what God provides He cleanses.  What He blesses is good to eat.

The LORD of creation still commands the birds of the air, the fish of the sea (think of Jonah here), the beast of the forest, the cattle in the fields and upon the Thousand Hills Ranch :).  He still blesses His preachers, prophets, and His people who will trust Him in drought and in flood.  He provides by His own hand.

Commanding ravens and feeding prophets is no problem for the one who is Lord of all.

Teach me LORD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

YAH is God

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