Photo by: Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing.
I’m reading in 1 Kings now and found many interesting and beautiful things about God. And I learned something new about Elijah, a great prophet of God.
You may know the story of when Elijah was on top of Mount Carmel. It hadn’t rained for three years because the people of Israel were worshipping Baal, an evil god to whom the people would sacrifice their live children by burning them to death.
Elijah told King Ahab to bring the people and the prophets of Baal to Mt. Carmel. They would have a contest between Baal and the Lord God. They would build altars and pray; whichever God answered by fire, he was the true God.
After many hours of praying, Baal did not answer. Elijah prayed and immediately fire came down from heaven consuming the sacrifice and altar. The people said, “The Lord, he is God.”
Elijah thought the nation would change; he thought Ahab would quit worshipping Baal and turn to God, but this did not happen. In fact, his wife Jezebel sent a message to Elijah telling him she would kill him by the end of the day.
Elijah ran. He ran into the desert, the same desert that Israel had to cross to get to the promised land. And this is the part I had forgotten; he wandered in the wilderness for 40 days.
I thought of Jesus and when he went into the wilderness for 40 days. I thought of Israel and how they had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. God has patterns throughout the Bible and here was another one.
Most commentators of the Bible say Elijah was discouraged by the outcome of his work for God. He probably thought his work was fruitless and wondered why he had risked his life for nothing. He couldn’t see what God was doing or why. His faith in God was tested.
When Israel wandered through the wilderness, their faith was tested also. They came to a day when there was no water. They thought they were going to all die of thirst so they complained and wanted to go back to Egypt. They got angry at their situation. God provided them with water, not just once, but many times. They had no food left and were frightened. They didn’t trust God to feed them. They said, “Can God make a feast in the wilderness?” Yes, he can and he did. These things happened to make their trust in God strong but it didn’t work with that first generation.
For Jesus in the wilderness the test was the same. Did he trust his father? Would he complain about being hungry and save himself? No, he didn’t. He could have made the stones into bread but he knew if you or I were in the wilderness, we could not do that. He came to live a human life, depending on God for everything.
Joyce Meyer talks a lot about Christians going through a wilderness time. Everything around them feels dark and hopeless. They cannot see the way out and wonder why God allowed this to happen to them. We have a choice in these times, to trust and praise God in the midst of them, or to complain and rebel against him.
I found two songs lately that are so inspirational. The words are fitting for this subject.
No one can take away, my hallelujah.
No darkness can contain, my hallelujah.
Your cross has made the way, for my hallelujah.
From the song: My Hallelujah, by Brian and Katie Talwalt.
Give me hope like Moses in the wilderness.
Give me faith like Daniel in the lion’s den.
Give me a heart like David, Lord be my defense.
Then I can fight my giants with confidence.
From the song: Confidence, by Sanctus Real.
“No darkness can contain, my hallelujah.” We must not allow darkness to stop our praise and love towards God. Remember how Jesus and his disciples suffered. No one is immune to suffering; you are not alone. This world of pain is not our home; Jesus walks beside you.