Why Are You Here?
Have you ever been bummed out and you just don’t know why? A sudden mindset shift that has left you confused and dazed? Elijah understands and we are invited in today’s reading to a front-row seat to what happens when we take our eyes off of the fear of the LORD and place it on fear, instead. We are led astray when we take our eyes off the Way.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night and decided to finish a chapter of a book I am writing then went back to bed. When I woke back up this morning and opened my bible reading plan, the Scripture of the day was the verse I was focusing on in the wee hours last night. I love it when God does that.
There is so much ground to cover today as we finish the book of 1 Kings.
While Judah’s King Asa ruled over Judah for 41 years, and did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God” (2 Chronicles 14:2), we have a bunch of drama in the Kings of Israel.
Remember, Israel was divided into two separate Kingdoms at this point.
Israel’s King Baasha son of Ahijah did what was evil in the LORD’s sight.
Then Israel’s King Elah son Baasha lasted two years. His servant Zimri conspired against him and struck Elah down.
And Israel’s King Zimri lasted 7 days.
Let’s not forget Israel’s King Omri who also did what was evil in the LORD’s sight and reigned 6 years.
And then the most wicked king of all took the throne: Israel’s King Ahab ruled for 22 years.
So, why all this wickedness? And why all of this death? Bassha was killed, then Elah, then Zimri were killed.
I don’t know about you, but being a king is not such a desired status.
Scripture tells us the cause of all of this:
1 Kings 16: 7, 12-13
” But through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani the word of the Lord also had come against Baasha and against his house because of all the evil he had done in the Lord’s sight. His actions angered the Lord, and Baasha’s house became like the house of Jeroboam, because he had struck it down. 12 So Zimri destroyed the entire house of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord he had spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu. 13 This happened because of all the sins of Baasha and those of his son Elah, which they committed and caused Israel to commit, angering the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols.”
And again in 1 Kings 16:19, speaking of Zimri, “He died 19 because of the sin he committed by doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and by walking in the ways of Jeroboam and the sin he caused Israel to commit.”
Then speaking of Omri in 1 Kings 16:25-26, “25 Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he did more evil than all who were before him. 26 He walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat in every respect and continued in his sins that he caused Israel to commit, angering the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols.”
God loves us too much to let us worship worthless idols. Such false worship angered God because it led His people astray and because He had commanded that they worship Him alone. The God Who made us wants to have fellowship with His people. Remember the Israelites said they did not want God as their king. They wanted a human king. Well, the human kings led them astray.
Why Are We Here? Evil leaders.
King Ahab did more evil than any before him, as it says in 1 Kings 16:30-33
“30 But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight more than all who were before him. 31 Then, as if following the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat were not enough, he married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and then proceeded to serve Baal and bow in worship to him. 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he had built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole. Ahab did more to anger the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.”
Enter Elijah into the picture and things get exciting
“Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, in whose presence I stand, there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command! 2 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward, and hide at the Wadi Cherith where it enters the Jordan. 4 You are to drink from the wadi. I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.”
- Elijah said he stands in God’s presence.
- What a bold proclamation.
- God kept Elijah safe and fed him with ravens.
- Then God sent him to stay with a widow who fed him.
And then comes one of my favorite passages in Scripture that I was writing about in the wee hours of this morning
Scripture of the Day: 1 Kings 18:21 (NLT)
21 “Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.”
We find our center when God is at the center of our lives.
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