Fire the old gods, part 1


Some precious time to read over the long weekend. My daughter wants to read thru “War and Peace”, the HUGE novel, as her “summer reading” because it’s the backstory for her favorite musical “Pierre Natasha and the Great Comet of 1812″… WHEW, that book is as thick as it is tough, takes pages to just explain the characters. 

I have a different summer reading (and fall, winter, spring…), also of war and peace, A GOOD BOOK, the scriptures of the Old Testament. I’ve hit some great meaty bits in the Book of Kings. Yes also lots of names, but they are explained as we go… individual stories that are bite-sized and digestible. Inspirations in just a few verses that essentially say: DAY BY DAY we need to trust God, listen, follow. 

In the parallel storylines of the kings of Israel/Judah, we learn of a WELL KNOWN prophet ELIJAH. Jewish folks leave a chair for his return. John the Baptist was likened to Elijah. We know Jesus spoke with Elijah and Moses in front of Peter and John. It is said in the book of Revelation that two important figures will have a major part, experts say Moses and Elijah. We profit from prophets. 

Prophets speak for God, not for themselves. And all were saying: Fire those old gods, the fake ones…

Elijah is known for much, including FIRE but also interesting storylines of ravens and angels bringing him food, the Lord providing daily bread making materials to a widow so he also could eat. The LORD thru him raised the widow’s son from the dead, God thru Elijah made drought predictions and Elijah fought thru the myths of the perceived god Baal. Elijah and all the prophets were fighting fake fire with REAL FIRE. And in Elijah’s story, there’s the favorite reminder to us for us to be listening for God NOT in an earthquake and NOT in a fire, but IN A WHISPER… I should make that small case… in a whisper… God speaks for us to hear.

These are all examples of God’s provisions, God’s sovereignty, God being in control. Teaching moments of realization that God IS God rather than events happening spuriously as if Elijah were a magic man. Like when the widow’s son is raised from the dead: Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

So much to read here in the 3 chapters (17, 18, 19) of the 1st book of Kings at this link:

The beginning of this story of Prophet Elijah and King Asa, 1 Kings 16-17 – MORE TO FOLLOW…

In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.  In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.
Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him:  “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.”

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