Saturday, April 27, 2024

April 27, 2024

Three years had passed with no rain. God told Elijah to meet with King Ahab of Israel, and He would make it rain. Obadiah, the governor of Ahab's house, was sent to find grass for the cows and horses. Obadiah ran into Elijah on his way and freaked out because they had all sworn they couldn't find him. He was afraid that if he went to tell Ahab that Elijah was alive, Ahab would kill him if he didn't show his face. Elijah promised to show himself. Obadiah told Ahab, and he went to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw Elijah, he accused him of troubling 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. 1 Kings 18:18-19

Elijah challenged Ahab to a showdown between the prophets of Baal, the prophets of the grove, and God. The Baal prophets butchered their bull and began praying for Baal to consume it with fire. They  prayed from morning to noon with no results. Elijah began taunting them. When it came time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah butchered his bull, set up twelve stones for each of the tribes of Israel, dug a trench, and had water poured on the sacrifice three times, and the water filled the trench. Elijah began to pray. 

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. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. 1 Kings 18:38-39

There's nothing like a miracle to show people who the one true God is. Elijah then took all the Baal prophets to the brook Kishon and killed them. After that, Elijah began praying for rain, and the rain came. 

The common thread is that Elijah prayed. We must make it a point to pray, talk to God about our issues, and leave them to him to solve. Elijah didn't have the power; God had the power. Remember, only God has power, but we pray for his intervention, just like Elijah. 

Friday, April 26, 2024

April 26, 2024

Elijah suddenly comes on the scene and speaks to Ahab, the king of Israel, and warns him of a three-and-a-half-year drought. Ahab and his wife Jezebel were Baal and grove worshippers and led Israel further into idolatry. God sent Elijah into hiding beside a brook where he was fed by ravens meat and bread twice a day until the brook dried up. Then, the word of the Lord came to Elijah and told him to seek a woman from Sidon in Zarephath who would help sustain him. I found it interesting that this woman was not an Israelite but was of the same people as Jezebel. God knew she would help him. I also found it interesting that Israel wasn't the only country affected by the drought. When Elijah saw the woman God sent him to, she was preparing her and her son's last meal with what little oil and grain she had. Elijah asked her to stop what she was doing and get him some water, so she did. Then he wanted her to use what was left of the grain and oil to make him a cornbread cake, with the promise that she wouldn't run out of either of them. She did what he said; they had food for the entire drought. 

That was great and all, but then her son dies suddenly, causing her to wonder why this happened after all she did for Elijah and his God. Elijah, who had probably grown attached to the child, scooped him up and took him into his chambers and cried out to God for help, laying upon his body three times and asking God to put his soul back in his body for the sake of the woman who was helping sustain him. God answered his prayer, and Elijah returned the child to his mother. 

There are many lessons in this seventeenth chapter of 1 Kings:

  1. When God gives you a mission, do as he says. Going to Ahab was probably intimidating.
  2. If God tells you to remove yourself from a situation, you best trust Him to provide for you.
  3. God can use any means necessary to help you, including animals and other nations, like the Sidonian woman. 
  4. If God wants you to spend your last dollar on Him, trust that he will give you more than you could ever hope for or imagine. Look at the unending grain and oil that He provided. It reminds me of tithing.
  5. Don't stop praying. We may not have Elijah's power, but we have God's heart, and He hears us when we cry out to Him.

They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. Psalms 37:19

And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth. 1 Kings 17:24

Thursday, April 25, 2024

April 25, 2024

Baasha did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so God sent word by Jehu that if he dies in the city, the dogs will eat him, but if he dies in the field, the birds will eat him. He ended up being buried in Tirzah. After his death, Elah, his son, became king of Israel. Elah reigned for two years in Tirzah and then died at the hand of Zimri, the captain of half of his chariots, when he was drunk. Zimri killed Elah and the rest of Baasha’s family and friends so there were none left. Zimri took over the kingdom but only lasted seven days. When the people found out about his treason, they went after him, but he went into the palace and set it on fire, killing himself. 

Israel had two kings for a short time. However, the people who followed Omri prevailed against the people who followed Tibrni, and Omri became king over all the people. An interesting note about Omri is that he built the city of Samaria. It was named after the man he bought the land from. However, it seems that was the only good he did. He was worse than all the other kings. After reigning for twenty-two years, he died and was buried in Samaria. 

During all these years of the different kings of Israel, Asa still reigned in Judah. 

Finally, we are moving on to a well-known king, but not for the good he did, but because he was more evil than any of the previous kings: Ahab! He married Jezebel, a Baal worshipper, and things went downhill from there, as we will find out in the coming chapters.

God installs kings and removes them, so don’t be too discouraged about the current situation in the United States. I’m sure that the person reigning over us right now will be looked upon as being more evil than any of the previous “kings.” Things are rough financially for a lot of people. Hang in there; it’s got to get better soon. Keep praying for God to intervene. 

And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. 1 Kings 16:33

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

April 24, 2024

Chapter 15 of 1 Kings begins to get a little sticky because of several different kings being included. It covers Abijam, king of Judah, who was Abijah; his name was changed because he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so "Jah," the name of God, was taken away to disgrace him (not to be confused with the prophet Ahijah.) His mother, Maachah, was Absolom's daughter. Then there was Asa, Abijam's son, who did right in the eyes of God and began dismantling the worship of the fake gods, even going as far as to take away his grandmother Maachah's idols and burning them by the Kidron brook in public shaming. The only thing he didn't do was remove the high places, which were for burnt offerings. He had replaced some of the finer treasures of gold and silver in the Lord's house and the king's house; however, during a war against Israel, he offered the Syrian king those particular things to help him with that war. Here is where things get confusing: Baasha, king of Israel during that time, had started building Ramah, a city to stop his people from going up to Jerusalem to worship God. However, Asa began dismantling it and used the materials to create different cities, Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah. There was another king of Israel before Baasha, Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, but Baasha conspired to take him out and did! God promised to remove all of Jeroboam's family, and Baasha fulfilled that promise.

Kings of Judah: Abijam, and Asa

Kings of Israel: Nadab, and Baasha

An interesting lesson is that God will only allow the enemy to go so far in keeping his people from their worship of Him before he makes way for their destruction, which is good news for us if there ever came a time when an unreasonable government might try to prohibit our worship of God. 

And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 1 Kings 15:17

Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah. 1 Kings 15:22

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

April 23, 2024

Jeroboam’s son was very sick, so he sent his wife in disguise to visit the prophet Ahijah in Shiloh to find out if he would live. Incredibly, he thought he could have her hide her identity from a prophet of God and yet get information about the son from him. Ahijah told her he would die as soon as she stepped foot into the city. Ahijah also said to her that he was the only child of Jeroboam, whom dogs or birds would not eat because he honored God. God took the crown away from the family of Jeroboam because he caused Israel to sin. Shortly after the son died, Jeroboam died. 

Solomon’s son Rehoboam reigned in Judah, but he was just as guilty of sin because he built height places, images, and groves on every high hill and under every green tree to worship idols, but there were also sodomites in the land. Because of their sins, God allowed Shishak, king of Egypt, to come up against Jerusalem and took all the treasures from the Temple and the king’s house. Rehoboam died and was buried in the city of David. 

Some of the lessons in this portion of scripture are: 

  1. Sometimes, God removes good people early, like Jeroboam’s son, because God knew he loved him, and God wanted to keep him from dealing with the sins of his family. God often takes those soonest whom he loves best. 
  2. If there is a sickness, you might want to ask God if there is a sin within your family that needs to be repented and overcome. 
  3. God will take away your most precious things when you dishonor him with your sinful behavior as he did to Rehoboam. I’ll guarantee you he was devastated when he lost all the things God had given to his father, Solomon, and grandfather, David.


And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin. 1 Kings 14:16


And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 1 Kings 14:26

Monday, April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

God sent a prophet from Judah to Jeroboam in Bethel, Israel, to warn him about his altar of incense. The prophet spoke directly to the altar and predicted the rise of Josiah, who would destroy all the altars in Israel. Josiah wouldn’t come into power for more than 356 years. God gave an immediate sign that what the prophet was saying was true; the altar fell apart and spilled all the ashes. Jeroboam reached out to assault the prophet, but his hand dried up. He then asked the prophet to pray for him, and God restored his hand. Both of these things proved that what he was saying was true and that they came from God. Jeroboam invited him to have dinner at his house, but the prophet refused because God had told him not to eat, drink, or return by the way he came. Then, another prophet in town heard what had happened and went to invite him to his home; however, he lied to him, telling the prophet that God told him it was okay for him to eat and drink with him. When the prophet left to go home, a lion killed him but didn’t harm the donkey. God had told him that would happen because he disobeyed him. The other prophet buried him and told his sons to bury him with this prophet when he died. 

This portion of scripture is full of lessons:

  1. Never fear doing the work of the Lord because if God sends you, he will protect you. Jeroboam couldn’t harm the prophet because his hand dried up.
  2. Many people will ask for prayer but won’t seek forgiveness for their sins, like Jeroboam, who only wanted healing.
  3. Even a prophet of God will not go unpunished for his disobedience.
  4. The old prophet who lied to the other prophet likely feared the recompense of God for what he did to the sincere prophet. I’m sure he was riddled with guilt. 

The overall lesson is to stand firm in obedience to God and never let anyone sway you in a different direction.

And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 1 Kings 13:23-24

Sunday, April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024

The kingdom of Israel became divided when Solomon's son, Rehoboam, consulted the old men who counseled David after some people came to him to get him to reduce the taxes. The old men told him that if he treated them kindly, the people would serve him forever. However, Rehoboam decided to consult his friends closer to his age; he was 40 years old then. His friends told him to give the people a heavier burden than they had been under during Solomon's reign. So when he told them his answer, they got angry and left to their tents. Then Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the taxes, to the people, and they stoned him to death, and Rehoboam hurried back to Jerusalem, where he reigned over Judah. When he returned, he gathered an army to fight against the people, but God sent him a message through Shemaiah telling him not to fight against your brothers, the children of Israel. They listened.

Jeroboam, who became king over the other ten tribes, Israel, was concerned about the people worshipping God and wanting to go to Jerusalem to make their sacrifices, where Rehoboam reigned as king. He devised a plan to change the direction of the people, made two golden calves for them to worship and make sacrifices to, and placed them in the cities of Bethel and Dan. Then, he held festivals during the same times as Judah. This caused the people to sin. 

What were these people thinking? How were they so easily swayed to turn away from God? It certainly couldn't have been all the people. Much like today, we live in a country considered a Christian nation and full of the spirit of God, yet a great number of people have rejected Jesus to go their own way. Now, many have turned away from God, yet there are those of us who still follow Jesus and are not worshiping the "Golden Calf." Hold on to Jesus with every ounce of your being! The ride will only get harder as more and more people fall under the enemy's spell. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and never turn to the right or the left!

And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. 1 Kings 12:26-27