1 Kings

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1 Kings Introduction In 1 Kings 18-19 we are introduced to one of the most magical men in the Bible, and to one of the greatest miracles. Along with Moses and Jesus, Elijah is among the great miracle workers of the world. Elijah used miracles to bring Israel up out of shambles, if just for a moment. He also showed extreme faith and perseverance in the face of great odds. But the true character of Elijah lies in his name, which literally means, “Yahweh is my God (Anderson 246).” Prelude to The Contest In order to understand chapters 18 and 19 of 1 Kings, one must get some background on its main character. In 1 Kings 17, we are first introduced to Elijah. At the time, Israel is at one of its lowest points. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were not only endorsing the worship of Baal; they were trying to wipe out all worship of Yahweh (Stafford 388). In addition, one of Ahab’s men rebuilt the city of Jericho, which is strictly forbidden in Joshua 6:23. Out of this defiance of Yahweh rises the prophet Elijah. In a rejection of Baal, the god of weather, he proclaimed that “…there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word (1 Kings 17:1).” Because of this proclamation, Elijah had become a wanted man. It is at this point that we see the first sign of the relationship between Elijah and Yahweh. Yahweh tells Elijah to flee east of the Jordan, and for the next three years he lives a life on the run (Stafford 388). The Contest With the events of 1 Kings 17 as our background, we can now look to chapters 18 and 19. After three years in the desert, Yahweh tells Elijah to go to Ahab. On his way, Elijah meets one of Ahab’s servants, Obadiah. Obadiah was a devout follower of Yahweh, and had sav... ... middle of paper ... ...prophet of Yahweh. The final scene in 1 Kings 19 gives us a good picture of what kind of man Elijah is. Instead of being scared of Jezebel for personal reasons, he explains that he is afraid that if he dies, so will Yahweh’s spirit. He is only concerned about placing Yahweh into the hearts of the people. This is what Elijah had done throughout his life. From when we are first introduced to him, Elijah had tried to guide the Israelites in the right direction. His contest with Ahab is his surpreme test of his faith, and he wins it with flying colors. All in all, Elijah shows us what we all can do if we just believe and have faith in God. Works Cited Anderson, Bernhard W. Understanding the Old Testament. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998. Stafford, Tim. The Student Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996.
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