Friday, July 29, 2016

A Still, Small Voice

O. T. #802  "A Still, Small Voice"
July 29, 2016
1 Kings 19-Part 4
And after the earthquake,  fire, but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  1 Kings 19:12


Experience as a teacher of children has taught me that they listen more attentively to not a loud or yelling voice, but to a gentle, calm voice. To which did Elijah responded?

Elijah went 200 miles to the mountains, walking 40 days and 40 nights. He spent one night in a cave. However, the Lord asked Elijah, "What are you doing here?" He proceeded to answer that he had zealously served God, but Israel had broken their covenant (to worship only God and obey His commands) and tore down His altars. And he was the only one faithful follower left.
Then God told Elijah to go out and stand before Him on the mountain, and he obeyed.

What did Elijah experience there?
  • The LORD passes by,
  • and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain.
  • It was  so strong that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind.
  • After the wind was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
  • After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.
  • After the fire, there was a gentle whisper, a still small voice.
  • When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
  • Again, God asked Elijah what he was doing there. Elijah gave the same answer.
What are I doing here, in a cave of I-could-not-care-less? Why do I feel alone in being a faithful servant of the Lord? I know that is not the truth.
 What are you doing there, friend, in your cave, whatever kind it is? Have we hidden in a cave, running away from our troubles, from those who challenge our faith in Jesus, from fear, licking our wounds?
We should no longer be a slave to fear, for we are children of Almighty God, as the song says. Lay it down, the fear in me. Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.


The three phenomena, wind, earthquake, and fire, announced the imminent arrival of the Lord (Ex.19; Ps. 18; Hab.3). The Lord's self-revelation to Elijah came in a faint, whispering voice. The lesson for Elijah was that Almighty God was quietly, sometimes imperceptibly doing HIs work in Israel. (The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

In Experiencing God Day-By-Day, a devotional book by Henry and Richard Blackaby they explain this passage:

God came not in fire or in a loud, spectacular way, but in a still small voice. Elijah had allowed his circumstances to overwhelm him, leaving him disoriented to God and feeing alone. So God encouraged him. If you are overwhelmed by kingdom work so that your focus is no longer on God but on all that there is to do, let Him comfort you. Listen to His gentle voice. He will encourage you and provide exactly what you need to prepare you for what comes next. If you need removed from your work for a time, He will. He may place a friend or co-laborer beside you to help carry the load. God knows exactly how to encourage you. Let Him do so.

Here is some advice found in Life Application Study Bible:
Elijah realized that God doesn't reveal Himself only in powerful, miraculous ways. To look for God only in something big (rallies, churches, conferences, highly visible leaders) may be to miss Him because He is often found gently whispering in the quietness of a humbled heart. Are you listening for God? Step back from the noise and activity of your busy life and listen humbly and quietly for His guidance. It may come when you least expect it.

Today, we are staying with Elijah on the mountain, coming out of the cave of hiding, then listening to the Lord God. Maybe you need to do the same this weekend. I know that I certainly do. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, dear ones. If we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.
God is faithful, gracious, promise-keeper, rescuer...whatever we need, He is ready to provide.
Have a great weekend.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  Psalm 46:10


Spend time with God, listening for His still small voice.

Open my heart to God for His working in me.

Trust and obey God.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rise Above My Pity Tree

O. T. #801  "Rise Above My Pity Tree"
July 28, 2016
1Kings 19-Part 3
So he got up...  1 Kings 19:8


"Get up and eat!" an angel touched Elijah and told him a second time while he was sleeping under the tree, his pitiful pity tree. "Eat some more or the journey ahead will be too much for you," was the angel's instruction. So Elijah did. Now the thing is, this food and drink gave him was enough to strength him to travel 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Sinai which about a 200 mile treck.

Jesus and I had a talk under my pity tree-mostly I listened. He clarified the issues that put me there, putting them in perspective. My instructions were to continue on, get up and eat from His banqueting table the food for my soul which He had prepared for me-His Word. His hand was held out to me. I took it and rose from my sitting in self pity under my juniper tree.

The preacher made the message clear and I had to choose. Well, I didn't want to be poor, blind, and naked spiritually like the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3. It was time to get real, a self-assessment. Certainly, I did not wish to be a lukewarm Christian, going through the motions. My desire was for Christ to live in me, to live the extraordinary life with Him.

Once again the most difficult challenge was issued to me one more time- in Matthew 16:24 Jesus said, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Can I be honest here? It has been the hardest thing for me to do in my lifetime, over and over to apply. There it was, I could quit all my ways of serving Jesus, give up all my responsibilities, and become a lukewarm pitiful pew warmer or rise up above the pain, disappointments, and struggles, forgive and be filled with the joy of Jesus.

Obviously, I am slowly rising up. It's a slow process for me-forgive this one, forgive that one, treat them as if the thing never happened-love them through Jesus. Folks, that was/is a giant glass of tea! That meant I had to deny my right to be hurt, upset, even angry at them, stop resenting them hurting me, die on that cross of self pity, give it to Jesus, and follow Him. After all, He did so for me. It was a higher calling, to rise above those issues.

So every time I see those people who hurt me, I have to make a conscious choice-forgive or not forgive, love or not love, treat them like Jesus does or not. Surely I will get passed this and it will become easier. Yep, experience has taught me that it will as time passes. I am an overcomer, as the song says. Don't quit! Don't give in! Be an overcomer!


The journey must have been difficult for Elijah, but I wonder if he was  walking and talking with Jesus as he went.

Verse 9a says he came to a cave, where he spent the night. The Lord asked Elijah what he was doing there.
Elijah stated his case in verse 10: I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.

(Wait a minute, Elijah, you were told a hundred had been hid in  caves.)
Well, who hasn't felt all alone in serving? I am doing this and no one else cares if it gets done or not. No one else will help me. Forget it, I'll just quit, too.
They were trying to kill Elijah? As I recall, Jezebel was the one who issued the death threat. Did Elijah think her 400 prophets that were left were pursuing him? Or was it an excuse?

The Lord told Elijah to go out and stand before Him on the mountain. He did. Next time we will discuss what happened.


                              ...and let God handle those people.
                              ...and deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus.
                              ...and be an overcomer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Elijah and Me Under the Pity Tree

O. T. #800  "Elijah and Me Under the Pity Tree"
July 27, 2016
1 Kings 19-Part 2
He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. verse 4


Move over, Elijah. I need to sit with you under your juniper tree. My battle has been going on for 5 weeks now and I am growing weary and beat up. Want to join us? I've had enough, too.

God's victory proved He is all-powerful and Baal is not. Israel killed the 450 prophets of Baal, the false god of Queen Jezebel. She sends a life threat to Elijah, he gets scared and runs to the wilderness.

How many times have I wanted to run away, leave it all for someone else to handle? When people's hateful words have cut me into pieces, I sit bleeding. When lack of commitment leaves me stressed, searching for replacements, I want to scream. When they turn away, leaving me, my hands are empty and my heart is throbbing from the pain. My strength is drained.
Elijah said his bedtime prayer, telling God he had had enough, and asked God to take his life, let him die, then fell asleep. Looks like I am in good company.
Say, did I see Job, Moses, Jonah keeping Elijah company when I walked up to join this pity party? Some party-the host is sleeping. Misery loves company, so let me die with you, Elijah. Life is too much for me to handle all these issues. Let's go on to heaven and have a great time. I give up. Let someone else take over in my place; I've had it; it's over. I fell asleep too, sitting under Elijah's tree, which only lasts a few hours because of the stress pressing on me.

Anyone been there?


What happened next?
  • An angel visited and touched Elijah, waking him up with a message.
  • The angel told him to get up and eat. So Elijah ate the bread and drank the water provided, then laying down again.
  • A second time the angle told Elijah to eat and drink some more, or the journey would be too much for him.
  • He did such, and the food gave Elijah enough strength to travel 40 days and nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. This was about 200 miles that he walked.
  • There he came to a cave and spent the night. Tradition says that this cave was the cleft of the rock where God allowed Moses to see His back side, when HIs glory passed by (Ex. 33:32).
Awake our soul, Lord Jesus. Feed my soul with Your Words of encouragement. come Holy Spirit and fill my thirsty soul.

It is encouraging to know that even when the child of God is backslidden, and discouraged, God cares for him in grace. (Wiersbe)

Centuries later, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus would meet together on a mountaintop (Luke 9:28-36).

Breathe, God is here, and you are loved. I just heard it on the radio. We are never too far gone, friend, that God's hand can't reach down and nourish us spiritually, heal our cuts by changing them into scars for Jesus.  Hold on just a little bit longer-He knows this will make us stronger.We must let the light of Jesus come into our dark world and bring new hope and fresh joy.



Let God have the past and look to Him for my future.

Let God make me stronger through this storm.

He came and rescued me today. Took me by the hand and lifted me up from under my pity tree and out of my pity party.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Death Threat and Desertion

O. T. #799  "Death Threat and Desertion"
July 26, 2016
1 Kings 19


God revealed Himself to be Supreme God Almighty as He devoured with fire Elijah's sacrifice, wooden altar, and water surrounding it in a trench. Then Elijah killed the 450 prophets of Baal, the false god and idol which Israel had previously worshiped. He prayed and God sent rain after 3 1/2 years.
When King Ahab reached home, what was the first thing he did but tell his wife, Jezebel, everything that Elijah had done, including killing the prophets of Baal.
How did Jezebel react? She sent a death threat to Elijah, saying, May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow if I have not killed you just as you killed them. (verse 2)

Jezebel's rejection of God's signs and the determined, defiant way in which she later face death (2 Kings 9:330-31) demonstrate her character as a person who did what she wanted, no matter the consequences. Sin breeds this self-destructive heedlessness. (Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary)

Did she not listen to what Elijah's God had done? Did she not realize that that same God who sent fire and rain could also take her life in order to protect His prophet? Was she challenging God? Why didn't she stop to think that the One who gave her life could also take her life?
Obviously, she did not know God since she was a foreigner who lived among the idol worshipers.


What does Elijah do after receiving Jezebel's death threat?
  • Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. (verse 3)
  • His focus was on the woman and not God's Word; he listened to threats instead of God's promises.
  • Some describe him as being exhausted physically and emotionally, fatigued and discouraged, despondent and in need of rest, weary and drained, a man of like passions as us and subject to like trials and failures as we  believers.
  • He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, about a day and a half away.
  • Elijah left his servant in Beersheba and he went alone into the wilderness, traveling all day.
  • He sat under a juniper (broom) tree, which was a desert shrub that could reach the height of 12 feet. 
  • Elijah had abandoned a nation in need of spiritual leadership and requested that he might die.

Why does he not pray to God before running away? We know his prayers got answered. For a moment, Elijah acted in fear rather than faith. He didn't run to God, but ran away. The queen had threatened to kill him, but God was not going to let that happen. Elijah had more to do in kingdom work.
However, we are going to leave Elijah sitting under his pitiful tree having a pity-party, with only one present.


Run to God instead of running away.


Monday, July 25, 2016

The Outcome at Mt. Carmel

O. T. #798  "The Outcome at Mt. Carmel"
July 25, 2016
1 Kings 18-Part 5
A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm...  1 Kings 18:45b NLT


God had shown His supremacy to Elijah by providing an unending supply of food for the prophet and widow. Then again to him and all the people of Israel, the 450 prophets of Baal, and the king when He consumed Elijah's sacrificial bull, the wood upon which it was offered, and the 12 barrels of water in the trench surrounding it, with fire at Mt. Carmel.  God flashed fire from heaven for His servant Elijah. The false god Baal could neither send fire nor rain for his followers. Two more times on that day, God would demonstrate his deity and unlimited power. Let's check them out.

After Elijah killed the 450 prophets of Baal, he told Ahab to get something to eat and drink, for Elijah heard a mighty rainstorm coming. Would Ahab do so in celebration of the ending drought that was coming according to Elijah?

Meantime, Elijah climbed to the top of Mt. Carmel again.
What happened next?
  • Elijah bowed low to the ground, with his head between his knees and prayed to his God.    (verse 42) We see this humble submission of Elijah as he prayed for rain.
  • Elijah sent his servant to go watch the horizon toward the Mediterranean Sea, but returned with a negative result. Seven times Elijah gave his servant the same instructions with the same result-no clouds, 6 times. What would you do?
  • However, on the seventh return from looking toward the sea for a raincloud, the servant reported having seen a little cloud in the distance the size of a man's hand.
  • Elijah sent his servant to King Ahab and tell him to return home before the heavy rains bogged down his chariots.
  • but Ahab did not leave toward Jezreel , his winter capital, some 15-25 miles away, until the sky was black with clouds and a heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm.
 Sounds like Ahab didn't have much faith in what Elijah said nor in God's rain ability. Do we have to see it to believe it instead of having faith in God's Word?

Elijah prayed seven times for rain to fall on Carmel. Sometimes peace comes instantly; other times it comes slowly as a person lingers before God's throne. Elijah is an example of how the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much (James 5:16-18).   (David Jeremiah)


The second miraculous event on that day was seen when God supernaturally empowered Elijah with strength to run after Ahab's chariot and pass it, running the 15-25 miles as a foot runner.

Amid a torrential rain the vindicated prophet humbled himself to be Ahab's forerunner. (Falwell)

A different look at this strength is found in Life Application Study Bible:
Elijah ran six miles back to the city in order to give Ahab a last chance to turn from his sin before joining Jezebel in Jezereel. His run also ensured that the correct story of what happened reached Jezereel. God will help us accomplish what He commands us to do. The proof may not be as dramatic in our lives as in Elijah's, but God will make resources available to us in creative ways to accomplish His purposes. He will give us the wisdom to raise a family, the courage to take a stand for truth, or the means to provide what we need to carry it through.
Can anyone use some of God's supernatural strength to carry those heavy burdens, to keep on running the race of faith, to stay in the fight for His purposes, endure the fire? Do our prayers change things?

Do it again, Jesus, just one more time, or maybe two more times, as was Elijah's case.
Elijah experienced God working in his life through prayer. Do we pray 7 times for kingdom work?


Keep praying.

Look for God's resources to provide for His purposes to be accomplished.

Ask for wisdom, courage, and the means to do His will in my life.

Expect some fire with the refreshing rain in my life.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Showdown is Over

O. T. #797  "The Showdown is Over"
July 22, 2016
1 Kings 18-Part 4


The challenge is on. All day the prophets of Baal prayed, cried, and shouted to their unalive and unreal god, Baal, with no sound, no reply, no response. God was about to make a spectacular and convincing display of His power to everyone present.

What did God's Prophet Elijah do?
  • He called the people to gather around.
  • Then he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down.
  • Elijah took 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, to rebuild the altar in the Lord's name.
  • He dug a trench around the altar, which was large enough to hold3 gallons of water.
  • Next, he piled the wood on the altar and cut up the bull into pieces, laying it on the wood.
  • The prophet instructed that 4 large jars of water be poured over the offering and the wood 3 times. It ran over the altar and filled the trench.
Elijah had made it impossible for man to cause a fire to consume the offering. Only God could do it with all that water around it, plus wet wood.
When things are impossible, are we trusting the God of possibilities?


Elijah prayed:
  • proclaiming God as the God of Israel,
  • asked God to prove Himself as the God of Israel,
  • asking God to prove that he was God's servant,
  • for God to prove that Elijah did all that at God's command,
  • for God to answer his prayer s the people would know He was God and He brought them back to Himself.

How did God answer Elijah's prayer?
Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water trench! (verse 38 NLT)

When all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, "The LORD-He is God! Yes, the LORD is God!

Then Elijah commanded the prophets of Baal be seized, not even one allowed to escape. Elijah too the 450 prophets of Baal down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there.

Whew! The showdown was over and God was victorious. God showed Himself to be God. He had established His reputation for responding by fire. (Gen. 19:24; Lev. 10:2; 2 Chron. 7:1)

God had told Israel in Deuteronomy 13 to kill false prophets. God was about to make one more display of His deity. We will discuss it next time.


Watch God work around me.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Let the Showdown Begin

O. T. #796  "Let the Showdown Begin"
July 21, 2016
1 Kings 18-Part 3
The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!  1 Kings 18:24


Elijah's primary assignment was to announce when a drought would begin and end (1 Kings 17:1). god had told him  to proclaim to king Ahab that the drought was an act of judgment upon a people who worshiped idols rather than God. (Blackaby)

All of Israel was present; the 450 prophets of Baal was present; King Ahab was present, as well as Prophet Elijah. It was time to let the showdown begin. (However, Jezebel and her 400 prophets of Asherah were not present.)

  • Elijah challenged Israel to stop hopping back and forth between two opinions; if the LORD is God, then worship Him, or if Baal is god, then worship him. In other words, stop hopping from one branch to another like a bird without deciding where to sit. Make a decision today.
  • How long would Israel wait? How many more sermons to hear while they keep rejecting God? How many more wasted Sundays worshiping both deities? How many more warnings, graves, years of drought before they turned to God in repentance? What about us?
  • How did the people respond? They were completely silent.
  • Elijah requested two bulls for the sacrifices; he even let the prophets of Baal choose which one they would use as a sacrifice, cutting it into pieces and laying it on the wood of their altar of Baal worship, without setting it on fire.
  • Elijah did the same, preparing a wooden altar on which to sacrifice the bull to his God, El Shaddiah, without setting it on fire.
  • Boththe prophets of Baal and Elijah were to call upon the name of their god.
What was the challenge? The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God! Notice that all the people agreed to this challenge in verse 24.

Are you hopping around, Sunday to Sunday, without direction for your life? May I suggest the solution? Bow down and submit to the One True God at His altar of sacrifice.


So, the altars and sacrifices were ready without fire. Whichever god lit he fire proved himself to be the most powerful-Jehovah or Baal. Perhaps you have read or heard this story many times and know the outcome. Yet, there may be some of you who do not know what happens. Either way, please stay with me.

What occurs this day?
  • Elijah lets Baal's prophets go first. They prepared the bull and placed it upon their altar.
  • Then they called upon the name of Baal, from morning to noon, praying and shouting.
  • There was no answer, so they danced and hobbled around the altar they had made.

How did Elijah react? Liberty Bible Commentary gives us insight.
At noon, Elijah began mocking the Baal prophets:
  • Cry aloud; speak up so he can hear you, for you say he is a god.
  • Perhaps he is talking, musing, thinking the matter over. 
  • Or he is pursuing or gone aside, a euphemism for reliving himself.
  • Or he is on a journey, contrasting or God whose presence we cannot escape. (P. 39:7-10)
  • Or he sleepeth, yet the God that kept Israel neither slumbered nor slept. (Ps. 121:3-4)
Hoping to arouse Baal's attention, the prophets submitted themselves to self-torture by slashing themselves with knives and lances. They worked themselves into a frenzy, didn't they? Such a barbarious religion. Through it all, in spite of all its prophets had done, Baal still did not respond by evening. Of course not, for he was only a non-living idol made of stone and man's hands.

God makes a spectacular entrance on the scene, but we will discuss it tomorrow.

Power, status, appearance, or material possessions can become our gods if we devote our lives to them. but when we reach times of crisis and desperately call out to these gods, there will only be silence.  The can offer no true answers, no guidance, and no wisdom.  (Life Application Study Bible)

To what extremes do people go to serve their gods? To get answers?
Some are willing to die or kill others for their false god.


Turn from any idols in my life in repentance.

Cling to the One and Only True God.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Showdown at Mt. Carmel

O. T #795  "Showdown at Mt. Camel"
July 20, 2016
1 Kings 18-Part 2


I still like watching westerns on tv, as I did when I was a kid. Many a time there was a showdown, or a shoot out, in the middle of the streets of town, to prove which man was the best. Seems like we have one here today in our study, although it is not with guns.

Elijah sent King Ahab's servant, Obadiah, to meet with him and settle this. Three and one half years of drought and famine in Israel was blamed on Elijah, according to Ahab. (Evil kings hated God's prophets because they spoke against sin and idolatry and undermined their control over the people. Elijah wasn't going to stand for that and told the truth-Ahab and his family had disobeyed God's commands and worshiped the images of Baal instead. (That was the reason for the drought, it was God's judgment on Israel.)

Elijah told Ahab to summon all Israel to join him at Mt. Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, were supported by Jezebel.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary explains:
Mt. Carmel was on the Carmel range of mountains, rising to 1,800 at its highest point, extends about 30 miles to the southeast from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea into the south of the Jezreel Valley. A series of rounded peaks and valleys, it became a symbol of beauty and fruitfulness because of its lush tree cover (Song 7:5; Is. 35:2). It is not known at exactly what point along this ridge the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal took place. The queen cared for 850 false prophets who were associated with her.

What do we do when the challenging of our faith is issued? Do we surrender all to God or try to work it out self?

Mt. Carmel was of significance to both worshipers of Yahweh and Baal.
"What better place to decide who is God, what prophets tell the truth, and which leaders benefit or harm the people," Paul House observed.

By the way, the 400 prophets of Asherah did not show up at the showdown.


When they met, Elijah issued the challenge:

How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (verse 21)

Halting between two opinions literally means along on or between two twigs. Israel had not totally rejected the Lord, but was seeking to combine worship of Him with Baal. The issue posed by Elijah was that Israel had to choose who was God, the Lord or Baal, and then serve God wholeheartedly. Rather than decide by his message, Elijah sought a visible sign from heaven. (MacArthur)

This is reminiscent of Joshua's challenge to Israel, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." (Joshua 24:15) Baalism would accommodate other gods, but Jehovah demanded total and uncompromising loyalty and worship. For all practical purposes, Elijah stood alone as God's spokesman because the hundred prophets hidden away by Obadiah were inactive.(Falwell)

Why did so many people waver between the two choices? Maybe hey enjoyed the sinful pleasures, or the benefits of following the king into idolatry.
It is important to take a stand for the Lord, if we just drift along with whatever is pleasant and easy, we will someday discover that we have been worshiping a false god-ourselves. (Life Application Study Bible)


Let god be God and follow Him.

Serve God wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Get Ready For a Showdown

O. T. #794  "Get Ready for a Showdown"
July 19, 2016
1 Kings 18
Now go and tell... 1 Kings 18:8


We have read of the miracles which God performed in and through His prophet Elijah during the three year drought in Israel-food by ravens for Elijah, an unending supply of  flour and oil for a widow, and the resuscitation of the dead son of that widow.

Elijah was blamed for he drought and famine in Israel by King Ahab, calling him troubler of Israel. the irony is that Ahab was actually the cause of Israel's trouble due to his idolatry. So far, the pagan god of Baal, who was the storm god believed to be the provider of rain, was not doing his job, nor had the ability. Also, Baal did not bring the boy back to life either, as the Canaanite myths claimed.

The time had come for the showdown between God and evil, between the two deities worshiped in Israel-Jehovah and Baal.

Who is this Obadiah that comes on the scene?
  • He was a secret servant of the Lord.
  • He is also serving in the court of King Ahab. This is not the same Obadiah who wrote the small Old Testament book after that same name. Apparently  Obadiah was a common name, used to refer to 11 different men other than the minor prophet who lived during the time of the Edomites attack on Jerusalem mentioned in 2 Kings 8.  
  • He was a compromising believer, serving King Ahab and the LORD.
  • He did not know what was going on nor the showdown that was about to take place.
  • He was out looking for grass for the king's horses and mules to eat when Obadiah encountered Elijah.
  • He was a frightened servant who did not trust Elijah.
  • Obadiah bragged about his secret service to impress Elijah with his devotion. (verse 13)
  • When Queen Jezebel sought to kill all of the Lord's prophets, Obadiah hid 100 of the in two caves. (She worshiped the pagan god Baal.)
Are we secret Christians? Or do we let others know it is the LORD God Almighty that we serve?
Are we compromisers, serving the world and the Lord?


King Ahab had sent Obadiah into the land to look for grass that his horses and mules could eat during this 3 year drought. When Obadiah was out walking, he saw Elijah coming toward him. Obadiah bowed low to the ground asking, Is it really you, my lord Elijah?

What happened next?
  • Elijah answered yes, it was him.
  • Elijah told Obadiah to go tell his master that Elijah was here.
  • Afraid for his life, Obadiah questioned why the prophet was sending him to his death at the hands of Ahab.
  • Ahab had searched every nation and kingdom looking or Elijah.
  • Obadiah was afraid that the Holy Spirit would move Elijah on before Ahab could get there.
  • Elijah swore that he would present himself to Ahab that day and he kept his word.
What are we afraid of, to encounter, to wait for?


Follow, move, go, when Jesus says to do so.

Stay, remain, wait, when Jesus says to do so.

Listen and obey.

Go and tell others about Jesus the One and Only Savior.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Is Your Faith Jug Empty?

O. T. #793  "Is Your Faith Jug Empty?"
July 18, 2016
1 Kings 17-Part 2
And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little coking oil in the bottom of the jug.  1 Kings 17:12c


Has your energy run out? Are your resources depleted? Is your faith jug empty? Are you running dry with no where to turn for a refill? Elijah and Israel was in the middle of a three year drought, which God brought on for His judgment against Israel. They were idolaters. Today, I am like Israel-my faith jug is empty.
However, Elijah experienced hope for the hopeless and help for the helpless. God was his source.

Last time we saw Prophet Elijah sitting by the Brook of Cherith, which was a tributary of the Jordan River, on the east side. His food was flown in by ravens and the brook provided fresh water, until it dried up. Elijah had to trust in God, not the brook. God had another place for him to go.

What happens next to Elijah?
  • God sent Eljah to the Phoencian costal town of Zarephath.
  • God had instructed a widow woman to feed him there.
  • When Elijah arrived a the gate of the city, he saw that widow gathering sticks for the fire to cook her and her son's last supper.
  • Elijah asked her to bring him a cup of water and a little bread.
  • The widow told him that she had no bread in her house, only a handful of flour and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. She was expecting to die after her last meal.
  • Elijah told her to not be afraid; go and do as she intended; first bring him a little bread.
  • The God of Israel spoke through Elijah, There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again!
The continual supply of meal and oil was truly a miracle. (Falwell)

The widow, her family, and Elijah continued to eat for many days. (verse 15)

All God asks is that we give Him what we have, and He will take care of the rests. He can feed thousands with only a few loves and fishes. (Wiersbe)

God continued to give the widow what she needed because she showed her faith by giving to His prophet. God's supply is never ending and available. Are you in need? He wants to be our supply of spiritual food and oil through the Holy Spirit. Send us ravens, Lord. Our faith jug us empty.


Some time later the woman's son became sick, grew worse, and died. In her sorrow, the widow blamed Elijah for the death of her son. Elijah took the boy's corpse upstairs to his private guest room. This is the first instance of resurrection in the Bible. Elijah knew god could raise the dead boy to life again, and He did just that.

The woman told Elijah, Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the LORD truly speaks through you.

This miracle teaches us three things:
  1. Not all illness is the result of sin.
  2. God has power over sickness and death.
  3. The purpose of the signs was to produce faith in God's Word. (MacArthur)

Do others know we are a man or woman of God? Do they recognize that God speaks through us?

We have read of the private ministry of Elijah through the dry brook, depleted barrel, and dead boy. coming up is the public ministry of Elijah.


Seek God to keep my faith jug full.

Trust Jesus in everything.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

When No Rain Comes

O. T. #792  "When No Rain Comes"
July 12, 2016
1 Kings 17
But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land. 
1 Kings 17:7


When God sends us to camp at a brook and no rain comes, what do we do? When there is no harvest, no wheat for flour, what do we eat? Does our faith expect ravens to come feed us and a brook to keep flowing during a drought? Elijah experienced these things in today's reading.

Whenever the nation fell into sin and idolatry, God sent prophets to call it back to the true faith. The prophet was not simply a "foreteller"; he was also a "forth-teller" who announced God's judgment and exposed the sins of the people. (Wiersbe)

In Israel King Ahab had married Jezebel, who worshiped the pagan god Baal. Baal was worshiped as the god who provided rains and bountiful harvests. Ahab built a temple and an altar for her god in order to please her (16:32) So idolatry was promoted, thus leading the entire nation into sin. There were few priest from the tribe of Levi left in Israel, for they had gone to Judah. Those appointed by Ahab were corrupt and ineffective. Israel was without a godly king or priests to bring God's Word to the people. Israel was in a sad state spiritually and morally.

Hang on though, for God is preparing to send on the scene a prophet named Elijah. Who is this Elijah?
His name Elijah means the LORD is God, Jehovah is God, Hebrew.
  • He was living in Tishbe in Gilead, so it is possible that he was a non-Hebrew settler, since a Hebrew was typically described in terms of his tribe and family. (Holman)
  • Elijah's rustic appearance set him apart as someone different.
  • God sent Elijah to King Ahab, unannounced, with a message-there would be no dew or rain for (3) years according to His Word. (verse 1)
  • He proclaims himself as God's servant as he delivered a divine pronouncement. (Falwell)
In these two chapters we see Elijah obeying two commandments from the Lord: Go hide yourself, and Go show yourself. Wiersbe says that "Apparently the drought had begun six months before Elijah suddenly appeared in Ahab's court to proclaim that the drought would last another three years."

Although Ahab had a strong military defense, he could not could not help stop the drought. The priests of Baal could not bring rain. God was about to show Himself more powerful than any pagan idol.


God told Elijah exactly what to do and where to go. We see his private ministry and three challenges Elijah encountered.
  1. The dry brook (verses 2-7) Elijah was sent to a specific brook to drink from, and  ravens with bread and meat twice a day, as God provided.
  2. The depleted barrel (verses 8-16)
  3. The dead boy (verses 17-24) (Wiersbe)

Looking at the first one, we see that God sent His servant and prophet Elijah to a specific place, the Brook of Cherith. God's miraculous and amazing provisions of food and water happened during a time when God had cut it off from Israel. There was no rainfall anywhere in the land, so the brook dried up. (verse 7)

If you are in a hopeless situation or encountering a bitter trial, friend, look to God's caring touch. He my provide from an unusual source.
Are we open to go where He leads? Where You go, I'll go; where You stay, I'll stay; I will trust in You, Jesus.


Be of courage and encouragement to others.

Realize that God is still on the throne. His resources are never ending.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Did More, Even More

O. T. #791 "Did More, Even More
July 8, 2016
1 Kings 16-Part 2


Well, here comes King Ahab on the scene in Israel. He reigned 22 years in Samaria. What else do we know about Ahab, but that he married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians?
But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the LORD's sight, even more than any of the kings before him. (verse 30)
  • He began to bow down in worship of Baal after he married the one and only Jezebel.
  • First Ahab built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria.
  • Then he set up an Asherah pole.
  • He did more to provoke the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him.
Who would want to be remembered for having done more evil than others and having done more to provoke the anger of the Lord God? Not me, not me, please don't let it be me. I want to be remembered as having been a faithful, loving servant of God.

Later on we will read of the prophets that God sends to confront King Ahab, especially Elijah and show Himself more powerful than any pagan god. We'll be back to visit Ahab.


It was during Ahab's reign that Hiel, a man from Bethel, rebuilt Jericho. When he laid its foundations, it cost him the life of his oldest son, Abiram. When it was completed and its gates set up, it cost him the life of his youngest son, Segub. What is significant of this?

In Joshua 6 :26, Joshua foretold these things happening to the one who rebuilt the city of Jericho, after God brought down its walls and Israel got the treasures. Also, Rahab and her family were saved due to her faith in the God of the spies.

Even 500 years later, God keeps his Word. If only someone had read that Scripture to Hiel so he would not have rebuilt Jericho, his sons would have been spared.

Baal worship penetrated into Judah and corrupted the line of David, causing a gigantic struggle before Baalism was officially eradicated in both Israel and Judah (2 Kings 9-12). Of all Israel's kings, Ahab outraged the Lord most (verse 33)    (MacArthur)

Baal, means lord, husband, owner, according to The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Baal was the predominant god in Canaanite religion. They believed he was the storm god who brought them rain, necessary for fertile land. Baal's ability will soon be challenged and proven worthless idols. So join us next week for this exciting event.

Have we allowed anything to be more important than God in our life? Time to take inventory.


Hallelujah, our God reigns in heaven and gives rain upon earth.

Share the One and Only True Living God today with someone. 

Do more, even more in serving others with the love of Jesus than those around me.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Being It

O. T. #790  "Being It" 
JULY 7, 2016
1 Kings 16


There is a difference in knowing God's Word, will, and ways and doing it, obeying it, choosing it, being it. It's the living it and obeying it that counts. Israel was  mess at this time. By this time, they may not have been interested in God's Word, so maybe that is why He had to take drastic measures.

Now we turn to see what is going on in Israel-its decay. Their kings Jeroboam, Nadab, and Baasha were killed because Jeroboam led them away into sinful idolatry. Sin is always judged harshly, but the worst sinners are those who lead others into doing wrong. In Mark 9, Jesus said it would be better if those people had millstones tied around their nicks and were thrown into the sea. Teaching the truth is a responsibility that goes with the privilege of leadership. (Life Application Study Bible)

Israel did not have a King Asa that did good things for a while like Judah, such as turning from idol worship to worshiping God. There are 6 kings mentioned here, starting with Nadab ending with Ahab, and all of them did evil. Now that is not a good record for God's chosen people, special nation, to have such a reputation.

What encouragement can we get from all this evil? God was and is in control. He saw what was going on the whole time. He was preparing things, such as prophets to forewarn the kings and the Israelites and the Assyrians to capture them.
Do we realize that God does expect His people to live by His Book and share His salvation?


What's going on here? Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament gives us a summary:
  • King Nadab was slain by Baash during one of the battles with the Philistines.
  • Baasha reigned for 24years. 
  • His son, Elah, reigned less than 2 years and was killed by Zimri, who only led the nation for 1 week. (verse 15) It was during that time and his reign that the family of Baasha was wiped out, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Jehu. (verses 1-4)   
  • The army revolted and appointed Omri the new king.
  • Omri marched against Zimri, who set fire to the palace and committed suicide by perishing in the blaze. Omri ruled for 12 years and led the people into further sin.
  • HIs son, Ahab, married Jezebel, bringing Baal worship into Israel. His only claim to fame was the establishing of Samaria as the capital of the northern kingdom.
One after another did evil, led the people away from worshiping God. The people provoked the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, with their worthless idols. (verse 26)

The best way to build a godly nation, according to Wiersbe, is to have godly citizens in godly churches (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
What will we do?


God's Word-read it and live it.

God's Way-choose it and do it.

God's Will-find it and be it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


O. T. #789 "Schemes"
July 6, 2016
1 Kings 15-Part 3
He sent it...1 Kings 15:18


Do you know people who get angry when they don't get their way and scheme to bring it about? At any cost, at other's cost, not matter who or what is destroyed, they must have their way. How sad. Today, the godly Asa, king of Judah, turns to men and not God. He schemes to get his way. Do we?

Asa was a good king of Judah, which was a welcome after all those years of evil rulers they had. He attempted to take away the sins established by Rehoboam. He even deposed his own mother because she was an idol worshiper. There was a brief period of rest and revival under Asa's leadership. Sad to say, his reign did not end as well as it began, for he trusted in men for protection and failed to trust in the Lord. (Wiersbe)

Many people living in Israel left and moved to Judah during Asa's reign when they saw the LORD his God was with him. King Asa repaired the altar of the Lord, which stood at the entry room of the Temple. In Judah, they sacrificed to the LORD 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep and goats from the plunder they had taken in the battle. Also, gold and silver was taken into the Temple. They even took an oath to the Lord declaring their faithfulness to Him. King Asa's heart remained completely faithful throughout his life, according to 2 Chronicles 15:17.

The people sought after God and found Him (2 Chronicles 15:15), as God had said earlier through Azariah. The Lord gave Judah rest from their enemies on every side. Sounds like a wonderful place and time to live, doesn't it?


On the other hand, there was a constant war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel, who replaced Nadab after Jeroboam. Sounds like Baasha was tired of loosing his people by their moving into Judah. so he captured the city of Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving Judah.

How did King Asa respond?
  • He devised a plan, starting with the removing all the silver and gold left in the treasuries of the Temple and the royal palace.
  • He sent it and some officials to the king of Aram, Ben-hadad, who was ruling Damascus with a message.
  • The message asked for a treaty between the two kings and Ben-hadad to break his treaty with King Baasha of Israel so he'd leave Asa alone. Really? An ungodly alliance? What happened to your heart Asa? Where is your faith in the Lord to protect you?
  • Ben-hadad agreed and sent commanders of his army to attack those Israeli cities that Baasha had captured. It worked. As soon as Baasha heard what was happening, he abandoned his project of fortifying Ramah and withdrew.
  • Then Asa sent word in Judah that everyone was required to help carry away the building stones and timbers of Baasha had been using to fortify Ramah. He used those materials to fortify the cities of Geba and Mizpah

King Asa was told by Hanani that since he trusted in men for protection instead of trusting in the Lord, he blew the chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Because he had earlier  relied upon the Lord Asa was given victory. Because Asa had acted foolishly, he was going to have wars
from then on. Asa had Hanani put in stock in prison because of his angry reaction to this message. He also began to oppress some of his people. My goodness, what a turn around, Asa.

2 Chronicles 16:9a says For the eyes of the LORD run to and from throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.

Does God find us faithful when He looks for faithful ones serving and praising Him?
Is  our heart strengthened by Him because it is fully committed to Him?


Learn from Asa and not scheme to override God's plans for me.

Keep my heart committed to doing God's work His way.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Strong and Courageous

O. T. #788  "Be Strong and Courageous"
July 5, 2016
1 Kings 15-Part 2


We have seen Solomon's kingdom divided into to kingdoms. His son Rehoboam did evil in the sight of the Lord. He made detestable idols and shrines for Judah to have to worship pagan gods. Egypt came and took all the valuables in the Temple during his time as king. His son Abijam, or Abijah, as he was called, committed the same sins as is father. He only red 3 years, although he defeated Jeroboam in Israel in battle.

Sound the trumpet, friends, for a good king is on the scene! Asa, who was Abijah's son and Rehoboam's grandson, and Solomon's great-grandson, becomes king over Judah.

Asa did what was pleasing in the LORD's sight, as his ancestor David had done. (verse 11)

What else did King Asa do in Judah?
  • He banished the male and female shrine prostitutes from the land.
  • He got rid of the idols his ancestors had made. (verse 12)
  • He even disposed of his grandmother Maccah from her position as queen mother because she had mad n obscene Asherah pole, which Asa cut down and burnt in the Kidron Valey.
  • Although the pagan shrines were not removed, Asa's heart remained faithful to the LORD throughout his life.
  • He brought into the Temple of the LORD the silver and gold and various items that he and his father had dedicated. (NIV)
Is that a good king or what? He accomplished so good things, didn't he? Are we praying for a good president to turn the hearts of our nation back to the Lord God and remove the sinful laws concerning abortion and homosexuality? And stop the shrines being built here.
Jesus is the hope for the hopeless. There is no one like our God.


As I read in the Chronological Bible, 2 Chronicles 15 informs us that God's Spirit spoke to Azariah with a Word from God saying:
  • The LORD would stay with them as long as they stayed with Him.
  • Whenever they sought God, they would find Him.
  • If they abandoned God, He would abandon them.
  • For a long time Israel was without the True God, without a priest to teach them, without the Law to instruct them.
  • But whenever they were in trouble, hey would turn to God and find Him.
  • God was troubling them with every kind of problem.
  • But as for you, Asa, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.
Some of the Israelite people from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon had moved to Judah during Asa's reign as king because they saw that the Lord was with him. They agreed that anyone who refused to seek the LORD, the God of Israel, would be put to death, making this a loyal oath to the Lord.

Now that is what I call a complete turn around. Isn't that what repentance means?

I needed to hear this encouragement-be strong and courageous, for my work will be rewarded. I have spent long hours last week decorating the walls in preparation for our church having Vacation Bible School next week. Still there is more to prepare. Some of us have gone out 3 times visiting and have one more scheduled. Our heart is to reach the children, youth, and their parents with the love and salvation of Jesus Christ in our area.
Please pray for our church starting Sunday.

Now dear one, I pray you too will find encouragement from the Lord.


Remove anything is has become more important than God.

Keep my heart faithful to the Lord throughout my life.

Share the good news that Jesus reigns as king in my heart.

Ask the Lord what is pleasing to Him and do it.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Lamp

O. T. #787  "A Lamp"
July 4, 2016
1 Kings 15

 Thanking God that we still have the freedom of religion in USA today and for all those who have sacrificed for it.


King David and King Solomon's kingdom was divided into two kingdoms, the northern Israel and the southern Judah, as we well know. David's heart had remained loyal to God, in spite of his adulterous affair resulting in the death of Uriah the Hittite and the death of his baby son. Sadly though, their descendant Rehoboam, the next king of Judah, led his people into idolatry. We find out from 2 Chronicles 11 that Rehoboam had 18 wives, which included 2 cousins, and 60 concubines. With those he had 28 sons and 60 daughters. Rehoboam was 41 years old when he became king and reigned 17 years. He was an evil king and did not seek the LORD with all his heart.

Rehoboam appointed the son of his wife and cousin Maacah (who was the daughter of Absolom), Abijah. as leader among the princes, making it clear that he would be the next king.
Abijah only ruled over Judah for 3 years, due to the grace of God, for he was as wicked as his father.
Verse 1 tells us that Abijah became king of Judah during the 18th year of Jeroboam as king over Israel.

Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem. (verse 4)

This word lamp refers to a light, according to Young.

In faithfulness to David who had been a righteous king, God maintained a Davidic lamp in Jerusalem. (Falwell)

Is our faithfulness to God continuing to our next generation? Is our light of faith shinning for Jesus in our community? Are we letting His light shine in our life?


In 2 Chronicles 13, we read of a battle between Abijah and Jeroboam of Israel. Abijah shouted to his opposer that the LORD was Judah's God and they did not abandon Him like Israel did. Jeroboam had done away with the Levitical priesthood and appointed his own priests to serve idols. God defeated Jeroboam. Abijah captured the cities of Bethel, Ephraim, and Jeshanah. Jeroboam never recovered from the battle and died.

What a mess this family became involved in throughout the years. David's polygamy continued down the line.


                              ...and let Jesus shine through me.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Riches Come and Go

O.T. #786  "Riches Come and Go"
July 1, 2016
1 Kings 14-Part 2
He ramsacked the treasuries of the LORD's Temple and the royal palace; he stole everything...
1 Kings 14:26


It happened as Prophet Ahijah had said to the queen of Israel. Her son died when she returned home, the dynasty of Jeroboam was later removed from his family due to his idolatry.

What's happening in the land of Judah?
  • Rehoboam, king of Judah and son of Solomon, was 41 when he began his 17 year reign as king. 
  • Not only did the Israelites worship pagan gods and establish their shrines of worship, but the tribe of Judah did also. 
  • They even set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree.
  • There were prostitutes, both male and female, throughout the land.
  • These people imitated the detestable practices of the pagan nations the LORD had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 
But the King was an evil king, for he did not seek the LORD with all his heart.
1 Chronicles 12:14

Judah did evil by building high places, images, and groves. (Falwell)

Folks, if Christians give up the fight, America will be like Israel and Judah in this time. Keep fighting the good fight, holding up the Biblical standards by which we live.


During Rehoboam's fifth year of reign the king of Egypt invaded the Lord's Temple and the royal palace, taking everything, including Solomon's gold shields. The glory of Solomon's state was short-lived, just 5 years after his death. So quickly did the glory money, and power disappear.

Judah outdid her ancestors in evil, provoking the Lord to jealous anger. (verse 22)
There was constant war between Jeroboam and Rehoboam.

How sad. We know what is down the road for both Israel and Judah, captivity by foreigners. Is our country close to the same thing?

On the other hand, Jesus is still on His throne, still LORD of lords and King of kings, Savior and Messiah.


Praise the Lord Jesus above all others.