Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Prophet

Devotion: 1 Kings 17:1

Into the tyrannical chaos created by Jeroboam and perpetuated by his various successors, culminating in the most vile of these men, King Ahab, God sends his man. Ahab had rebelled completely against the Lord and enough was enough.
"Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.' " -1 Kings 17:1 ESV
Elijah arrives on the scene with a bang. There is no antecedent for the prophet--he simply emerges from Gilead to proclaim God's wrath on Israel. The prophet makes a bold claim of drought and claims even more boldly that his word is the only way to lift the drought. A drought is a poetically appropriate way to call Israel to attention for since Israel left Egypt, they have had to rely on the Lord for precipitation to grow crops and raise pasture land for their herds (see Deut. 11:8-17). The blatant violation of the commands of the Lord led to the drought condition announced by the prophet.
So what do we make of the prophet? Many see here a proto-progressive, "speaking truth to power." That seems to me to be reading modern thinking into ancient events (i.e. eisegesis). No, Elijah is not a powerless prophet hoping to sway the powerful Ahab. Instead, Elijah is the powerful speaker on behalf of God bringing the petty tyrant to heel. Elijah, so far as he is faithful to the Lord, is the powerhouse in this story.
Perhaps this is the lesson for us today. If we speak truthfully on behalf of God, our words carry with them the very power of God to accomplish the task to which they are set. This is what happens when we proclaim the Gospel--we speak not merely the words of men, but the Word of God (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13). Elijah the prophet had power in his words because he spoke on behalf of the all-powerful God he served. Our words have the same power when they serve to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This is the Introduction to Mendelssohn's "Elijah Oratorio"

News for You:

  • Our annual Trunk-or-Treat will be 10/31 from 4-7 p.m. We could use some more cars to participate in this fun event.
  • Pick-a-party fundraisers for Chelan Camp, our youth outreach camp, are ongoing.
  • Interested in becoming a part of CPC Omak? Come to the discussion following worship on 10/21. Lunch will be provided.

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