Elijah

silver-leafs-291841_640James 5:17: Elijah was a human being with the same nature as us, and he prayed fervently for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.

His names communicates the pre-eminence of God and his life lived it out. When he saw the degradation of the worship of God in Israel, his soul was vexed (1Kings 17-19) just as the soul of righteous Lot was while he was in Sodom (2Peter 2:7). While Lot did not seek for a change, Elijah was not going to sit down and do nothing, he wanted a change.

So he prayed until something happened. He brought the hand of God on the land of Israel, while the nation was corrupted by foreign gods and false prophets. Elijah confronted King Ahab who was bent on moving the people away from God, down to the pit. He took on himself the responsibility of bringing them to God.

He prayed and seized the rain and he prayed again rain fell on the earth after three and half years. The drought was to get the attention of the nation, draw them into a seeking posture, and while the send the outpouring of rain afterwards was to reveal God’s mercy.

Similarly, in Jesus there came the rain of God’s mercy on earth, after the drought that ensured with the separation that sin caused, with the Spirit disconnected from man. The rain of God’s mercy fell after the sacrifice of his son on a mount, just as it rained after Elijah made a sacrifice on a mount.

And in both occasions, there was a time lag between the sacrifice and the rain, bridged by prayer. The disciples of Jesus prayed for 10 days in an upper room, in Jerusalem, and while Elijah prayed on seven occasions on Mount Carmel.

The fire coming from heaven upon Elijah’s sacrifice showed the sacrifice was accepted, it corresponds to the resurrection of Jesus which was by the Holy Spirit (symbolised by fire) (Romans 1:4). In the sacrifice of Elijah the coming of the rain was associated with great strength coming upon him to run with supernatural speed, just as great power came upon the church with the rain of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

God is unchangingly merciful but the communication of the full extent of that mercy came in Jesus, who has the assignment to reconnect us back to God, moving from darkness to light. Jesus becomes for us the rain of the mercy of God, after the drought.

He represents the rain of the love of God after the drought which ensued from the sin of man in the Garden of Eden. It was not that God stopped loving man after his sin in the garden (Genesis 3), but man’s experience/awareness of that love was severally diminished. Sin constitute a barrier, so that man could not fully connect with the love of God (Isaiah 59:1-2).

But in Jesus the love can reach man and whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Eternal life (man was made with it) in man is the expression of the love of God for him. Though God still loved man wanting him to have eternal life, but that was not possible with sin, since God said that when man sinned, death will be the result. And since God said it is, it stood as law, called the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).

Though God always loved man, he could not force that love on him. So when man chose to disobey God, rejecting his love, that was it. In Christ however, the love is reintroduced to man, another offer of the love of God. This is the last opportunity man has to turn back from the errors of his ways and allow the mercy and love of God to be active in him and he receive the in Jesus.

When Elijah brought rain to the land of Israel, he immediately experienced drought of depression personally. So be careful about the spirit of depression, which represents an onslaught of Satan after a major victory. Jesus’ final entrance into Jerusalem was one of celebration (Luke 19:37-38), but because he was wise, he know that soon people will say that he should be thrown under the bus, killed on the cross. The bible says that Jesus knew what was in man and did not commit himself to them (John 2:24-25).

From the height of celebration in Jerusalem he was condemned in the same place, after just a few days, crucified just outside the city on Golgotha (John 19:17).

After a big victory was won by the army of Israel under the leadership of Joshua, defeating the land of Jericho it was followed by a great defeat before Ai, a smaller town (Joshua 6-8).

The victory had made them lax, relaxed, and overconfident, and Joshua their leader, decided to take it easy, not take Ai as serious as he should, even asking for the will of God.

Elijah let down his guard after a great victory and he became disoriented when Jezebel hit him with threats. Just as Joshua was disoriented when his army was defeated before small Ai after he had defeated Jericho.

After Jezebel’s threat, Elijah needed to make a journey that we need to make spiritually. A journey from our fears into the presence of God. Rather than be pushed away from God because of fear, he was pushed towards God. His disappointment drove him, and rightly so, toward an appointment with God on Mount Horeb.

On mount Carmel is encountered the hand of God bringing fire on the earth while on mount Horeb where he went after jezebel threatened to kill him, he encounter the perspective of God in a still small voice.

The only thing that can keep us from depression is gaining the perspective of God. God wants to give us the garment of praise in place of the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:1-3). It is all about perspective.

The bible says that Moses knew the ways of God while the children of Israel knew his acts (Psalm 103:7). Moses shared the divine perspective while the rest merely experienced his supernatural act.

On mount Horeb Elijah experienced a renewed of vision. Not allowing him to be bugged down with the words spoken by Jezebel, God showed him the big picture- the future and his roles in it. God gave him a new purpose, a new vision, as regards his prophetic ministry, and the unfolding political situation around him. God got him focused again on his assignment and away from the poisonous words/influence of Jezebel.

And he would be used to release the prophetic word outlining the end of Jezebel herself (1Kings 21:23, 2Kings 9:36). So the one he was running away from, he brought an end to, because though in his pain, he went to God. Whatever chased you in the past, God has designed that you chase now, bring an end to.

A disappointment does not have to be an end. Joshua bounced back from the defeat to Ai because he gained the divine perspective. Your perspective either empowers or distracts and diminishes you. The reason we are supposed to renew our minds is to regularly realign our perspective with God’s (Romans 12:1-2), which is the key to being on the winning edge. Jesus said that when we continue to follow him we shall know the truth which will set us free (John 8:32), we will be free to be all we can be by the truth of God’s perspective about us, others and issues around us.

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