We know by reading the Gospel of Luke and the book of James that this time frame was 3 1/2 years in length (an interesting parallel with Revelation’s time frame), that the famine took place. A number of scholars concur that Elijah spent six months by the brook Cherith and three years with the widow and her son. It was at the end of that time frame Elijah was sent to present himself to Ahab and rain would be sent “on the earth.”
Elijah met Obadiah, a sensitive man of God who had hidden one hundred and fifty genuine prophets of the Lord. Elijah asked him to fetch Ahab, as the Lord would bring rain; thereby bringing to end the famine. Obadiah was fearful concerning the request, yet went as he had been asked.
When Ahab met the man of God, he called Elijah a “troubler of Israel”; yet Elijah wasn’t intimidated by Ahab’s position, reputation or how he looked. The man of God had a message and he was determined to deliver it. In fact Elijah’s response shows it was Ahab and all those in his household that had been the cause of the draught and famine.
MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD, in our culture we need you to speak what the Lord has given you; don’t permit the politicians, governments or people in those positions to intimidate you to back off delivering the “word of the Lord”. There is a draught and famine in the Church today in large part due to being sensitive and desiring not to offend those who may visit or be checking out our fellowships. We need YOUR voice to be correct, clear and concise in addressing hearts. Don’t back off!
Elijah asked Ahab to bring all the “children of Israel” together, including the prophets under his authority; which included four hundred and fifty false prophets of Baal, but it didn’t included four hundred prophets of Aherah under his wife, Jezebel’ authority.
This show down between Baal and the Lord was to be a lesson that would bring decision time for Israel as who they should follow. The phrase “falter between two opinions” literally means to “hop between”, as a bird would hop from branch to branch not knowing which to stay on.
In this show down, Elijah gave every opportunity to the prophets of Baal opportunity to go first and be first. They went first and waited for Baal to answer by “fire”, as he was the “sun God” and surely could answer by fire if any god could. They ranted and raved from morning till noon, with no response. Elijah taunted them with words that would have infuriated anyone. They kept going until the “evening sacrifice. But there was no voice, no one answered, no one paid attention.”
When people are in dire circumstances and cry out to their “Baal’s” today, as then so it is now, “no one paid attention.” Yet when we trust in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He not only pays attention; but hears our voice and will answer us! PTL!
Elijah call the people near him and the sacrifice to prove that the fire which would come wasn’t some type of trick. There had been altar there which had broken down, but it took a man of God to repair the altar and use twelve stones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel ought to be worshippers of the Lord as well. The four water pots being poured, further validated the miracle they were about to witness.
Elijah appeals to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel (interesting it wasn’t Jacob) to answer in such a manner that would cause Israel to return to the Lord Himself. The fire “fell” and consumed the sacrifice, wood, stones, dust and water. This was a definitive miracle that should have cause Israel to return to the Lord, but they didn’t.
Ahab witnessed all of this and when Elijah called for the prophets of Baal to be killed, he seems to have been in agreement with the prophet of the Lord. Elijah encouraged Ahab to return home and celebrated, as rain was coming; which we know the man of God was stating “by faith”. Elijah’s servant kept going to see if there was anything indicating such a storm was coming; but only brought negative reports until the final one and it wasn’t much encouragement. Only one hope, a cloud the size of a man’s had. However that “hope” released a flood sized response to the need. Don’t permit the size of your ministry or congregation dictate what the Lord will do. He’s still do and even though you may be small, God can and will use you for His Kingdom purposes.
Ahab left in a chariot of horses; Ahab went in the power of the Lord and the strength of His might, out running the horses and delivering the message to Jezebel. You too can receive strength from the Lord to do the impossible. You can run through a troop and leap over a wall.