Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of First Kings which describes the days of the kings of Solomon king of Israel, as well as the days of the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-one and twenty-two of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will continue to find this direct confrontation between the prophet Elijah and the king of the northern kingdom of Israel. The confrontation between this prophet of the LORD and this wicked and immoral king would begin in the seventeenth chapter when Elijah would come forth from GIlead and would simply declare unto the king of Israel that there would be neither rain nor dew within the land during those years except by his word. Immediately after Elijah would declare the word of the LORD that there would be neither rain nor dew in the land except by his word the LORD would instruct him to go and hide himself by the brook Cherith which was before Jordan. It would be there at the brook Cherith before Jordan the LORD had commanded ravens to provide food for him to sustain him, and where he would drink from the water of the brook. Elijah would remain in that place by the brook Cherith for a period of time until the brook dried up and he would be forced to move from that place. When the brook dried up and when the ravens would no longer bring Elijah bread and flesh in the morning and evening the word of the LORD would command and instruct him to get him unto Zarephath, for it would be there He had commanded a widow to provide for and sustain him. It’s actually quite interesting that there is absolutely no word of the LORD, nor any type of instruction that came to Elijah instructing him to go and show himself unto Ahab the first time, and yet we have to understand and assume that he would not have even shown himself unto Ahab unless the word of the LORD had come to him and had instructed him to do so. This is quite interesting when you think about the fact that everything else we read concerning the life of Elijah was according to the word of the LORD—with the noted exception of his fleeing from the murderous threat of Jezebel when she threatened to make his life like that of the four-hundred and fifty prophets of Baal whom he had slaughtered at mount Carmel. If and as you read and study the life of Elijah you will find that his life was one that was governed by and according to the word of the LORD, and he would not move until and unless the word of the LORD had spoken unto him.
As you read and consider the narrative of the life of Elijah you must understand that after he had proclaimed unto Ahab that there would be neither rain nor dew during those years except by his word, the word of the LORD would come to him and instruct him to go and hide himself by the brook Cherith before the Jordan. Elijah would remain there at the brook—not even necessarily until the brook dried up, but until the word of the LORD came unto him and instructed him to move from that place. I am convinced there is something truly remarkable and truly astonishing when you think about and consider this fact, for I am convinced that Elijah wouldn’t have moved from that place without and apart from the word of the LORD coming unto him. I would dare say that Elijah would have remained there at the brook Cherith—even after the brook itself dried up, for he would and could not have moved from that place until and unless the word of the LORD had come to him. I have to ask myself how many of us would have immediately moved forth from the brook—move forward and from the place the LORD had commanded and instructed us to go to as soon as the provision dried up and ran out. How many of us have been instructed to go to a specific place, and the LORD did in fact provide for us in that place, and yet there came a point in time when the source of provision in that place dried up and ran out? How many of us are and would be so quick to move from that place when it no longer suits us, when it no longer meets our need, when it no longer satisfies us, and when it no longer provides for us? How many of us would quickly and expediently move from that place once the brook itself dried up, and once we could no longer freely drink from the waters? As soon as the provision of the LORD runs out, and as soon as where we have been brought is no longer able to satisfy us we make the decision to move forth from that place, and to go anywhere but there. What’s so incredibly interesting about Elijah at the brook Cherith is that even after the brook dried up Elijah didn’t have any clear direction as to where he would or could have gone. Sure he could have departed from the brook, and yet the underlying question then becomes where could he have gone. Where would Elijah have gone once the brook dried up knowing the word of the LORD had come to him and instructed him to go and hide himself in that specific place?
I can’t help but believe that for many during this time they themselves are being and have been hidden by their own brook Cherith before the Jordan, as the LORD has instructed them to hide themselves. There are men and women who have remained in this place for a period of time, and have experienced the provision of the LORD—that is, until the provision somehow stops and they are no longer being satisfied the way they once were. Oh I can’t help but think about this brook as having multiple applications, as the brook drying up and no longer satisfying you the way it once did could be the marriage you find yourself in. This brook drying up and no longer satisfying you the way it once did could very well be the relationship or community you found yourself in. This brook drying up and no longer satisfying you the way it once did could be the church body and congregation you have been a part of for any period of time. Moreover, this brook could be the job you wanted and longed for so desperately, and yet you have found that it is not satisfying you the way it once did. I know for myself that the two greatest areas where this reality has been true and manifested within my own life has been as it pertains to church and as it has pertained to employment. I have found myself attending and being part of different churches, and have found myself entering into a period of time when that church no longer satisfies me the way it once did. What’s more, is that I have found myself working for companies and having jobs which I was initially excited about, and yet there came a point in time when that job no longer satisfies me the way that it once did. The temptation we face when the brook dries up is whether or not we can and will remain until the word of the LORD comes to us and instructs us to move on, or whether we will decide within ourselves to up and leave that place according to our own thoughts, our own desires, our own ideas, and our own plans and purposes. Elijah could have very easily chosen to move himself from the brook once it dried up, and yet there is something inside me that feels a very strong and real sense that Elijah would have—and undoubtedly did remain there until the word of the LORD came to him and instructed him to move. If it was the LORD who instructed him to go to the brook and remain there then it would be the LORD who would instruct him to move forth and move beyond that place. This is absolutely critical for us to recognize and understand, for if it is the LORD who leads us to and brings us to a specific place then it is the LORD who must move us forth from that place. We dare not attempt to get ahead of God, or even to go beyond that which the living and eternal God has spoken within our lives.
It was the word of the LORD that instructed Elijah to go and hide himself by the brook Cherith, and Elijah would remain there until the word of the LORD came to him and instructed him to go unto Zarephath which was in Zidon. I am absolutely convinced that it wasn’t the brook drying up which brought Elijah forth from that place, but rather it was the word of the LORD which had brought him forth and had brought out of that place. IT would be easy for us to think about and consider the fact that it was the brook drying up which brought Elijah forth from that place, and yet we find from Scripture that it was the word of the LORD that actually called and brought him forth from the brook. Elijah didn’t move from that place because the brook dried up, nor even because he had somehow grown tired and bored being by the brook, but moved forth from that place because the word of the LORD came to him and instructed him to do so. Oh that we would recognize and understand this, for more often than not we find ourselves in a place where the brook dries up within our own lives, and we are faced with the temptation of whether or not we are going to remain in that place until the LORD instructs us to move. It is incredibly easy for us to move ourselves from that place once the provision dries up, and once it no longer satisfies us the way it once did, and I am convinced this is an incredibly dangerous place to be in. Elijah was instructed by the word of the LORD to go and hide himself by the brook, and it would be the word of the LORD that would move him forth from that place. There is a strong and powerful prophetic truth that is contained within this particular reality, and that is simply that we must be a people who determine and purpose within our hearts that we cannot and will not move without and apart from the word of the LORD speaking within our hearts and lives. Particularly and especially during this time we must choose and decide within ourselves whether or not we are going to be a people that are governed by the word of the LORD, and that we cannot and will not move ahead of God, and even ahead of the word of the LORD. I am convinced that Elijah could have moved from that brook, and had he moved from the brook he would have not only been moving ahead of God, but he would have been moving ahead of the word of the LORD that would guide his steps and govern his life during those years. We dare not, we cannot, we must not miss this absolutely incredible and astonishing reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the absolutely incredible truth the Spirit of the living God desires to speak to us.
Elijah was brought to the brook Cherith according to the word of the LORD, and it would only be the word of the LORD that would bring him forth from that place. When the word of the LORD did in fact come to Elijah, it would instruct him to journey unto Zarephath in Zidon, for it was there the LORD had instructed and commanded a widow to care for, sustain and provide for him. It’s actually quite interesting to think that during a time when a famine and drought would strike the land because the heavens were shut up, the LORD would command ravens to provide for him by the brook Cherith, and would command a widow to provide for him. Please don’t miss and quickly lose sight of this absolutely tremendous reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the awesome reality that during a time of famine and drought the LORD commanded the most unlikely of avenues to provide for Elijah. The LORD would initially provide for Elijah by commanding ravens to bring him bread and flesh in both the morning and the evening, and during that time Elijah would drink freely from the waters that flowed through the brook Cherith. It’s interesting to read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture, for it wasn’t the ravens which stopped bringing Elijah bread and flesh during the morning and evening, but it was the brook which dried up. It’s interesting to think about the fact that the LORD didn’t provide the waters which flowed from the book for Elijah, but that brook was already in existence. The word of the LORD merely instructed Elijah to go and hide himself there at the brook Cherith, and it would be there he would drink from the waters which flowed. Elijah would drink freely from those waters until that day came when the brook would dry up, and there would be nothing more to drink. Please catch this, for the LORD brought Elijah to the place where he would drink, but it would be the ravens that would actually provide for Elijah. This isn’t to say that the brook itself wasn’t a source of provision from the LORD, but rather than there is absolutely no mention of the ravens ceasing bringing Elijah bread and flesh during those days. What we find and what we read concerning this time was that it was the brook itself which dried up, and it would only be after the brook dried up the word of the LORD would come to Elijah and instruct him to arise from the brook and to journey unto Zarephath in Zidon, for it would be there a widow would provide for him. We must recognize and understand that what dried up in Elijah’s life was the brook, and that there is no mention of the ravens ceasing to bring Elijah flesh and bread. This is important, for I am convinced that it reveals unto us that even though the brook(s) dry up within our lives, that doesn’t mean the provision of the LORD has stopped and will cease. Even though it was the LORD Himself who brought us into that place of drinking, it is the LORD who will continue to sustain and provide for us.
Although the brook had dried up the LORD would continue providing for Elijah during this time of famine, drought and severe need, and it would be the LORD Himself who would direct Elijah to go unto a widow in Zidon who would essentially continue the provision and sustenance within the life of Elijah. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the fact that even during a time of famine and drought, the living and eternal God still provided for Elijah. At first it would be the LORD providing for Elijah at the brook Cherith in order that Elijah might learn and understand that it was the LORD alone who would provide for him, and yet in Zidon it would be a widow who would provide and sustain Elijah. What makes the provision in Zarephath so absolutely astonishing is when you think about the fact that during that time it wasn’t simply Elijah who was provided for and sustained, but it was also the widow and her son that were provided for and sustained. It’s almost as if Elijah needed to learn that the LORD alone was his provider and sustainer, and when Elijah would enter into that next place of provision within his life, it would not only be about the LORD providing for and sustaining him, but the LORD would also provide and sustain the lives of two others. It would be in Zarephath the living God would sustain and provide for Elijah, but also where the LORD would provide for this widow and her son. Moreover, the word of the LORD would come into the house of this widow that the cruse of oil and the barrel of meal would neither run out nor fail. How absolutely astounding and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that during a time of severe famine and drought the LORD would not only sustain and provide for Elijah, this widow and her son, but the LORD would supernaturally extend that which the widow expected to run out. It’s quite a reversal from what had taken place at the brook Cherish, for at the brook Cherith the water that flowed in that place dried up, yet when it came to the widow’s supply of oil and meal—neither the oil, nor the meal would run out. How absolutely amazing and incredible it is to think about the fact that not only would the living God provide for Elijah, for the widow and for her son, but the LORD would provide in such a supernatural and miraculous way, as he would sustain both the oil and the meal. While it was true that the waters which flowed through the brook Cherith did dry up, it’s important for us to understand that when Elijah came to Zarephath—neither the oil, nor the meal would run out. Both the cruse of oil and the barrel of meal would remain in ready and full supply until the day the LORD sent rain upon the earth and the famine and drought had come to an end.
As I sit here today think about and considering the days and times we are currently living in, I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that there are those who have found themselves living and dwelling by the brook Cherith, only to find the waters having dried up. There are others who have found themselves in the home of a widow, and it is there the living God has faithfully provided for them. If there is one thing we learn and recognize from the narrative and life of Elijah it’s that while the brook did in fact dry up, the cruse of oil and the barrel of meal which was in the house of the widow would never run out. The LORD could have kept the water which flowed into that brook continually flowing to sustain the prophet, and yet the LORD allowed the waters to cease flowing. It would be in the process of those waters ceasing to flow that the LORD would bring Elijah into an unexpected place of provision. Moreover, it would be during that time of unexpected provision that the LORD would keep the oil flowing, and would keep the meal in ready supply. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely astonishing reality, for I am convinced there are a number of men and women during these days who have found themselves dwelling by the brook Cherith, and they have experienced the provision of the LORD in that place. There came a time, however, when the brook dried up, and where they were no longer satisfied the way that they used to be. As a direct result, they have had to transition into a new and unexpected place in order to experience the faithful provision of the LORD. It’s worth noting that the way the LORD provided for Elijah—and not only Elijah, but also this widow and her son—was to keep the oil flowing, and to keep the meal in stock. During these times of economic upheaval and uncertainty there are men and women who are wondering how the brook they dwelt by could have dried up, and how they could have entered into and found themselves in a place where they wondered how the LORD would provide for them. I am convinced that the living God has brought men and women into their own Zarephath where He would continue to provide for and sustain them in a way they did not even think possible. In Zarephath the LORD would continue providing for Elijah, and would provide for this widow and her son by supernatural preserving the oil and the meal and by causing neither to run out. Despite the fact that the waters of the brook had dried up the oil would continue to flow, and the meal would continue to be in stock. Please don’t miss this, for I believe there are countless men and women who the LORD is supernaturally providing for, and is doing so in means and ways they never even thought were possible.
It’s interesting and worth noting that the famine and drought would in fact end, and that the heavens would once more be opened over the land and in the earth, yet before the heavens would and could be opened Elijah would need to go and shew himself unto Ahab king of Israel. What’s more, is that it wasn’t merely showing himself unto Ahab king of Israel that would cause the heavens to be opened, but it would need to be a showdown and confrontation at mount Carmel there in the land that would call all the people of Israel together in one place. There at the mountain the prophets of Baal were brought into a place of confrontation while it would be there in that place the people of Israel would be brought into a place of decision as they would choose how long they would halt between two opinions. How incredible it is to think about the fact that the people of the land seemed to be intrinsically linked and connected to the healing of the land and the opening of the heavens, as the people would need to confront and come face to face with their own divided and indifferent hearts. It’s worth noting that while on the surface it might seem as though the healing of the land was the greatest need during those days, the truth of the matter is that this simply wasn’t the case. If you read and study the Scriptures you will find that the LORD wasn’t as interested in healing the land first as much as he was healing the hearts of the people in Israel. We would later come to understand that the LORD would reserve seven thousand who had not and would not bow their knee to Baal in worship and service, and I would dare say that some—if not all—of these individuals might have been a faithful remnant before the confrontation and showdown at Carmel. It would be there at Carmel where the hearts of the people would be brought into full focus before and almost above the land itself. There at mount Carmel it was not so much about the land as much as it was about the hearts of the people, and we almost get the sense that the hearts of the people were intrinsically linked and connected to the land. We dare not miss and lose sight of this reality, for the LORD could have very easily sent Elijah unto Ahab to declare that the heavens would now be opened, and that rain would once more fall upon the earth, and that the famine would be over. The truth of the matter is that the LORD did not command Elijah to show himself unto Ahab in order that he might proclaim the drought and famine were over, but rather so Ahab could call and gather all the people unto mount Carmel. It would be there at mount Carmel where the people of Israel, the four-hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of the grove which ate at Jezebel’s table would be called. It would be there at mount Carmel where the hearts of the people were put on full display and array before the living God, and where the living God was invited to show up and show off before and in the sight of all the people.
If there is one thing I can’t help but learn from this particular passage, it’s that the LORD would respond to the land exactly according what He had spoken through His servant Moses concerning His shutting up the heavens, concerning His sending famine, pestilence, drought and the like because of their iniquity, idolatry and immorality. What’s more, is that what took place during the days of Elijah would bear a strong similarity to the words which the LORD spoke unto Solomon when He declared that if He shut up the heavens to where they would yield no rain, and if He sent a pestilence into the earth—if His people which were called by His name would humble themselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, then would He hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land. I find it absolutely captivating to think about and consider that during these days the LORD wasn’t primarily concerned with the land as much as He was concerned with the hearts of men. The LORD wasn’t as concerned with healing the land as much as He was forgiving the sins of the people. Oh during these days in which we are living there are many people who are crying out for the LORD to heal the land, for the economy to be healed, for businesses to be healed, for the market to be healed, and for the LORD to essentially undo and reverse what has already been done. There are countless men and women whose sole and primary concern is not necessarily for the hearts of men, but rather for the economy, for the almighty dollar, for capitalism, and the like. What’s more, is that during these days and during this time there are countless men and women who are rallying together and protesting in the face of a God who has somehow interrupted and interfered with their lives. There are countless men and women who are putting on full display their anger, their malice, their bitterness, their rage, and all their emotions during this time because of how drastically their lives have been changed. There are countless men and women who during this time are allowing their hearts to become cold, callous and indifferent, and who are allowing their love to grow cold. I would even dare say that there might be Christians and those who once sat in the pews of our churches who find themselves in this very place. There are men and women who are rallying and protesting in the streets crying out for life to go back to normal, and for life to go back to the way it used to be, and yet I feel within my heart and spirit that life is not, cannot and will not go back to the way it used to be. What used to be the “normal” we were so used to is not going to be the new normal in the days ahead. The Sovereign LORD is drastically changing the landscape of the earth, and is drastically changed the landscape of nations in order that a new “normal,” and in order that a new thing might be done in the earth.
It is true that the LORD would open the heavens during the days of Elijah, and that He would send rain upon the earth in order that He might heal the land and undo the drought and famine that was produced, however, before the heavens would be opened and rain would fall, they first needed to be unlocked by the fire of God falling down upon the altar. Oh, there is not a doubt in my mind that while we are praying to God and asking Him for the proverbial rain to be restored in our lives, we are missing the point as the living God desires to send the fire upon altars once more. The LORD is calling on mighty men and women of God to repair the altar of the LORD, and to turn their hearts toward Him in repentance, in fasting, in weeping and mourning. Before the living God can and will heal the land by sending and restoring the rain, He first wants to send the fire upon the altars of our hearts, the altars of our homes, the altars of our lives. I can’t say that the LORD wants to send the fire upon the altars within our churches because the churches are closed. I do believe the Spirit of the LORd is calling for the reparation and repairing of the altar during these days, yet it is not necessarily the altar which we knew in our church buildings, but rather the altars in our hearts, the altars in our homes, and the altars in our lives. The LORD is calling for the altars in our hearts and homes to be repaired, and it is upon those altars the living God desires to send the fire. Oh I do believe that the LORD is during this time already doing, and will during this time continue to send the fire down from heaven upon these altars. The LORD is indeed responding during these days, yet He is not responding with rain but with fire. Oh how we respond and how we react during these days when the LORD responds with fire rather than rain can and will determine how we live our lives on the other side of this crisis and pandemic. Oh that we would truly recognize and understand that the LORD can send the rain that will heal this land, and will heal the nations of the earth, however, the LORD can and will rend the heavens and send fire down upon altars of repentance, altars of humility, altars of prayer, altars of seeking His face, and altars of surrender before and unto Him. Perhaps one of the single greatest things you can do during this time is to repair the altar in your heart and home if it has somehow been torn down, and to build an altar in your heart and home if there has never been one to begin with. The LORD is placing a tremendous emphasis on the altar during this time, and the LORD is calling for the repairing of altars, as well as the building of altars, for it is upon those altars He desires to send His consuming fire down from heaven. We must recognize and we must understand that the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD can and will seek to send the fire of heaven down upon these altars before He will open the heavens and send the rain which heals the land. How we respond to the consuming fire of the living God being sent down upon our altars can and will determine the rain being poured out to heal our land.
I continue to find it absolutely astonishing and amazing that the word of the LORD came to Elijah and declared that He would send rain upon the earth, however, before Elijah would even pray for the heavens to be opened and rain to fall once more, he would pray a prayer that much more significant and much more needed during that hour. Elijah could have prayed for the rain to fall from heaven during those days, and there atop mount Carmel he could have prayed and asked the LORD to open up the heavens and to send rain, however, that isn’t what happened. What we find there atop the mountain was Elijah crying out before the living God and asking Him to answer by fire in the sight of all the people. How interesting it is to think about the fact that it wasn’t the rain which caused the people to fall down and exclaim that the LORD was God, but it was the fire which fell down from heaven. It wasn’t Elijah’s prayer for rain and the LORD answering by sending the rain that had an impact and effect on the hearts of the people on that day, but it was the sight of the consuming fire of the living God coming down from heaven and consuming the sacrifice, and consuming the water in the trench, and even licking up the dust that unlocked and opened the hearts of the people. In all reality, I am convinced that during these days it is the fire of God upon altars and not the rain of heaven falling down upon the land that can and will truly touch and transform the hearts of men. I am convinced that while the living God is going to send rain upon the earth in order that He might heal the land, He is not going to do it before the fire. There are so many today who are looking for the rain to fall, and yet they fail to recognize and understand that it’s not the rain that is needed first and foremost, but the fire of God falling and coming down from heaven. The single greatest need that we have during these days is not the healing of the land, nor the healing of the economy, nor even the healing of the job and housing market, but rather the healing of hearts as men and women enter into a place of repentance before the true and living God. We can pray all we want for the LORD to send the rain upon the earth, and yet we must recognize and understand that the LORD doesn’t want to send the rain before He sends the fire. In all reality, I am convinced that the Spirit of the LORD is instructing us to cease looking for and expecting the rain to come upon the land, and to come upon the earth before the fire of God coming down from heaven upon the altars which have been built and repaired. There are countless men who are looking for companies to be repaired, for the economy to be repaired, for the market to be repaired, and for all these external things to be repaired, and yet that which the living God is most concerned with is altars being repaired. It is upon repaired altars that the consuming fire of the living God can and will come down from heaven, and will come upon repentance, humility, surrender, prayer, intercession and a true and genuine seeking of the face of the living God.
The days of Elijah were days of famine and of drought, and the days of this generation—at least right now are days of pestilence in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I would even dare say that we are in a drought and famine in terms of the economy on the verge of a recession, and with the job market completely collapsing. Back in 2008 it was the housing market that crashed, and now here we are twelve years later and it’s not the housing market that’s crashing, but the job market that is crashing. During these days are indeed seeing a drought and famine, as companies and businesses are forced to shut down. There are even companies and businesses that are filing for bankruptcy during this time because of the guidelines that are being set up by federal and state governments. What we must recognize and understand during these times is that we are indeed and are in fact living during a time of drought and famine, as even farms and businesses that thrive on the land are being adversely impacted and affected by this particular crisis. During the days of Elijah there was a famine and drought in the land which was caused by a lack of rain, and that lack of rain lasted for a full three years. I shudder to think about what would and what could happen within this nation if the current crisis we are facing lasted longer than a year, and perhaps even dragged on for two or three years. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like during this time if this drought, this famine, this recession, this collapse and trouble continued and went beyond simply the time frame that government agencies, health agencies, and all their top officials are estimating things will open back up. As it stands now the country has been on lockdown for almost a month and a half, and it is striking and alarming to think about and consider what would and could happen if this extended beyond the Spring of this year, and even extended into the summer, fall and winter months. It’s interesting to think about the fact that at one point—even Elijah himself was negatively impacted by the famine and drought in the land as the brook the LORD instructed and commanded him to hide himself by dried up. We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely astonishing and remarkable reality, for to do so would be to miss out on a tremendous insight and truth into the days in which we are living right now. There is absolutely no denying that we are living during a tremendous time of recession, drought, famine, chaos, crisis, and the like, and that there are countless men and women who are scared, confused, angry, anxious, bitter, resentful, and the like.
THE THREAT A QUEEN! THE FLIGHT OF A PROPHET! AN ANOINTING UPON A NEW GENERATION! AN INVASION OF AN ARMY! A STOLEN INHERITANCE! A PROPHETIC WORD AGAINST THE KING AND QUEEN! A CONTINUED STRUGGLE AND A DISGUISED KING! PROPPING UP THAT WHICH WAS DESTINED TO DIE! What makes the days of Elijah so absolutely intriguing is that immediately after the living and eternal God unlocked the heavens by sending His consuming fire upon the altar, upon the sacrifice, upon the water, and upon the dust of the earth, and immediately after the LORD would open the heavens and send a torrential downpour of rain, we find the prophet Elijah being threatened by Jezebel. This same evil and wicked queen who had killed the prophets in the land now turned her rage and her vengeance against Elijah and threatened that his life would be like the lives of those prophets whom he slaughtered at mount Carmel. Undoubtedly she had heard about the fire coming down from heaven, and undoubtedly she heard about the heavens being opened and the rain being unleashed upon the earth, and she would also hear about the death of four-hundred and fifty prophets of Baal within the land. IN direct response to the reports she heard she immediately threatened the life of the prophet Elijah and declared that his life would be like the lives of the prophets whom he had ordered to be slain atop mount Carmel. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely astonishing reality, for I am convinced that it highlights and underscores what the servants of the living God can and will face on the other side of this current crisis we are in. It’s interesting that the heavens were now opened, and rain was once more released on the earth, and the famine and drought would most certainly come to an end, however, the effects of what Elijah had done would have tremendous consequences as his life would be threatened by the evil and wicked queen of Israel. I am absolutely convinced that this must be carefully understood, for I see on the other side of this a tremendous opposition against the servants of the most High God, and a tremendous resistance against them. Despite the fact that the drought and famine are over and have passed, and despite the fact that the pestilence have been driven out, there will be a heated animosity toward and against the servants of the LORD—such as has never been seen or experienced before. I firmly believe the saints and servants of the living God are going to enter into and face some dark and dangerous days ahead, as there will be a great opposition that will be mounted and raised up against them. The influence of the spirit of Jezebel within the nations of the earth will in fact rise up against the prophetic voice, as well as the servants of the living God in order that they might silence and utterly destroy them.
It’s worth noting that upon hearing the threat from Jezebel—not only did Elijah flee for his life, but he also assumed that it would be better for him to die. Elijah had entered into a dark place within his soul, as well as perhaps within his mind as fear had taken hold of him in such a powerful way. What we must understand is that during these days ahead one of the single greatest challenges and voices we are going to face is going to be that of fear as the murderous and manipulative spirit of Jezebel can and will seek to infuse our heart and our soul with fear in order to completely overwhelm us. Undoubtedly Elijah was shaken to his very core and to the depths of his being, and engaged in flight. This same Elijah who had shown himself unto Ahab twice already was now fleeing for his life because of the threat of Jezebel against his life. We dare not miss and dare not lose sight of this absolutely astonishing reality, for it reveals something incredibly pointed and powerful within the days in which we are living, as the spirit of jezebel can and will be one of the greatest opponents the saints and servants of the living God are going to face. What’s more is that the prophet Daniel foresaw a time when the antichrist will wage a constant and continual war against the saints and will engage them in a war of attrition that he might wear them down. While I cannot say with any certainty that the antichrist is here in the earth right now, I can say that the spirit of the antichrist is present and has been present, and that spirit can, will and has induced and struck fear in the hearts of many of the saints and servants alike throughout the years. I firmly believe that the days ahead are a tremendous contention with the spirit of the antichrist, as the spirit of the antichrist can and will strike fear within the hearts of the saints and servants of God. I firmly believe with everything inside me that just as Jezebel rose up against Elijah and against the prophetic voice during that time, so also will the spirit of Jezebel and the spirit of the antichrist work together during these days to strike fear in the hearts of the servants of God—just as Jezebel did within the heart of Elijah. We dare not and must not miss this, for these two spirits can and will attempt to send the saints and servants of the living God in flight during this time, and can and will seek to drive them from the place of authority in the earth to the place of fear, terror and dread. The spirit of the antichrist and the spirit of Jezebel will collaboratively work together in order that they might attempt to silence the voice of the saints and servants of the LORD—particularly and especially during this time when the times in which we are living in are so volatile, unsettled and uncertain. If I am being honest with you who are reading the words in this passage we must understand and come face to face with the fact that the saints and servants of the living God can and will come out of this current crisis, however, they must come out of it full of faith, full of confidence, full of the Holy Spirit of the living God, full of the strength of God, full of the grace of God, and with the Lion of the tribe of Judah at the very heart and foundation of their lives.
What we must recognize concerning these times is that even though the murderous threat of Jezebel did in fact drive the prophet Elijah out of that place of authority and out of that place of dominion within the northern kingdom of Israel, the living and eternal God would intervene in the life of Elijah and would send an angel—not once but twice inviting him to eat and to partake of that which would sustain him through and during his journey. The angel which the living and eternal God would send would invite Elijah to eat the cake that was baked before him and to drink the water which was before him, for the journey would be too great for him to go in the strength he had. Elijah might have perceived that he had little to no strength in and of himself, and the LORD sent an angel to prepare a table before Elijah there in the wilderness in order that He might bring him unto Himself at the mountain of God. It would be there in the mountain of God where the LORD would appear unto Elijah and ask what he was doing there. This is quite astonishing when you take the time to think about it, for the LORD didn’t ask Elijah because He didn’t know what Elijah was doing there. It was the LORD Himself who would direct Elijah into the wilderness, and unto the mountain of God, for it would be there the LORD would appear unto him. It would be there at the mountain of God in the wilderness the LORD would not only confront Elijah, but would also instruct him to anoint a new “ministry” if you will that would emerge in the earth. It would be those whom Elijah would anoint that would not only pick up the prophetic mantle of the living God, but would also be those who would bring to an end and utterly destroy the house of Ahab and Jezebel. It would be that which Elijah anointed that would bring to an end the murderous queen Jezebel, and would ultimately result in her death and destruction. How absolutely powerful it is that it would be there in the wilderness the LORD would not only declare unto Elijah that He had reserved seven thousand who had now bowed the knee to Baal, but the living God would also instruct Elijah to anoint those who would ultimately bring to an end that which raised itself up against him and struck fear within his heart. It would be there in the wilderness at the mountain of God where the LORD would instruct Elijah to anoint that one who would bring to an end the evil house of Ahab and Jezebel. Consider if you will the words which are found in the nineteenth chapter beginning to read with and from the fifteenth verse:
“And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: and Jesu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jesu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jesu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:15-18).
What I find to be so absolutely astonishing about the days of Elijah was that he would be thrust from his place of authority—at least temporarily and for a short period of time—by the murderous threat of Jezebel, and it would be the living God that would speak directly to him in the wilderness. It would be there in the wilderness where the living God would not only declare unto Elijah that he wasn’t alone during those days, but He also declared unto him that he would anoint two new kings and a new prophet who would minister in his room and in his stead. The LORD would instruct Elijah to anoint Hazael as the next king of Syria, and Jehu as the next king of Israel, and Elisha as the prophet who would minister in his stead. This is actually quite incredible to think about and consider, for the LORD would anoint and raise up something very specific during those days that would not only bring about the destruction of the house of Ahab, but would also bring about the death and destruction of Jezebel. How absolutely remarkable and astounding it is to think about the fact that Elijah would be instructed to anoint that which would destroy the influence and house of Ahab and Jezebel in the midst of the land, and how this anointing would raise up a sword of destruction against the evil, against the wickedness, against the idolatry, against the immorality, against the iniquity that was so prevalent during those days. It would be there at the mountain of God the living and eternal God would instruct Elijah to anoint that which would raise up a a sword against the iniquitous and idolatrous house of Ahab and Jezebel, and which would essentially cleanse and purify the land from their influence. What’s more, is that we must also recognize and understand that it would be during this time when Elijah would anoint that one who would minister in his stead and in his room that the prophetic word of the LORD might continue in the northern kingdom of Israel. Elijah would not only anoint Elisha as prophet in his room and in his stead, but he would also come unto Elisha and would cast his mantle upon him, thus indicating the call to follow him. What I so love about the interaction between Elijah and the living God is that not only did the living and eternal God declare unto Elijah that he wasn’t alone during those days, but he would also anoint that which would raise up a sword of judgment and destruction during those days. It would be Elijah who would learn and discover that there were seven thousand who had not bowed unto Baal, and which had not kissed him. Despite the fact that Jezebel had slaughtered the prophets during those days, there would be a remnant of faithful in the midst of the land—those who would keep themselves from the idolatry and iniquity of those days. How absolutely remarkable it was to think about and consider the fact that Elijah would learn and discover that he would not be alone in his pursuit of righteousness during those days, and that there would be a remnant of the righteous and faithful during those days. Moreover, Elijah would anoint that one who would continue in the prophetic ministry which he walked in, thus not only confirming the presence of the prophetic, but also the remnant of the righteous and faithful in the midst of the land. THE PRESERVATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE PROMOTION OF THE PROPHETIC!
The more I read and the more I study the words which are written and recorded in these chapters the more I can’t help but be captivated as you continue to progress through chapters twenty, twenty-one and twenty-two that the living and eternal God was preparing to bring down low and unleash a sword of judgment and destruction upon the house of Ahab. In the nineteenth chapter of this Old Testament book of First Kings we find Elijah anointing a sword that would be unleashed within the earth—a sword that would bring a swift end to the corruption, the wickedness, the idolatry, the iniquity and the immorality that surrounded the house of Ahab. The living God emphatically declared unto Elijah that after anointing Hazael, Jehu and Elisha that whoever escaped the sword of Hazael would be struck by the sword of Jehu, and whoever would escape the sword of Jehu would be struck down by the sword of Elisha. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this, for the days of Elijah were also about preparation for that work of judgment and destruction which would come upon a rebellious, unfaithful, idolatrous, vile and wicked house—just like the living God had destroyed the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, as well as the house of Baasha. Now here we have the living God once more preparing to bring to an end the house of Ahab because of his iniquity, his idolatry and his immorality. It’s absolutely and utterly fascinating to think about and consider the fact that when Elijah anointed these three individuals—a king in Syria, a king in Israel, and a prophet in Israel—that which he was doing was anointing the sword that would unleash judgment upon the earth. What’s more, is that Elijah’s anointing of these three individuals would unleash a sword of judgment upon the earth—judgment that would begin at the highest level of government within the nation and northern kingdom of Israel. I can’t help but wonder if during these days the LORD is preparing to anoint that which is going to bring about the judgment of the LORD upon that which is corrupt, that which is vile, that which is evil, that which is wicked, that which is idolatrous and immoral in the midst of the land. I can’t help but wonder within my heart if the Spirit of the living God is preparing an anointing of Hazael’s, Jehu’s and Elisha’s during this day that can and will unleash and bring about the judgment of the living God upon the idolatrous houses that are present within the nations of the earth. One can’t help but wonder why this particular pandemic wasn’t specific to any single country—despite the fact that countries such as Spain, Italy and the United States were the hardest hit countries in the world. As it stands, however, the United States of America is and has been the hardest hit country in the entire world and has surpassed Italy for the most deaths and the most cases.
I can’t help but wonder what the living God is anointing during these days in order that His divine plan and purpose might be fulfilled in the midst of the earth. I can’t help but wonder what the Spirit of the living God is anointing in secret in order that He might bring about judgment upon corrupt houses within and among the nations of the earth. I firmly believe the living God is indeed raising up an anointing within and during these days—an anointing that will be upon a sword of judgment which will be unleashed within and upon the earth. During this time I can’t help but get the strong sense that the living God is going to bring about an anointing in the secret place which can and will unleash a sword of the judgment of the LORD upon the earth. We have witnessed nations, kings, rulers, presidents and prime ministers alike being humbled in the face of something that was so much bigger and so much greater than them. If there is one thing I find absolutely astounding about this particular crisis it’s that it is so much bigger than any world leader, so much bigger than any nation, and so much bigger than any organization. One can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the perfect time for someone to emerge who will prove to be great during this time and who will apparently and supposedly have all the answers to what we are facing—from the pandemic, to the economies, to job markets, to businesses, and the like. Counties, nations, rulers, leaders, presidents, prime ministers alike are trying to sure up economies and to help the people who are suffering and hurting during this time, and yet one thing has proven abundantly evident, and that is that there hasn’t been, nor is there one leader among the nations of the earth that has in fact cornered this particular crisis. There is not a nation upon the earth where this crisis hasn’t faced—despite the fact that there is talk about how Sweden has been one of the countries which has been the least impacted by the virus. When countless people, rulers, leaders, presidents, governors, senators, kings, princes, prime ministers, and the like are scrambling to truly understand what is going on, and what to do during this time, there is no single individual, nor is there any single one upon the face of the earth who truly knows how to handle this particular crisis. I can’t help but get the strong sense that what we are witnessing and what we are beholding is a powerful picture and portent of something so severe and something so powerful that can shake the nations of the earth, that can bring world leaders to a tremendous place of helplessness, and in the midst of it all prepare and set the stage for a great move of the living God, as well as the emergence of something so evil, so vile, so wicked, and so terrible within and upon the face of the earth.
THE CONFLICT WITH SYRIA! AN ENEMY THAT WOULD RISE UP AGAINST THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL! THE LORD WOULD GIVE AHAB TWO VICTORIES OVER THE SYRIANS, HOWEVER, THERE WOULD COME A THIRD WHICH WOULD ULTIMATELY LEAD TO THE DEATH OF AHAB! AN INHERITANCE ROBBED AND STOLEN IN THE MIDST OF THE LAND! As you continue reading the words which are written and found within chapters twenty through twenty-two you will find specific events which would lead to the death of Ahab king of Israel. In the final verses of the nineteenth chapter you find and discover the LORD instructing Elijah to anoint three specific individuals—individuals who would introduce a sword in the midst of the earth. There at the mountain of the living God we find the LORD instructing Elijah to anoint Hazael to be king of Syria, Jehu to be king in Israel, and Elisha to minister in the office of prophet in Elijah’s stead. When the nineteenth chapter draws to a close it does so with Elijah anointing a three edged sword that would be introduced and unleashed within and upon the earth that would bring to the grave and bring down low the house of Ahab and Jezebel in the midst of the land. IN the twentieth chapter of the book of First Kings you will find Ben-Hadad king of Syria threatening Ahab and the northern kingdom of Israel. Within the twentieth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find and encounter the absolutely astonishing reality that Ahab initially responded in humility to the threat of Ahab, however, he would eventually become angered and outraged by the words which this king of Syria would speak unto him. What would ultimately end up happening within this passage is two distinct battles which would take place between the king of Syria and the king of Israel—both battles which would result in the king and army of Syria being defeated before and by Ahab king of Israel and the men who would fight alongside him in battle. What I absolutely love about the second battle which is recorded in this chapter is when a man of God would come unto Ahab king of Israel and declare unto him concerning the Syrians: “Thus saith the LORD< Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is a God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” How absolutely astonishing and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that a man of God would come unto Ahab during this time and would emphatically declare unto him that the living and eternal God would overthrow the Syrians because they said among themselves that the living God was a Good of the hills and not a God of the valleys. I have to admit that I find this to be absolutely remarkable and astonishing when you think about and consider it, for how many times has the enemy and adversary spoken unto you that the living God whom you serve, the living God whom you worship, the living God whom follow is only a God of the hills and is not also a God of the valleys? How many times has the enemy and adversary risen up against you and declared unto you that the LORD whom you serve is not in the valleys, and is not in the lowest places where you walk in this life? How many times has the enemy and adversary spoken unto you and has told you a lie that the God whom you serve and the God whom you worship is not a God of the valleys, but is only a God of the hills, and only a God of the mountains?
As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely astonishing and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that the living God would deliver the king of Syria into the hands of the king of Israel and those who were with him—not once, but twice. What’s more, is that the king of Israel would overtake the king of Syria and those who were with him in battle according to the word of the LORD which would declare that it was indeed true that the living God was a God of the mountains, and He was a God of the hills, however, this God whom we serve is also a God of the valleys. Despite the fact that the valley you might be walking in might be a valley of weeping, the living God is and has always been a God of the valleys with you. Even though the valley you might be walking in is a valley of the shadow of death, the LORD goes with you and before you, and He encourages you to fear no evil. Even though you might find yourself staring into a valley where a giant stands before you taunting you—and not only you, but also the living God—the LORD can and will give you the strength to defeat and overthrow the giant that has taunted and ridiculed you and the God whom you serve. Even though the enemy might set himself in array against you in the midst of the valley, the living God is just as much a God of the valleys as He is a God of the hills. The living God whom you serve is not merely a God of the mountains, and He is not only a God of the hills, but the living God can go, the living God can come to, the living God can enter into the lowest of the valleys you walk within this life, and can arm you with strength for the battle that you might defeat and utterly overthrow the enemy and adversary in the midst of your life. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular reality, for it is absolutely amazing to think about and consider the fact that the living God is indeed a God of the valleys—even though the valley you might find yourself walking in is perhaps one of the deepest and darkest valleys you have ever found yourself walking in and through. Oh that we would find and take great solace and strength in the reality that the living God whom we serve with our hearts and with our spirits is a God who is able to enter into any valley we walk through, and not only arm us with strength, but also fight for, fight with and fight alongside us. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely astonishing reality, for when we truly get it within the depths of our spirit it has the ability to radically change and transform our lives—and not merely our lives, but how we view and perceive our God, and how we fight and engage the enemy and adversary within our lives. Oh that we would recognize and understand this absolutely astonishing reality, and would walk in the knowledge that the living God is as much a God of the valleys as He is a God of the mountains and the hills. Our God is not a God who only fights atop and upon the mountains and hills alone, but is also a God who can enter into the valleys we find ourselves in and fight with, for and alongside us as we encounter and engage the enemy and adversary who has raised himself against us.