‘El’ in Elijah is the abbreviation of Elohim. The meaning of ‘Elohim’ in Hebrew language is God. ‘Jah’ in Elijah is the short form of Jehovah. Jehovah, the most revered holy name among the Jews, is also known as Yahweh. The meaning of ‘Yahweh’ in Hebrew language is LORD. The rendition of Elijah in the Bible simply means The LORD is God. The fact that people say the common name of some individuals on earth often denotes their earthly mission. Although the scripture did not tell us the background of Elijah apart from the fact that we learnt that he was from Tishbite, if this saying is assumed to be true, the prophet lived and functioned true to his name.
This man of God, Prophet Elijah, came to King Ahab and declared, “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” (1 Kings 17:1 KJV) In this verse, the prophet ascertained that he was a servant in right-standing with God and at his word, rain will not fall in the province of Ahab for three and a half years. Rain did not fall in those three and half years in the land because God is using His servant Elijah to prove a point to the idolatrous people that it wasn’t the idol god of Baal that gave them rain. In this period of drought in the land, the Lord God Almighty provided for His faithful servant. The bird of raven served as the chef of Prophet Elijah. “And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.” (1 Kings 17:6 KJV) God used the bird that lacked the understanding to provide food for its off-spring became the chef of Elijah to provide food for the Servant of God. “Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God they wander for lack of meat” (Job 38:41 KJV) This bird made available breakfast and dinner to Prophet Elijah every day.
In the province of Ahab, there were about 450 prophets of Baal. In those three and half years they were completely powerless and clueless about how to address the pressing need of rain in the land. Their idol god of Baal could not give them rain. At the appointed time of God, the mercy of God prevailed. The beauty of this awesome event was that God did not bypass His servant, Elijah and sent rain to the land. God had made a statement through Elijah, His servant to King Ahab and his idolatrous people that He was behind the drought in the nation. He also made a statement of His mercy towards the people and permitted rain in the land at the word of Elijah His servant.
Prophet Elijah appeared before the King Ahab. He asked him to summon the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of idol god of Asherah and the people of the land unto Mount Carmel. “Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.” (1 Kings 18:22-24 KJV) The die was cast and the battle line was drawn between the representatives of the true God and the fake idol god. Each of the two parties chose their mode of sacrifice and a way of reaching to their higher power. The idol prophets called upon their idol god. But for a whole day, fire did not come from their god to light up their offering. Their powerless idol god failed them woefully at the crucial moment.
Before the Prophet Elijah began to call upon God Almighty, he repair the altar and commanded that twelve barrels of water be poured upon the sacrifice on the altar until the trench was filled and soaked with water. We all know that water is not a good conductor of fire especially when you are making fire burnt offering unto the Lord on the altar. But the Prophet had an absolute trust in the Lord that His offering will be honored and fire of God will descend to consume his offering. “At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” (1 Kings 18:36-37 NLT)
The Heavenly Father did not put His servant, Prophet Elijah to shame. God honored the sacrifice and prayer of Elijah. “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 in the trench! And 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!” (1 Kings 18:38-39 NLT) The Heavenly Father vindicated His servant. His glory was made manifest according to the desire of His servant, Elijah. Adoration unto the Lord rented the air. The people became convinced that the God of Elijah is the true God. They were shouting and worshiping aloud saying: “The Lord is God, The Lord is God—which is the exact interpretation of the name of Elijah as we have earlier explained.
But the Prophet Elijah did not stop at this miracle; he went further praying that God may once again bring rain to the nation. “... But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees.” (1 Kings 18:42 NLT) Elijah, the servant of the Most High God, called upon His name that rain may once again fall in the province of Ahab, and God answered according to His words. “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-24 NLT)
The Blind Bartimaeus who was born blind received his sight when he encountered Jesus Christ. “And Jesus said unto him, “Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.” (Luke 18:42) The lame man at the Beautiful Gate walked at the command of Peter the apostle. “Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.’” (Acts 3:6) The dead stinking body of Lazarus walked out alive out of the grave after four days in the tomb. “… He [Jesus] cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth …” (John 11:43-44) All the miracles that manifested in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ and the subsequent activities of His Apostles in the first century Christianity were various statements that God was making through His servants that the grace of salvation had been extended to humanity through our Lord Jesus Christ His Son.
Perhaps you have experienced miracles in the course of your journey on earth, or at least you have heard and seen anyone that had experienced miracles in their lives. The Lord is simply making a simple statement to you and me that He is the Lord God Almighty behind all those great deed. There is no one beside Him, no one is His equal. “To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.” (Isaiah 40:18, 25) Let us recognize Him and relate to Him like the Israelites in the time of Prophet Elijah who genuinely turned unto God and worship Him and acknowledge His glory saying: “The Lord—He is God!
Prayer: Oh Mighty God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, you are making statement with your mercy, your grace, your faithfulness and abundance of your miracles and provisions. Grant me the grace to be sensitive to the impulses of Holy Spirit when you are speaking to me. Let my eyes of understanding be enlightened to behold the beauty of your glory, in Jesus name, Amen.