The calling and commissioning of Elijah the Tishbite was not made know in the Bible. But volumes of his faithfulness in the Lord in turning the hearts of the Israelites to their Creator were so vivid in the Scripture. Also the way God honored him and upgraded His relationship with Elijah from one stage to another is noteworthy. Elijah exhibited unparalleled boldness to tell King Ahab, saying, “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) God honored the words of Elijah and the rain did not fall. The province experienced devastating drought for three and half years.
Obviously, the hardship drought in the kingdom of King Ahab did not go down well with the king and the teeming population of idolatry minded people of Israel. Of course, this also brought hatred against the prophet. Perhaps the king entered into an open contract with anyone that can provide a lead to wherever Elijah could be found. Anyone with God is a majority. God foresaw the plans of the king Ahab and commanded His Servant Elijah to hide himself in the brook Cherith. All the intelligent men of Ahab could not locate him because God protected him. Moreover, God commanded ravens to feed Elijah. “And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.” (1 Kings 17:4) Miraculously, ravens were bringing breakfast, lunch and dinner to Elijah in his hiding place. One may not really place much value on this miracle until we learn that raven is a bird that could not adequately provides for its young ones. This was revealed in Job 38:41, in the conversation of God with Job. “Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.”
When the brook Cherith dried up, the divine provision of God never dry up. An upgraded provision was again made available to Elijah through a Widow in Zarephath. A widow, in the Eastern culture is someone who has lost the source of her sustenance because of the death of her husband. Nevertheless, all these challenges did not hinder the upgraded provision of the servant of God through the Widow. Elijah said to the widow, “Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand . . . Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.” (1 Kings 17:10-14)
One day, the child of the widow was sick and died. Elijah swung into intercessory prayer for his resuscitation. “And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.” (I Kings 17:21-22) You can imagine joy that would have filled the heart of the poor widow who lost her husband but the life of her son was restored through the man of God.
The idolatrous Israelites had gone deep in their idolatry. Their spiritual focus had been impaired. They were now looking unto god of Baal, their idol god of rain to put an end to the drought in the land. The people could no longer be persuaded with the word of mouth alone. They need to behold the awesome and miraculous power of God before their hearts could be turned again to Almighty God. “Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. (1 Kings 18:22-24)
The four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal prepared their idol altar and sacrifice their bullocks, they call upon their god all day but their offering was not accepted. At the evening prayer time, Prophet Elijah prepared the altar of God, set the offering bullock on it. He commanded that trenches should be dug round about the altar. He also commanded that water should be poured upon the altar three times. The offering animal and the firewood was now totally soaked with water. Everyone knows that water-soaked firewood was not a good conductor of fire, but the power of God transcends the power of nature. Elijah prayed thus: “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. (1 Kings 18:37-39) God Almighty glorified Himself in the offering of Elijah. Fire fell from God to consume the burnt offering of Elijah. Thereby his enemies were put to shame. The onlooker people were stunned by the awesome miracle. They concurred in unison, “The LORD, he is the God” and they all worshipped God. The hearts of the people were turned to God Almighty. The false prophets of Baal were all destroyed in the brook of Kishon. After this miracle, the servant of the Lord prayed again and rain once again fell in the province of Ahab.
Jezebel the queen of King Ahab threatened to kill Prophet Elijah because she said he was instrumental to the destruction of the four hundred and fifty false prophets of Baal. Human weakness set in the life of the man of God. His first instinct was to run away in his attempt to prevent himself from untimely death in the hand of the powerful queen. The prayerful servant did not pray to God for deliverance. Instead, he complained and became downcast and sorrowful and said to himself, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” He was now tired and weary because of the strenuous journey. He fell asleep under a Juniper tree. In this state of mind, God did not abandon him. The mercy of the Heavenly Father prevailed. The angel of God touched him to wake him up and said unto him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head.” “And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. (1 Kings 19:7)
From careless raven bird as a chef of Elijah to a better servant in the hand of the poor widow as his sustainer when the brook Cherith dried up. From the miraculous resuscitation of the widow’s son to a miraculous response when God answered his prayer by fire and the heart of people were turned back to God. And now far away in a distant journey, when he was running for his life, the angel of the Lord with delicious hot meal in their hands were humbly ministering to Elijah. What an upgraded caring from the hands of a faithful Father that emanated from the upgraded relationship that Elijah had with God. Because of this upgraded relationship, Elijah did not see death and his body did not experience corruption of the grave. The chariot of fire came down to carry Elijah to heaven. “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (2 Kings 2:11)
As if all these honors were not enough, although Moses and Elijah had long gone thousands of years before Jesus Christ ministry on earth, Elijah appeared in the company of Moses in the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” (Matthew 17:1-3) The scripture tells us that, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) If God could so honor a man like this on earth, how glorious will of our welcome back home in heaven be? Our love for God manifests in our faithful relationship we have with him and our faithful services unto humanity. If we can demonstrate the type of faithfulness of Moses and Elijah in our relationship with the Heavenly Father here on earth, certainly we will also experience an upgraded divine intervention of the Almighty God in our lives.
Prayer: O Lord, I thank you for your love for me. Grant me the grace to upgrade my responsibilities in loving and serving you faithfully. Grant me the grace to upgrade my loving relationship towards humanity. O Father, in your infinite mercy, verify your word and your abundantly rich promises to upgrade your faithfulness and blessings in my life, in Jesus name, Amen.