Trouble Marker of Israel – Elijah – Part 3
1 Kings 18
I want to zoom in real fast on King Ahab. He is the son of King Omri, and we learn about King Omri in 1 Kings 16:25. The bible doesn’t say much about him, but it does say a lot all at the same time. In short King Omri went down as an “evil king in the sight of God”. Think about this real fast, we are all sinners, and apart from Jesus, we are all heading to hell. Technically we are all evil in the sight of God, but the bible went so far as to point out that of all the kings before him, God is saying this dude, this dude Mr. King Omri was an evil king in the sight of God. So it’s a big deal, God had a problem with this ruler, but it’s because this king had a problem with God.
If that’s not bad enough it says he was “more evil than all the kings before him”. That isn’t the kind of reputation I personally would want to have especially in the bible. King Omri is the father of King Ahab, so King Ahab gets raised by the most evil king of all Israel. So fast forward to 1 Kings 18, Elijah has a conflict with King Ahab. An Evil King VS An Righteous Prophet. One has the power of satan and demonic forces and the other has the power of God. This is like the ultimate Hollywood comic movie right here in the bible. I want to make that clear, we fight spiritual forces as well as physical forces. Ephesians 6:12 ”For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
It’s important that we raise our kids in the ways of God because you don’t want them actually going up against God because as we are about to see it just doesn’t go well for King Ahab and honestly it’s not his fault, he was raised this way, it’s King Omri’s fault for raising his son to hate God and his people. King Solomon instructs his son with these words from Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
The crazy thing is, King Solomon was one of the first kings of Israel. These words were written down years, decades before King Omri, what happened? King Omri didn’t read the scripture, he didn’t listen to the priest and their advice on what the word of God said. Why was God’s word forgotten? The easy answer is pride, it all boils down to pride. Generation after generation, King Omri is just the next king after a long list of other kings, it was his time to get on the throne and be the king of the kingdom, but there is a small problem, it wasn’t his kingdom and he wasn’t the real king. It was God’s Kingdom and He is the King. He was just letting you manage it for a while.
How many of your sons want to be just like their Daddy? How many of your daughters are trying to be like Mommy? It’s so important we raise our kids on the path of righteousness and that can only be done with the right understanding of who Jesus is. Imagine how different our society would be if we did exactly this. How many stories would we hear on the news of children killing their own parents? How many kids would be locked up in county jails? This is the direct effect of what happens when Parents don’t follow Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.”
God loves his people, you know he is working everything out perfectly to try to reveal himself to others, by using others. In this case, he uses Elijah to be the spokesperson for himself to Ahab. Why, though? Why not just go directly to Ahab and speak to him? He chooses to do this with a few kings in the bible, but not with Ahab. He might even try speaking to the king’s wives, maybe they will listen to their wives if not to him. It’s very possible that God was talking to Ahab, but Ahab was so far away from God that he couldn’t hear clearly, so God chose Elijah to make that hearing a little better. God causes a three-year drought to happen in order to try to get the attention of Ahab. It’s possible that Ahab, thought his own god Baal, was in control of the rain and water. God was making a statement saying “I am the Lord of the water, the rain, and the crops that grow”. Just like he did during the Exodus. Whatever the reason, we know that one thing is true, God uses the painful seasons of our lives to try to get our attention.
The problem is Ahab refused to turn to God. He chose to reject God and therefore rejected what is ultimately from God and that is life and water brings life. Without water, there is only death. When we choose to go our own way, we choose the road that leads to death. Now because we are made in the image and likeness of God, King Ahab was able to get water somehow for his people, we know that because they are still alive three years later in Chapter 18 and it says that Obadiah gave water to the prophets that he was hiding away in caves. We also find out that God allows rain to fall on the land again. This wasn’t because Ahab or Elijah did anything special, but because God is good to ungrateful people. This is what we call the sovereignty of God. His common love for all creation. This also answers why evil people receive good things like marriage, power, and wealth. It is all just part of the goodness and mercy of God’s very nature, but he will try to use painful seasons like famine to get the attention of people and he sends the Elijahs of their generation to them. He will also send literal storms, winter storm Elliot hit the Midwest in the Winter of 2022, they say it was one of the worst winter storms to hit the Midwest. The name Elliot comes from the name Elijah and it means “Yahweh is my God”. Is it possible that God was trying to speak to the Midwest using the winter storm Elliot? I think so because Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison are all cities that have been in recent news from voter election fraud, riots, and killings. Chicago is one of the most dangerous places on earth. I think God sent Elijah as a Warning to the Midwest, maybe to the whole nation.
If you continue to read 1 Kings 18, King Ahab has his day with Elijah and he calls Elijah a “Trouble Maker of Israel”. This standoff leads to 450 prophets of Baal being put to death. We also enter into 1 Kings 19 where we see that Jezebel the wife of King Ahab was just as evil as Ahab, maybe even more evil than Ahab. The poor parenting of King Omri led to 450 prophets of Baal being slaughtered and his son being in a very bad marriage situation. I wonder what if his wife was a follower of Yahweh? It’s a long shot, but maybe it would’ve made a huge difference if he was with a woman that followed Yahweh, but that wasn’t going to happen unless Ahab was also a follower of Yahweh.
Those whole 3 years God was trying so much to get the attention of King Ahab. I honestly think that after the prophet’s situation happened, King Ahab was starting to turn, but his wife was in the way. His wife was really in charge of that kingdom, not King Ahab. Do you know who the real troublemaker of Israel was? It wasn’t anyone in this story, it was King Omri because he chose to reject God. He chose to raise his son in a way displeasing to God. He chose Baal and not Yahweh; because of that, King Ahab took the throne and God took the water. When we each learn to get off the throne and let God sit back down on it, that is when we find life.