Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 18

Elijah acted by God’s special command

1 Kings 18:36

Let us imagine that someone wanted to prove the greatness of God’s power. Maybe that person would try to copy Elijah’s actions. However, that person’s actions would not please God; such a person must not expect God to support them. It is wrong and evil to test God (Deuteronomy 6:16).

Elijah was not testing God. Rather, he was obeying God. In his prayer, he says that he did all these things because of God’s special command to him. Like Moses, Elijah understood extremely clearly what God was saying to him (compare Numbers 12:6-8). Even in the Bible, few people understood so clearly what God wanted.

That was a result of Elijah’s extremely close relationship with God in prayer. Many people in the Bible described themselves as servants of God – but for Elijah, this was a daily reality. For the last three years, God had provided his meals in a truly extraordinary manner (17:2-16). During that time, God separated Elijah from other people, and Elijah prayed continuously (James 5:17-18).

Elijah truly knew the real God. This was not, for him, a matter of customs in religion or beliefs about the spirit world. He served the one true God – the same God who gave his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (for example, Genesis 12:1-3 and 28:10-15). God called Jacob, ‘Israel’ (Genesis 32:28). From his family came the nation called Israel. Elijah was praying for that nation truly to know the God who had made those promises for their benefit.

Next part: Elijah's work: to turn people's hearts back to God (1 Kings 18:37)


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