Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 17

Elijah’s powerful message to Ahab

1 Kings 17:1

Elijah is called ‘the Tishbite’. That could mean: ‘from a town called Tishbe’. He came from Gilead, a part of Israel on the east side of the river Jordan. He suddenly came to King Ahab to declare a very serious message to him.

Ahab, and his wife Jezebel, opposed the true God fiercely. They served the false gods Baal and Asherah. Ahab had built a great temple (sacred building) for Baal in his new capital city, Samaria (16:32). Jezebel was murdering the prophets (holy people) who served the true God (18:4). It seemed as if Ahab had destroyed totally the true God’s relationship with northern and central Israel.

That was when, suddenly, Elijah came to Ahab. Elijah was a man with an extremely close relationship with God. God’s Spirit worked powerfully in Elijah’s life, and Elijah’s prayers had real power (James 5:17-18).

The religion of Baal claimed to give power and authority to men; the religion of Asherah claimed to give wealth and success. Elijah stood against those false gods in the power of the real God. In that power, Elijah claimed the authority to prevent the rain. Until he permitted the rain to return, Israel’s agriculture would fail. The people would lose their wealth; it would be a struggle even to remain alive. Then Ahab and Israel’s people would see that the true God was still living and active. They would see how weak their false gods truly were. They would know that God still claims all of Israel for himself (Romans 11:26). That would give them the opportunity to turn back to God (Malachi 4:5-6).

Next part: Elijah at the Kerith stream (1 Kings 17:2-6)


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