Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 19

7000 people who were loyal to God

1 Kings 19:18

At last, God explained to Elijah the problem that had worried Elijah so much.

This was the problem. The people in northern and central Israel, and especially their kings, had turned completely against the true God. So, Elijah worried that they had destroyed completely Israel’s special relationship with the true God. Perhaps God no longer cared about them; perhaps he had handed them over to believe in false gods. Elijah was afraid, therefore, that even the declaration of God’s word to them would achieve nothing good.

God’s reply was to tell Elijah about those people in Israel who remained loyal to God. God knew them all, whether Elijah knew them or not. God knew their loyal acts. They had not knelt to pray to the false god Baal. They had not kissed at the feet of the image of that false god, to give honour to Baal. So, they belonged to the true God, and the true God was quietly working in their hearts and lives. There were many of them, although they seemed few in that great nation.

Those people were important in God’s plan (Romans 11:1-5). So many people had turned against the covenant, God’s special relationship with Israel. However, God would work by means of his loyal people to carry out his promises to Israel. Israel had not lost its special relationship with God (Jeremiah 31:35-37). Only those people who had turned against God would lose their own personal relationship with him (Exodus 32:33). However, God’s promises remain strong and certain (2 Corinthians 1:20). Therefore, God will carry out all his promises to Israel (Romans 11:26).

Next part: Elijah appoints Elisha as a prophet (1 Kings 19:19)


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