Introduction : Elijah was a prophet and servant of God who wrought many wonders in God’s name. He was a righteous and obedient man filled with the spirit of God hence the power he had to do all the mighty miracles he did.
We shall consider some of the life events of Elijah and the Lessons we can learn from them.
1. Elijah declared there would be no rain in the land 1 Kings 17:1
Elijah pronounced there would be no rain for certain years until he gave the word. He said to King Ahab “As surely as the Lod the God of Israel lives, the God whom I worship and serve, there would be no rain or dew during the next few years until I give the word”
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Lesson 1: Those that know their God shall be strong do exploits. Elijah knew his God and he was confident that God will back up his word.
Lesson 2: Any man who truly serves and worships God carries power. Power to confront evil powers. Power to confront oppressors. Power to win over every situation. Power to declare the word of God without fear.
2. Elijah fed by ravens 1 Kings 17: 3-5
Since Elijah pronounced there would be no rain in the land for the next few years until he gave the word, no plants would grow. Hence there would be scarcity of food and water but how would he himself eat? What would he drink? He too would be affected by the rain definitely. Then, God gave him an instruction to go to Keith Brook. There he would drink and by fed by a raven.
Lesson 1 : God always have a way of escape for his children. He never leaves us stranded and He knows just how to orchestrate things to work out for our good.
Lesson 2: I am sure Elijah did not know there was a Kerith Brook before that time but God knew. I’m sure Elijah didn’t know a Raven could feed him but God made that possible just to prove a point that He can use anything to bless us. Note also that, a Raven is the most stingy bird in the world but God used that same stingy bird to feed Elijah. This proves that even our economy does not affect the blessings of God upon our lives. God will use anything to enrich us in any system, no matter how tough.
3. The Widow at Zarephath 1 Kings 17:8-16
After a while, because of lack of rain, the water at the brook dried up and Elijah had nothing else to drink and God instructed him to leave to the city of Zarephath where he would meet a widow. He obeyed, met the woman gathering sticks to cook their last meal and he asked her for water and a bite of bread but the woman replied that the last meal was what she had for herself and her child. Elijah then instructed her to bake the bread for him first and thereafter there shall plenty for herself and her son to eat for many days and as long as they like. She obeyed and did just as the prophet had asked and true to his words, they never lacked food even though there was famine in the land. They had so much to eat.
Lesson 1: God knows everything. He knows just how to meet our needs. He knows from who he will meet it and he knows when. This is why we must always learn to seek God’s face for direction. The brook drying up didn’t mean Elijah would go hungry. He just needed to trust God for his next move and God told him exactly what to do. It is good to trust God at all times
Lesson 2: The Zarephath woman was such an obedient woman. Even though she had not met Elijah before, she trusted his words because he spoke in the name of the Lord. She didn’t try to fathom how her food will increase if she shared it with another person. She had a blinded faith in the prophet because she knew he came from God. As believers, God will send his people to us at various times, we must be submissive and obedient especially if we know that they are truly of God. Also note that, our 5 senses cannot fathom out God’s ways. So we must learn to trust God, his words and his prophets even when it doesn’t make sense to us. The blessings are in obedience.
4. Elijah prayed down fire on the altar 1 Kings 18:1-40
Ahab, king of Israel had been looking to kill Elijah. Eventually, Elijah appeared and showed himself to the king. He asked him to bring out all his prophets, let them prepare an altar and let each side call on the name of their Gods to send fire upon the set altar. Elijah was the only one who believed in God while King Ahab and his prophets believed in Baal. Then, the prophets of Baal began to dance around their altar calling on the name of their God to send down fire but nothing happened. They started to cut themselves as they called on their God yet, no answer. Then, it was Elijah’s turn. He reset the altar, asked them to pour water on it 3 times and he knelt down to pray 1 king 18:36,37. In verse 38, the fire of the Lord came down and consumed the altar full of fire. He instructed that all the prophets of Baal were caught and he killed them all.
Lesson 1: God never fails his children and he honours his word more than his name. Just like Elijah, whenever we call on God, he will definitely hear us. When we pray, we must learn to pray in faith, trusting that he will hear. We must always believe that he will answer us. Did he answer Elijah, yes he did.
Lesson 2: There are no other gods except God. All other gods are empty. God is the only true God who can hear us, see us and speak to us and feel what we feel. Serving other gods will set us up for failure and disappointment just like it happened to the prophets of Baal. We must learn to seek God only and believe him only.
5. Jezebel threatens to kill Elijah: I Kings 19
When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel how Elijah had killed all the prophets of Baal. She was infuriated and sent a message to Elijah swearing with her gods that she would have him killed in 24 hours for what he had done. Guess what! King Elijah who had wrought many mighty miracles was afraid of Jezebel’s threat and he ran for his life. He fled out of the country. It was in this journey he told God he had had enough and God sent an angel to him to give him food and water because he was so tired and scared for his life.
Lesson 1: As believers, we must know when to run, when to wait and when to fight. Although Elijah was powerful and could destroy Jezebel but he fled! That was not the time to fight. It was a time to run so his life would be preserve for other causes. Unbelievers can kill believers. Therefore, it is wise that believers are sensitive to God to know what to do at every point in time.
Lesson 2: Elijah didn’t put God into a foolish test. Yes, God could have saved him from Jezebel but he chose to listen to his instincts. Probably he was tired from killing the 450 prophets of Baal, journeying from place to place, praying and everything in between. As human, he might have recognized that he was tired and he didn’t try to push his strength thereby putting God into a foolish test. Believers must learn to recognize when to rest and when to keep going. Never put God into a foolish test.
Conclusion : These amongst many others were the miracles King Elijah performed but one thing stands out in his life. It was his obedience and faith in God. He was also a wise and praying prophet who was sensitive to the moves of God. We as believers must learn to emulate his obedience and faith in God.