Persecution and Elijah’s Fear

By nature we are all like Jezebel in our willful blindness to the reality and relevance of God. If we now believe in God and trust in Jesus for salvation, it is only because this miracle of grace as taken place in our lives. God has “shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” This is what Jesus came to do. One of the things that Jesus came to do according to Isaiah 42:7 is give sight to the blind.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Ahab, Elijah and Prayer

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 41-46
Text: Verses 41-46

And this short single verse description of Elijah running before Ahab illustrates a hope for change that will soon be disappointed. What this story illustrates is the need for God to act in a new way if there is there is ever going to be lasting change. The story as a whole illustrates that sin leads to famine and death and the fact that it will take more than even something as spectacular as fire from heaven to make a lasting difference.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Fire from Heaven

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 22-24, 30-40
Text: Verses 38-40

What we have here is an expression of God’s grace to his people. The fire that came from heaven fell upon the altar and consumed the burnt offering, the wood and the altar itself. And it did not consume the people.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Elijah’s Prayer

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 22-24, 30-37
Text: Verses 32b-37

The truth of God and about God is revealed with more and more clarity as the story of the Bible progresses. And so it is with this truth of the great significance of the knowledge of God. And as with every other theme in Scripture Jesus Christ is the climax in one way or another.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Elijah Repairs the Altar of the LORD

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 17-24, 30-32a
Text: Verses 30-32a

You see, idols will take over our lives if we let them. Remember for us, we are talking about things like money and pleasure and comfort when we are talking about idols. Idols are things that take the place of God in our lives – often they are things that are good in themselves, but they become idols if they become God-substitutes. The broken-down altar teaches us that if we are not fighting against idolatry in our lives, the idols will take over – they will squeeze out the worship of God.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Futility of Trusting Idols

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 17-29
Text: Verses 23-29

And so it is easy for us to place our trust in the things we can see rather than in the God whom we can’t see. The only way we know that everything that we need comes from God is from the Bible. God tells us in his word that he is our Shepherd and our provider. But we know that by faith. We do not know that empirically. God’s involvement in our lives and in the weather and in the economy is not something that we can discern on the basis of experience. We must believe it on the basis of God’s word.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

“Limping Between Two Different Opinions”

Idolatry is anything which takes the place of God in our lives – anything that we love more than God – anything that we trust more than God – anything that we look to, to satisfy our souls more than God. Romans 1:25 gives a short definition of idolatry when it says of mankind in sin that they “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Troubler of Israel?

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-19
Text: Verse 17

The word of the Lord is a profoundly disturbing word to those who are unwilling to submit to the authority of God. The word of God promises peace and fulness of life to those who believe in Jesus and submit to him as Lord, but that is always on the far side of submission to the authority of God, repentance for sin and dying to self. And the call to repentance is offensive to those who think they have nothing to repent of. And so there will always be something about the message of God’s word that is troublesome for sinners.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

An Assignment for Obadiah

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-16
Text: verses 7-16

What we need to fear is disobeying God. If we are doing what God tells us to do, there is no reason to fear and the Bible makes is clear that God expects his people to have the kind of trust in God that excludes fear. As Psalm 118:6 expresses it, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Jesus speaks of this as well in his farewell message to his disciples. In John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Famine, Rain and Ahab

Ahab did not care for the sheep that had been entrusted to his care. They were perishing because of his stubborn sinfulness, and Ahab was more concerned about his horses. But Jesus was and is the opposite. He leads his sheep in paths of righteousness. He gives his life for his sheep and he is committed to see to it that not one of his sheep will perish. See the great contrast between King Ahab and parched and barren land under his rule, and King Jesus and the kingdom of life and flourishing under his rule. And order your life accordingly.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra