'Elijah the Tishbite,' an original watercolor by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, 10 x 14 in.
'Elijah the Tishbite,' an original watercolor by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, 10 x 14 in. Available for sale.

Elijah is one tough prophet! God calls him to the awesome task of turning an apostate nation back to God. Perhaps the most spectacular event in Elijah's long ministry takes place on Mount Carmel, where he has challenged king Ahab to a contest between Yahweh and Baal. He watches while the 450 prophets of Baal dance and pray for hours, but see no fire from God to ignite their sacrifice. The Scripture records:

"Then Elijah said to all the people, 'Come here to me.' They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins." (1 Kings 18:30)

The altar -- and the worship of Yahweh -- lie in ruins. The people watch as Elijah carefully repairs the ancient altar. Stone by stone he builds it, one boulder for each of the tribes of Jacob. Then the fire falls on Yahweh's altar and utterly consumes the sacrifice. The people fall on their faces and shout, "Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!"

Elijah "repairs the altar of Yahweh," he rebuilds the knowledge and worship of the Lord throughout the land, and turns the hearts of God's children away from Baal and towards the true God of their fathers.

It is hard to imagine that your task and your mission field are more difficult than Elijah's. God may have placed you in a resistant community. Or in a cold, dead church that desperately needs to experience afresh the glory of the Living God! You can learn from Elijah what it takes to be God's man, God's woman in the situation where God has placed you. How to overcome deep discouragement. How to make a difference against long odds.

Elijah: Rebuilding Yahweh's Altar, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available in paperback, PDF, and Kindle formats.

I pray that as you study and ponder the life of Elijah, the Holy Spirit will highlight things for you to do -- and some things to avoid. You'll also learn from the rich supporting cast of these passages in 1 and 2 Kings -- Ahab, Jezebel, Micaiah, Jehoshaphat, and Elisha.

God empowered Elijah to change his world. May God's Spirit empower you to change your world as well.

Yours in Christ's service,
Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Loomis, California
September 15, 2022

Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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