Exiting the Cave Basic Review of 1 Kings 17-18 Main Passage 1 Kings 19
- There’s a great and strong wind.
- There’s an
- There’s a fire.
- There is the sound of a low whisper – a still small voice.
How do you recognize God’s presence? Desire the Presence of God “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8 [ESV] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and He with Me.” – Revelation 3:20 [ESV] Desire to Know God To recognize God, you should know Who He is “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6 [ESV] God wants you to know Him and to love Him – that’s a RELATIONSHIP Desire Leads to Readiness “Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10a [ESV] You cannot predict how God will be present from past experiences. Each moment is we should be ready for Him with great expectation but not by placing Him in some prepackaged box. If you box Him in, you’ll miss Him. Desire More of Him & Less of You “Why climb the mountains or go down into the valleys of the world looking for Him Who dwells within us?” – Augustine If you believe in Jesus Christ and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit it means that God dwells within. That means the Spirit of God dwells within you. You don’t have to ask for the Holy Spirit once you have obtained – you simply ask “More of You, less of me.” Each day. Every day. Listen. The Holy Spirit will help you, comfort you, remind you, teach you, empower you, assure you, strengthen you….
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were in prison singing hymns. An earthquake opened the prison doors but the prisoners stayed. Free to stay. Why? Why didn’t they run? They were bringing Hope.
The jailer woke up from the earthquake and saw all the doors of the prison open. He immediately decided to kill himself because he would have been killed anyway for allowing the prisoners to escape. He felt hopeless. This reminds me of Elijah and the hopeless woman and her son. Do you remember she wanted to eat the food she had left and then die? In 1 Kings 17, you find this widow of Zarephath feeling hopeless, just as this jailer. Elijah was bringing Hope.
In both cases, this sense of hopelessness was met with the presence of God. Paul and the others stayed. The jailer asked what to do to be saved. He and his household were saved. The widow and her son never ran out of oil. What was once hopeless was no longer. The jailer was then “filled with joy” (v. 34). From hopeless to joy—you can have that too!
“The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped… He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’” – Acts 16:27, 30 [NIV]
While walking Jesus saw a dead son being carried along with the mother of the son and a group who gathered with her. She was a widow. He was her only son. I couldn’t imagine what she was going through suffering yet another loss. As one would expect, she was crying.
Jesus saw her and the Bible says “his heart overflowed with compassion.” He told the widow not to cry. He raised her son. The passage said that Jesus gave him back to his mother. What once was lost she had again.
The Lord’s heart overflows with compassion for each of us. He loves each of us that much. There are moments when I am crying and I can feel this sudden peace. “Don’t cry.” I’m not alone. You’re not alone. His compassion overflows with such a great outpouring to each one of us, so much so that He, the only Son, died and rose again so that we too could rise again, that we can have new life.
“When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ he said.” – Luke 7:13 [NLT]
One of my favorite books of the Bible is 1 Kings. Not so long ago I was led to make a Bible study for the book and it was a great journey through God’s Word. We are introduced to Elijah in 1 Kings and we see a lot unfold. From the moment he is on the scene, we are not provided much of an introduction into his life, but we slowly see this picture of Elijah revealed through the drought, the time with the widow, and the magnificent display by God at Mount Carmel.
Now Ahab describes Elijah differently than most of us would. He called him a “troublemaker.” A troublemaker. Most of us would not call Elijah a troublemaker. He was following God’s commands. He was anything but a troublemaker. But to Ahab he was a troublemaker because Ahab was not following God’s commands. What Elijah was doing was causing trouble for Ahab and his evil ways.
In the same way, people might see Christians as troublemakers. We stand firm and uphold the Word of God but that goes against what society desires. The world wants what the world wants. So you might be called a “troublemaker.” Just remember that there are two types of troublemakers. There are troublemakers who are simply standing firm on God’s Word so they appear as the disorder amidst the world. Then there are the troublemakers who are against God’s Word and are living a life filled with evil. Ahab saw Elijah as a troublemaker. We see Ahab as a troublemaker. The difference is—one is following God’s Word and the other is not. Where do you fall?
“When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, ‘So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?’” – 1 Kings 18:17 [NLT]
“But King David replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.’” – 1 Chronicles 21:24 [NIV]
Gad told David to build an altar to the Lord and David obeyed. When he approaches Araunah to ask for the site needed to build the altar, he insists on paying the full price for the area even though he was told to simply take it. David’s reason was that if he simply took the land without a cost, then it really was not a sacrifice.
A sacrifice should cost something or it does not mean much. If David took the area without sacrificing anything of his own, what would it mean to him? It would mean nothing. It would not have been his sacrifice, but Araunah’s sacrifice.
Today look at what sacrifices you make for the Lord. Are you actually making a sacrifice that means something to you? Remember the widow who gave all she had—that small amount was a big sacrifice in her situation. We should feel the sacrifice—do you? Remember that God paid the full price for you. No sacrifice was too much for Him to give.
“For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’” – 1 Kings 17:14 [NIV]
Elijah announced there was going to be a drought for years and God directed him to a brook for water and he had the ravens supply him with food. When the brook dried up, the Lord sent him to a widow in Zarephath. Now this widow and her son hardly had much left for themselves. Elijah went to meet her and wanted a drink and some bread. The widow says she is gathering sticks so she can make some food for both her and her son. She states, “That we may eat it—and die” (v. 12).
I imagine myself in her shoes, a widow with a child and very little to eat. Here’s a man who God has directed me to feed. I only have so much food—barely enough for myself and my child. Would I make a small loaf for Eliljah and trust that God would provide? Would I trust the promise of God, that the flour would not be used up and the oil would not run dry? In this passage, it is clear to see that God is this woman’s only hope.
If we think about it, she only had that small portion left for the day. It wasn’t much; it would only have lasted that meal. She said they would die. But as she gave what little she had to God, she ended up having enough food for every day that followed. She had no lack. This is the hope that God gives each one of us. To each of us, He has made promises. To each of us, He provides provisions. Today consider what small loaves you are holding back in your own life. Is it possible that He has abundantly more for you waiting if only you would walk in faith?