Tag: Elijah

The Son of God, Son of David!

Scripture reading for October 6th: Matthew 1-4

Four hundred years of silence had passed and God spoke again!  He began fulfilling a number of prophesies that He gave over the years concerning His Son.  A virgin, named Mary, gave birth to a son.  (Matthew 1:22-23)  This virgin and her betrothed husband, Joseph, were descendants of King David and their genealogy was traced back to Abraham.  (Matthew 1:1-16)  This “Son” was born in Bethlehem, fulfilling what the prophet Micah had predicted nearly 700 years earlier.  (Matthew 2:6)

Gentile wise men came to worship Him who was born “King of the Jews.”  They came to Judea and visited King Herod.  Herod became jealous and ordered the destruction of all boys 2 years and younger.  God had already intervened and warned Joseph and Mary to depart for Egypt.  This fulfilled two other prophesies about Rachel weeping for her children and God calling His Son out of Egypt.  (Matthew 2:15-18)  When Joseph and Mary returned to Israel after Herod’s threat had passed, they settled in Nazareth.  Jesus was called a “Nazarene” in fulfillment of Scripture!

The Book of Malachi ended with a promise from God that He would send Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord.  (Malachi 4:5-6)  Elijah’s message would turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Matthew recorded the ministry of John the Baptist preaching in the Desert of Judea and calling God’s people to repentance and water baptism.  John was Jesus’ cousin and had a special call from God to prepare the way for His Son. (Matthew 3:1-3)  This also fulfilled a prophesy given by Isaiah! (Isaiah 40:3)

John the Baptist spoke plainly to the religious leaders who came to ridicule him.  He warned them that one was coming who would not just baptize with water, but with the Holy Spirit and fire!  (Matthew 3:7-11)  As Jesus was baptized by John, many witnessed an amazing confirmation of Jesus Christ the Son of God!    “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went out of the water.  At that moment heaven opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”Matthew 3:16-17

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What can I do for you?

Scripture reading for April 10th: 2nd Kings 1-3

As the prophet Elijah was about to depart from this earth, he asked Elisha: “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?”  (2nd Kings 2:9)  The understudy wisely answered that he desired a double portion of the Spirit.  This is essentially the same question God asked Solomon a few years earlier. (1st Kings 3:5)  God gives us choices.  One of the tensions in Scripture is between our free will and God’s sovereign will.  God is sovereign but he has chosen to work with man who is made in His image.  Part of that image is the ability to make choices.

Elijah had been instructed by God to tap Elisha to take his place some ten years earlier.  Elisha was the son of a farmer.  He was plowing with 12 yokes of oxen–a big rig of that day!  (1st Kings 19:19)  He was called when Elijah threw his cloak over him.  Scripture records that he left his oxen and ran after Elijah.  Then he sacrificed his oxen, burning his plowing equipment to cook the meat and set out to follow Elijah.

As the time for Elijah’s departure drew near, Elisha had to choose to stay near his mentor.  If we are going to get all that the Lord has for us, it means we must persevere!  Elijah gave him a word of knowledge–that if he could see him when he departed, he would have what he asked for.  (2nd Kings 2:10-12)  As they walked on together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses appeared and Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind right before Elisha’s eyes!  Elisha picked up the fallen cloak and began to do greater things than his mentor!

Jesus Christ has told us to ask Him for whatever we need and He will do it.  (John 14:14)  He has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and bring forth the gifts of the Spirit as they are needed to glorify the Lord.  He has told us that we will do even greater works because He has gone to the Father.  (John 14:11-14)  Ask the Lord today for what you need!  How much more will God the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask! (Luke 11:13)

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Provision in dry times!

Scripture reading for April 8th: 1st Kings 17-19

In 1975, our family went through a drought on the farm.  It rained early in the year, but then quit after the crops were in.  June and July had almost no rain and the corn grew and tasseled, but did not produce silks.  Ears formed but no kernels were on the cobs.  It looked very bleak for feeding our animals and paying the bills.  The soybeans were shorter than usual, but it rained in August when they were blooming and they produced a good crop.  God provided for us even in the dry year.

Elijah announced to King Ahab that no rain or dew would fall from the sky except at his word. (1st Kings 17: 1) He then left the area following the instructions of the Lord.  God promised provision to Elijah.  He commanded ravens to feed him by the brook in the Kerith Ravine.  After a few rainless weeks, the brook dried up and God sent Elijah to a widow’s house in Zarephath.    It would have been ideal to have a rich widow but this widow was so poor that she was gathering sticks to cook her son a last meal from a nearly empty jar of flour and oil.  Elijah asked her to bring him a little water and a piece of bread.  He encouraged her not to fear, that God would provide for her until the rains came again.  She obeyed and God provided meals for nearly three years from that empty flour bin and oil jar!

The times we live in are dry in many ways.  Our economy is weak and many are laid off from jobs and can’t find work.  Provision is often very low.  In times like this, we must listen to the Word of the Lord!  It is imperative that each person hears the instructions God has for them.  Elijah was cared for because he obeyed the Lord.   The widow was taken care of during the drought because she took care of the prophet.  Dry times need not be a problem for those who honor the Lord first and listen to His instructions!

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The two witnesses!

Scripture reading for December 20th: Revelation 11:1-19

God’s love for mankind always goes the extra mile.  He sent His Son into the world to seek and save lost people.  He sent the Church into all the world to share the Gospel and make disciples of all nations.  During the great tribulation, God will send two witnesses to the world with supernatural power to declare His power one final time to those still living in rebellion on the earth.

“”And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”  These are the two olive trees and the two lamp-stands that stand before the Lord of the earth..  If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies.  This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.  These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have the power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.” (Revelation 11:3-6)

The identity of these two witnesses has been debated by many over the years.  Some think that Enoch and Elijah would be good candidates since neither one died, but were taken to heaven by miraculous means.  Others think the description of their powers make Elijah and Moses better possibilities.  These witnesses will have supernatural power similar to those exercised by these Old Testament prophets.  They will bring judgments on the earth to demonstrate God’s absolute power over nature and people’s futility to resist Him.

“Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.  For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.” These powerful witnesses will be killed at the end of the 1,260 days set by God.  The peoples of the earth will think they won for three and a half days.  Then, miraculously, the breath of Life enters them and they hear a voice from heaven, “Come up here!” God demonstrates again His power over death for His saints!

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Jesus, Moses, Elijah!

Scripture reading for April 1st: Luke 9:28-50

After Peter and the disciples acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ of God, Jesus told them that there were some who would not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God come.  (Luke 9:27)  Luke told the story of Jesus taking Peter, James, and John with Him up on a mountain to pray.  As Jesus was praying, Moses and Elijah appeared there as well.  These men all glowed with a glorious splendor that was like nothing on earth.  (Luke 9:29-31)

Peter, James and John apparently were sleeping during this process.  When they awoke from their “prayer nap”, they saw Jesus and the two men in their glorified state.  As Moses and Elijah were leaving, Peter spoke up, “Master, it is good for us to be here.  Let us put up three shelters–one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Luke 9:33)  The Scripture notes that Peter did not know what he was saying.  At this point, a cloud came over them and a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.” (Luke 9:35)  After this, they were so puzzled that they kept this event to themselves and told no one about it.

As I ponder this amazing event, several things come to mind.  First, I note how like the disciples I am when it comes to prayer.  They had trouble staying awake and comprehending spiritual things.  These three disciples in the inner circle failed to stay awake here and at the Garden of Gethsemane.  My flesh is weak too, even when my spirit is willing and I often need reminding to watch and pray and stay awake.

Jesus met with Moses and Elijah to discuss His  own departure.  Moses was buried by God after being allowed to view the Promised Land. (Exodus 34:5-6)  Elijah was taken to heaven by a whirlwind in a chariot.  (2nd Kings 2:11-12)  God had these two men of faith come and encourage Jesus, His Son, before His death in Jerusalem.  Moses represented the Law and it’s failure to take man into the Promised Land and Elijah represented the faithfulness of God to honor His prophets.  Both these men were now in Glory and for the sake of Jesus’ followers, were allowed to be seen.  The Father, Himself, spoke confirming His Son!  How God shows mercy to us who are weak!

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This is My Son, Whom I Love!

Scripture reading for October 6th: Matthew 1-4

Four hundred years of silence had passed and God was speaking again!  He was fulfilling a number of prophesies that He had given over the years concerning His Son.  A virgin named Mary gave birth to a son.  (Matthew 1:22-23)  This virgin and her betrothed husband, Joseph, were descendants of King David and their genealogy was traced back to Abraham.  (Matthew 1:1-16) This “Son” was born in Bethlehem and fulfilled what the prophet Micah had predicted nearly 700 years earlier.  (Matthew 2:6)

Gentile wise men came to worship Him who was born “king of the Jews.”  Gentiles would also be blessed and come to this “king of the Jews” for salvation!  After talking with them, Herod became jealous and ordered the destruction of all boys 2 years and younger.  God had already intervened and warned Joseph and Mary to depart for Egypt.  This fulfilled two other prophesies about Rachel weeping for her children and God calling His Son out of Egypt.  (Matthew 2:15-18)  When Joseph and Mary returned to Israel after Herod’s threat had passed, they settled in Nazareth.  Jesus was called a “Nazarene” in fulfillment of prophetic word!

The Book of Malachi had ended with a promise from God that He would send Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord.  (Malachi 4:5-6)  Elijah’s message would seek to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Matthew records the ministry of John the Baptist preaching in the Desert of Judea and calling God’s people to repentance and water baptism.  John was Jesus’ cousin and had a special call from God to prepare the way for His Son.  (Matthew 3:1-3)

John the Baptist spoke plainly to the religious leaders who came to ridicule him.  He warned them that one was coming who would not just baptize with water, but with the Holy Spirit and fire!  (Matthew 3:7-11)  (Matthew 3:15)  Jesus was baptized and John and the crowd there witnessed the Father speaking concerning Jesus His Son!

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went out of the water.  At that moment heaven opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

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More for us than against us!

Scripture Reading for April 11: 2nd Kings 4-8

I recently spent time with my father who is 92 years old and a veteran of World War II.  He enjoys telling stories about his time in the service of our country.  He was drafted in 1941 and spent 4 years in the Army as a messenger and driver for the officers of the Third Armored Division.  He went ashore a few days after D-Day on Normandy beach and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  He recently told me how he was driving an officer out in the front lines away from the company when he suddenly came upon a German tank.  He did a u-turn before his officer passenger could say a word and beat a path for the cover of his company.  As he topped a hill, a shell landed behind his jeep but he soon passed one of his own tanks who covered him.  These memories are still vivid for my father who knew what it was like to be in enemy territory!  Thankfully, there were more for him than against him that day!

Elisha and his men are cutting trees to enlarge the building housing the company of prophets.   As they were cutting, the borrowed axehead flew off and fell into the water.  Elisha cut a stick, threw it into the water, and the axehead floated to the top. God’s unseen hand was helping them!

The Arameans were angry at Elisha, who was warning the king of Israel about their plans of attack.  They found out Elisha was staying at Dothan, and came at night and surrounded the city with soldiers, horses and chariots.  Elisha’s servant went out the next morning and saw the great army and came back to Elisha alarmed.  (2nd Kings 6:15)  Elisha prayed that the servant would be able to see the forces on their side and his eyes were opened to see more for them than against them!  (2nd Kings 6:16-17)

Elisha, under the direction of the Spirit, could see the unseen realities of God’s power and provision.  He prayed for his servant, and the servant could see as well!  Do you need fresh vision today?  Why not ask the Lord to open your eyes!

“And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.”  Then the Lord opened his servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.2nd Kings 6:17

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Jesus, Moses, Elijah

Scripture reading for April 1st: Luke 9:28-50

After Peter and the disciples acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ of God, Jesus told them that there were some who would not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God come.  (Luke 9:27)  Luke told the story of Jesus taking Peter, James, and John with Him up on a mountain to pray.  As Jesus was praying, Moses and Elijah appeared there as well.  These men all glowed with a glorious splendor that was like nothing on earth.  (Luke 9:29-31)

Peter, James and John apparently were sleeping during this process.  When they awoke from their “prayer nap”, they saw Jesus and the two men in their glorified state.  As Moses and Elijah were leaving, Peter spoke up, “Master, it is good for us to be here.  Let us put up three shelters–one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Luke 9:33)  The Scripture notes that Peter did not know what he was saying.  At this point, a cloud came over them and a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.” (Luke 9:35)  After this, they found Jesus alone and were so puzzled that they kept this event to themselves and told no one about it.

As I ponder this amazing event, several things come to mind.  First, I note how like the disciples I am when it comes to prayer.  They had trouble staying awake and comprehending spiritual things.  These three disciples in the inner circle failed to stay awake here and at the Garden of Gethsemane.  My flesh is weak too, even when my spirit is willing and I often need reminding to watch and pray and stay awake.

Jesus met with Moses and Elijah to discuss His  own departure.  Moses was buried by God after being allowed to view the Promised Land. (Exodus 34:5-6)  Elijah was taken to heaven by a whirlwind in a chariot.  (2nd Kings 2:11-12)  God had these two men of faith come and encourage Jesus, His Son, before His death in Jerusalem.  Moses represented the Law and it’s failure to take man into the Promised Land and Elijah represented the faithfulness of God to honor His prophets.  Both these men were now in Glory and for the sake of Jesus’ followers, were allowed to be seen.  The Father, Himself, spoke confirming His Son!  How God shows mercy to us who are weak!

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What can I do for you?

Scripture reading for April 10th: 2nd Kings 1-3

As the prophet Elijah was about to depart from this earth, he asked Elisha: “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?”  (2nd Kings 2:9)  The understudy wisely answered that he desired a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  This is essentially the same question God asked Solomon when he appeared to him a few years earlier. (1st Kings 3:5)  Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people.  God gives us choices.  One of the tensions in Scripture is between our free will and God’s sovereign will.  God is sovereign but he has chosen to work with man who is made in His image.  Part of that image is the ability to make choices.

Elijah had been instructed by God to tap Elisha to take his place some ten years earlier.  Elisha was the son of a farmer.  He was plowing with 12 yokes of oxen–a big rig of that day!  (1st Kings 19:19)  He was called when Elijah threw his cloak over him.  Scripture records that he left his oxen and ran after Elijah.  Then he sacrificed his oxen, burning his plowing equipment to cook the meat.  He set out to follow Elijah.  Choices have consequences and rewards and often lead to more choices.

As the time for Elijah’s departure drew near, Elisha had to continually choose to stay near his mentor.  Elijah kept asking him to stay away, but he kept insisting on staying.  If we are going to get all that the Lord has for us, it means we must persevere!  Those who persevere to the end will reap a reward!  Elisha asked for the double portion of his mentor’s spirit.  Elijah could not give that himself.  It must come from the Lord.  Elijah gave him a word of knowledge–that if he could see him when he departed he would have what he asked for.  (2nd Kings 2:10-12)  As they walked on together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind right before Elisha’s eyes!  It was an exciting exit for the prophet Elijah and an exciting transition for the prophet Elisha as he picked up the cloak and began to do greater things than his mentor!

Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the final word from God.  He had the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34)  He has told us to ask Him for whatever we need and He will do it.  (John 14:14)  He has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and bring forth the gifts of the Spirit as they are needed to glorify the Lord.  He has told us, his disciples, that we will do even greater works because He has gone to the Father.  (John 14:11-14)  Ask the Lord today for what you need!  How much more will God the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask! (Luke 11:13)

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Ahab and Jezebel–slow to learn!

Scripture reading for April 9: 1st Kings 20-22

Learning lessons in the school of life can be fun and rewarding.  God places us in a family so that we might learn from those parents who are older and wiser.  Learning from those with wisdom is an easy way to gain understanding.  God may also place a mate in our life. A mate may be a great blessing or may lead us astray.  God also sends people to us who will speak the Word of God into our lives.  The Old Testament called them prophets.  They were sent to give warning, direction, and advice for living God’s way.  Heeding their word resulted in a victorious life; rejecting their word brought trouble and defeat.

As we think back on the lessons God has already given Ahab and Jezebel, we remember the drought of three years that began at the word of the Lord through Elijah.  (1st Kings 17:1)   We remember the cause of the drought was Jezebel killing the Lord’s prophets and feeding 950 prophets of Baal and Asteroth at the king’s table.  Elijah confronted them with this truth and demonstrated God’s power in the contest on Mt. Carmel. (1st Kings 18:18-19)  He then killed the false prophets and prayed for rain again on the land and God sent a storm!   God demonstrated his power and correction to this couple through the prophetic ministry in a way that was sure to make an impression!

In the course of time, God sent another prophet to Ahab with instructions on how to defeat his enemy, Ben-Hadad, king of Aram.  (1st Kings 20:13)  God worked a miracle and the enemy was defeated soundly but Ben-Hadad appealed to Ahab, and Ahab made a treaty with him.  He didn’t even consult the Lord!  God sent another prophet to speak to Ahab a word of judgment.  (1st Kings 20:41-43)  Ahab responded with anger and sulking!  Out of this response, Ahab turns to coveting a neighbor’s vineyard to build a garden for himself.  The neighbor, Naboth, refuses to sell or trade the family property.  Ahab sulks to his wife, who promptly sets in motion a plan to get the vineyard through lies and manipulation.  Naboth is killed and the vineyard is secured for Ahab. God is not pleased, and sends Elijah the prophet to speak another word of judgment.  This time Ahab is humbled and goes about mourning.

What’s the point of all this prophetic intervention and correction?  Why was God so gracious and long-suffering with this king and his wife?  God always gives each person time to repent and to grow in grace.  He is working out purposes that are bigger than one person, but He cares for each person, too.  He understands our weaknesses and tries to work with us.  But, there is a point where patience runs out.  We can harden our hearts and miss the grace of God.  Jezebel was worldly, manipulative, and lived for the present.  She refused correction when God made it plain!  Ahab knew what to do, but allowed his wife to direct him instead of taking charge himself.  When corrected, he was often not teachable but grew angry and sullen.  Would that we would be quicker to learn!

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