Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
God's promise regarding Baal worship is tremendous Good News because it means He "will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Mal. 4:5). Israel was in a terrible condition spiritually when the Lord sent him to King Ahab with his terrible news of drought and famine. But there was no other way to arouse the apostate people of God. Elijah was sent to them in love.
We want to be very careful that we know how to recognize "Elijah" when the Lord sends him again. Every one of us without exception should walk in fear and trembling lest we make the same mistake the Jews did in the days of John the Baptist. Their "Elijah" came and went and they had no idea what had happened! Ancient apostate Israel hated the messenger of the Lord when He sent him--Ahab and Jezebel wanted to kill him, and when the leaders of the Jewish church saw the new "Elijah" in John the Baptist they didn't recognize him. They said, "He has a devil" (Matt. 11:18).
Wouldn't it be terrible if, in these last days, we treated our new "Elijah" that way and didn't know what we were doing? Their "Elijah" was a humble man notably not dressed in "soft raiment" as "in kings' houses" (vs. 8). Someone very humble, "despised and rejected of men" as was Jesus, may have "come already, and [we] knew him not, but [do] to him whatever [we] wish" (17:12). Let's study the story of John the Baptist.
God is faithful. Many people today "sigh and cry for all the abominations" they see in the "land" (cf. Ezek. 9:4), but let them not yield to sinful despair and "smite" their "fellowservants" in their frustration (cf. Matt. 24:48, 49). The "Elijah" message is here somewhere. Don't misunderstand and overlook it!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 12, 2004.
Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."