Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
We may have an unseen Guest in our midst at any time--unseen, but not unheard. The Lord promised that He will send "us" the prophet Elijah "before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Mal. 4:5, 6). That's now!
Elijah was a serious prophet of the Lord, who did something for him way back then that He will do for those in these last days who "overcome" (cf. Rev. 3:21). He invited the praying man from Gilead to sit with Him on His "throne." Not literally, but the evidence seems clear that the Lord gave Elijah complete freedom to do with Israel what he, the prophet, believed was necessary: that is, bring a famine and drought on the nation.
Sounds mean and cruel? No, it was all in love, true "hard love," the kind so necessary to avoid total ruin. The praying man from Gilead knew that if Israel should go on in their Baal worship, the nation would be totally destroyed. Even more serious: the witness that God had set Israel to be to the world (yes, and to the universe) would be silenced. Something drastic is necessary.
Elijah did not tell King Ahab that there would be no dew or rain until the Lord gives permission; instead he sounds unbelievably arrogant: he tells the king there will be no dew or rain until he, the prophet, gives permission. "There will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word" (1 Kings 17:1, NIV).
James confirms: "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain" (5:17, 18, NIV).
Elijah was translated without seeing death (2 Kings 2:9-11); therefore he has a glorified body and can go wherever he wishes as Jesus could after His resurrection (cf. Luke 24:33-37). The Lord has sent him with a special mission: to "turn hearts" in families (Mal. 4:5, 6), the most difficult thing to do in God's great universe.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 25, 2008.
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