So everything is going all kinds of wrong –– right? It’s falling apart in every imaginable direction…We’ve all been there. And when that happens, it’s easy to blame God or wonder where he is and why he didn’t do anything to stop this from happening to us. The prophet Elijah had some of the same questions, and as we journey with him we’ll learn God is always multitasking: working in miraculous ways we maybe just haven’t seen…yet.
1. God works in context.
1 Kings 16:29-34
- God always works in a context –– the circumstances of our lives. The context of this story is crisis. If you find yourself in a time of crisis, prepare to see God at work. God raised up Elijah to speak in this time of crisis, and to do mighty works by the power of God. If you’re in crisis, you’re a prime candidate for a miracle.
- Jezebel is a well-known character in this story of God’s power. She was constantly subverting God’s plans for his people, not because she’s a woman, but because she was given over to sin and evil in the ways of her family. All of us are shaped by what we worship, and Jezebel had been shaped by the idolatry she’d engaged in since childhood.
- Our culture right now is in crisis, especially a crisis of worship, just like the culture of Elijah’s time. Every single one of us worships something or someone, but our souls get diminished when we worship something or someone other than the one true God.
What is the “context” of your life right now as God works in and through you? What are the circumstances you’re walking through that God is using to shape you? How is God transforming you right now? How do you think he is working in our world through our current cultural context?
2. God works through people.
1 Kings 17:1
- Every moment of all of our lives we stand before the Lord God, the sustainer of all things. While we often feel that we have control over our lives, a crisis can often show us just how little control we really have. These moments are meant to draw us back to the throne of the God who is in control.
- The drought in this story was the worst case scenario for Elijah’s time. It was a crisis of national proportions. Tons of people would have died. Elijah is declaring to the people that God is bringing to pass the promised consequences for their sins.
- The book of James talks about the power of Elijah’s ministry. He says that there is power in our confessions and prayers, and we know this because Elijah was a man just like us. God worked through Elijah’s prayers. In his prayer life, Elijah wasn’t working to accomplish his own will, but God’s. As we confess to one another, we find healing because God uses people to work his will. God chose to raise up Elijah in the midst of a crisis.
God wants to work through all people. How can you be an “Elijah” in this generation? How is God inviting you right now to take part in his work transforming the world?
3. God works to provide for his children.
1 Kings 17:2-7
- God provided for Elijah through the ravens. He provided supernaturally for Elijah in the midst of a crisis where there was no food. When Jesus spoke to the multitudes about God’s provision, he pointed their attention to the birds of the air (Matthew 6:25-34).
- God told Elijah he would provide for him, and he did so in a crazy way. The only reason this happened is because Elijah trusted God and did what he said. God told him to go, and, “he went.” Elijah showed up in the place God told him to, and God met him there.
- Sometimes in a crisis we get our eyes off God because our eyes are on the crisis. We need to focus on Christ, not the crisis. When we have our eyes wide open, focused on Christ, we will get to see the provision and the miraculous power in which God will meet us.
Take some time to praise God for the ways he’s already provided for you. How can you trust God with the needs you still feel deeply? How do you need to “go” or “show up” like Elijah did to obey what God has already told you to do? What crisis do you need to take your eyes off, so you can fix your gaze upon Christ?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?