From Bad to Worse (I Kings 16-18)

Wednesday, November 2

Melissa New
Israel has already had several bad kings, but now we have Ahab, a man “who did more to provoke the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him.” (I Kings 16:33) It’s interesting that when there is great evil going on God provides an example of righteousness. Elijah’s first encounter with King Ahab is to tell him that the God who lives will be making sure there is a lack of dew and rainfall for years. Our God does nothing without reason.
King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were leading the Israelites into worshipping Baal. It’s important to note that Baal was supposed to be a fertility god. Baal was thought to keep the land producing crops and the people producing children. And so Elijah is sent to show Ahab and the people that the living God of Israel provides the water. The mention of the widow from Zarephath, another Baal-worshipping town, is insightful too. When the widow’s son dies, Elijah prays to the living God and “the life of the child returned!” Now who is the God of fertility? Who causes the crops to grow and the children to live?

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