From the desk of  ...  Preston H. Hazzard, Sr.  ... My Daily Blog    


 

Our Christian Faith
Out of the Mouths of Babes ...
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 7:30am

PREFACE:  Last Sunday evening (4/29), we got to see our Granddaughters singing in a pre-teen youth choir presentation about Elijah.

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) wrote this oratorio work originally for adult musicians. This youth version was rearranged with drama to complete the story line.

My Son's family attends Stonebrier Community Church, where Whitney (Pete Jr.'s wife) serves as kindergarten choir director. Caitlyn and Lauren sang in an ensemble with 10 girls. In Act Two, Scene 1: "Rumblings from the palace", Caitlyn was also cast as Queen Jezebel with both speaking parts and song solos.

[Kind of a step down from her acting debut as the baby Jesus when she was 2 months old over a dozen years ago (1999). ;>) ]

"Join with the Israelites in declaring the LORD - He is God."

It is such a blessing to witness our kids passing the fundamental Truths of our Christian Faith to the next generation of our grandchildren and beyond.

To our One, True, Triune God belongs all the Glory. Amen.  ...  PHH


What should we learn from the life of Elijah?

The Prophet Elijah is one of the most interesting and colorful of all biblical characters, yet his life was so filled with turmoil that today we might say he was up one day and down the next.

Because Elijah was at times bold and decisive and at other times fearful and tentative, we have much to learn from him.

In the narratives in which Elijah is the central character, we find principles that demonstrate the victory in the life of a believer as well as defeat and recovery. There are ways in which Elijah demonstrated the power of God and an instance where he plumbed the depths of depression.

Elijah, a prophet of God whose name means, ďmy God is Jehovah,Ē came from Tishbeh in Gilead, but nothing is known of his family or birth.

In the passage, based on the story told in I Kings 17-19, we hear a vivid story of redemption. It was a dark time in Israel's history. In 874 B.C. King Ahab came to power and ruled from Samaria for 22 years. Ahab was the most wicked king to this date in the nation's history. He led Israel to worship Baal, the Canaanite god of rain and storm. In the holy city of Jerusalem, where Yahweh was once worshipped in His glorious temple, Ahab built a temple and alter to Baal.  Ahab also defied God by rebuilding the city of Jericho and marrying the wicked Queen Jezebel.  Sadly, the Israelites also rejected God and chose to follow their king and worship Baal.

Into this spiritually bleak landscape enters the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1.   Elijah suddenly appears to challenge Ahab, an evil king who ruled the Northern Kingdom from 874 to 853 B.C. Elijah prophesies a drought to come upon the whole land as consequence for Ahabís evil choices (1 Kings 17:1-7).

Warned by God, Elijah hides near the brook of Cherith where he is fed by ravens. As the drought and famine in the land deepen, Elijah meets with a widow, and through her obedience to Elijahís request, God provides food enough for Elijah, the woman and her son. Miraculously, her barrel of flour and jar of oil never run out (1 Kings 17:8-16).

  • The lesson for the believer is that, if we walk in fellowship with the LORD and obey Him, we will be open to His will, and when we are in Godís will, He fulfills all of our needs and His mercy to us never runs short.

We next see Elijah as the central character in a face-off with the prophets of the false god Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-40). The prophets of Baal call upon their god all day long to rain fire from heaven to no avail. Then Elijah builds an altar of stones, digs a ditch around it, puts the sacrifice on the top of wood and calls for water to be poured over his sacrifice three times. Elijah calls upon God, and God sends fire down from heaven, burns the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones and licks up the water in the ditch. God proved He was more powerful than false gods. It was then that Elijah and the people kill all of the false prophets of Baal. Such supernatural evidences of Godís power are not seen today. However, we have access to the same power as Godís Word works through us and demonstrates the power of His Spirit in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:7).

  • Elijah is an illustration that it is not the vessel but God in the vessel that demonstrates power.

After the great victory over the false prophets, rain once again falls on the land (1 Kings 18:41-46).

However, in spite of victory and provisions from the LORD that he receives, Elijah enters a period of wavering faith and depression (1 Kings 19:1-18). Hearing that Ahabís wife Jezebel has made a vow to kill him, Elijah feels sorry for himself, hides in a cave, and even comes to believe that he alone was left of the prophets of God. He got his eyes off of God and onto the details.

It is then that the LORD instructs Elijah to stand on the mountain as the LORD passed by. There is a great wind, an earthquake, and then fire, but God is not in any of those. Then comes a still, small voice in which Elijah hears God and understands Him. When Elijah stopped focusing on the fear of what men could do and his feelings of being alone, Godís voice was heard, and Elijah went on to be taken up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:1-11).

  • Just as for Elijah, when the believer focuses on the noise and the tumult of life in this world, we may get our eyes off of the LORD. However, if we listen for His still, small voice and walk in obedience to His Word, we find victory and reward. Each biblical character we study has a lesson for us to use in our walk as believers. Elijah was filled with human frailties yet was used mightily of God. 

CONCLUSION:  (1)God always has a plan to draw the hearts of His people back to Himself; in this instance, He chose to use Elijah as His special instrument. Through a series of desperate circumstances, God developed Elijah's faith in the one, true God so he was prepared to confront Ahab, the prophets of Baal, and the unbelieving Israelites with the truth of God's power, character, and covenant. Because Elijah had seen God act in response to his needs and faith in the past, he was sure that God would meet this need ... exposing Baal as false, powerless and pathetic while also turning His people's hearts back to Himself.

Our times are not unlike the days of Elijah. We are surrounded and influenced by equally false idols and ideologies ... things we think will bring satisfaction and fulfillment outside of God Himself. God has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth from heaven to bring us salvation from the idols of our hearts and reveal God's incomparable love. As we listen to the story of Elijah, may our hearts respond to God's power and love with wholehearted repentance as the Israelites, declaring that ...

"The LORD - He is God!"


Source:  Adapted from an article at www.gotquestions.org and the director notes on the Choir Program (1)

Hyperlinks to the http://classic.biblegateway.com/, highlighting for emphasis are mine. ... phh


Belief beyond proof is faith. Belief in spite of proof is folly.

Call or email me if you have questions.

Amen and God bless you.

Pete, Sr.

 

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