Bible Ballistics: BBs #730 Godliness Will Be Opposed???
Elijah was one of the most powerful and amazing prophets of God, yet we find that even in great victory there is opposition– to God’s people and God’s ways; so, we shouldn’t be alarmed or discouraged when we face opposition for speaking God’s truth or doing God’s will in our lives and ministries. Yet God knows our hearts and even Elijah was plagued by discouragement (what some call depression) and ran from the death-threats of Jezebel. What kind of Jezebel are you facing today? A spiritual one? A physical or health-scare one? A Jezebel of grief or sorrow? Or one of fear over financial issues, the future, or family issues? God was still God when Elijah encountered the abominable evil of Ahab and Jezebel—and my friends, God is still God in the midst of your greatest fears, uncertainties, and confusion of how to deal with your weariness and burdens over the things surrounding you!
“And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice,
that Elijah the prophet came near, and said,
LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel,
let it be known this day
that thou art God in Israel,
and that I am thy servant,
and that I have done all these things
at thy word.
37 Hear me, O LORD,
that this people may know
that thou art the LORD God,
and that thou hast turned their
heart back again.
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell,
and consumed the burnt sacrifice,
and the wood, and the stones,
and the dust,
and licked up the water
that was in the trench.
39 And when all the people saw it,
they fell on their faces:
and they said,
The LORD, he is the God;
the LORD, he is the God.” 1 Kings 18:36-39.
(Take some time and read chapters 18 & 19 for even more insight into Elijah and his God!)
Here we have a mighty man of God in what many consider to be his greatest victory over the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. God proved Himself mighty to save and bring the people to proclaim their allegiance to God (though it often proved to be a short-lived devotion) and much like people today, words come easy, but faithfulness comes with much drudgery and, as Oswald Chambers calls it, the mundane. It’s why I believe that Paul gave us great advice for such situations—advice that I often have to remind myself of by quoting these verses to myself; for I need reminding as much as the Galatian and the Thessalonian believers did.
“And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap,
if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity,
let us do good unto all men,
especially unto them
who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13
Don’t stop serving God, even when you need to take a rest—even Jesus called His disciples to come aside and rest (See Mark 6:31)! And just FYI, I haven’t written since last week for that very reason, we took some time away to rest and recoup from a very trying season of our lives. I hope you know that I pray for you, that God will use my words always to glorify HIMSELF and be an encouraging word to you! If I can depend upon HIM for what HE has called me to be and do—SO. CAN. YOU! But back to Elijah—great victory is no assurance of ease! Quite the contrary, when we find great victory in Jesus, there is usually a trial lurking just around the corner, but when we are informed (by God’s Word) and prepared (by The Holy Spirit), we learn to rely upon God’s faithful provision; especially in the midst of trail, or when we need rest from the weariness of our body and soul. God knows, God cares, and GOD will always provide, when I’m ready to be still and listen and obey! Elijah faced just such a trial!
“And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets
with the sword.
2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying,
So let the gods do to me, and more also,
if I make not thy life
as the life of one of them
by to morrow about this time.
3 And when he saw that,
and went for his life,
and came to Beersheba,
which belongeth to Judah,
and left his servant there…
…But he himself went a day’s journey
into the wilderness,
and came and sat down under a juniper tree:
and he requested for himself that he might die; and said,
It is enough; now, O LORD,
take away my life;
for I am not better than my fathers.
5 And as he lay and slept
under a juniper tree,
behold, then an angel touched him,
and said unto him,
Arise and eat.
6 And he looked, and, behold,
there was a cake baken on the coals,
and a cruse of water at his head.
And he did eat and drink,
and laid him down again.
7 And the angel of the LORD came again
the second time,
and touched him, and said,
Arise and eat;
because the journey is too great
8 And he arose,
and did eat and drink,
and went in the strength of that meat
forty days and forty nights
the mount of God.” 1 Kings 19:1-8
And as we go on, we find that Elijah learned that God doesn’t always speak in the “loud” miracles, but quietly. I want you to also note that God didn’t reprimand Elijah for being weary, instead GOD provided sleep, his meat and drink for a long journey ahead—my friend, know that GOD knows where you are and HE will supply, if you will but hear and heed HIS voice. God took Elijah to a special place for a special word of encouragement! How about you?
“And he said,
Go forth, and stand upon the mount
before the LORD.
the LORD passed by,
and a great and strong wind
rent the mountains,
and brake in pieces the rocks
before the LORD;
but the LORD was not in the wind:
and after the wind an earthquake;
but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire;
but the LORD was not in the fire:
and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-12
That still small voice that is ever present with me/you in good days and in difficult ones (for all my days are blessed, even the ‘so-called’ bad days!) is a constant strength, and life-giving hope to press on with my LORD! The Psalmist also knew this voice, and that sometimes we just need to (as we used to teach the schoolchildren) “stop”, “look”, and “listen”!
that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The LORD of hosts
is with us;
the God of Jacob
is our refuge. Selah.” Psalm 46:10-11
MY God is faithful to the load—the task—the trial—the fear—the difficulties of life that are unspeakable to others—HE IS MY GOD! How about you? Have you found HIM faithful? Have you learned to trust HIM with your burden? I’m learning every day that HE is ever faithful, not just when I am weary, but especially when I am weary, tired, sorrowful, or just overloaded in my own mind! How about you? Will you learn to lean on HIM?
“Trust in the LORD
with all thine heart;
and lean not
unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways
and he shall direct
7 Be not wise
in thine own eyes:
fear the LORD,
and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel,
and marrow to thy bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8
And a couple of encouraging words to close this post for today—and I must tell you, this is not the article I sat down to write, but I believe it is the article God desired from me. I pray that it will be used by HIM to help YOU today!
“The steps of a good man
are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall,
he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the LORD upholdeth him
with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
“Order my steps in thy word:
and let not any iniquity have dominion
over me.” Psalm 119:133
Amen and Amen!