The stories of the Old Testament are intense. I've been going through the books of Kings for the nth time, and it's wonderful to read a no-holds-barred action-packed account of the power of God moving despite the wickedness of men.
One of the highlights is the story of the prophet Elijah who lived during the rule of one of the vilest duos in Israel's history—Ahab and Jezebel.
Behind the story of Elijah is a message of God's undeniable power even in the midst of the darkness of this world. At that point, Israel had completely deserted God and Elijah was out on a mission to restore that nation's faith in Him.
In the process, Elijah did amazing miracles and went through major trials. These teach us lessons that we can apply into our daily lives.
Here are three important lessons from the life of Elijah that are still true today.
1. God Provides in Unimaginable Ways
Have you ever had a dire need? We all have been there. But in every instance God has proven to be more than able to provide.
We see that same truth in Elijah's life when God brought a famine into the land. 1 Kings 17:6 says, "And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook."
It's hard to imagine that a raven would be a channel of provision. They are scavenging birds and are even seen as unclean in some traditions. Yet God used them to provide for Elijah. God can and will use even the most unimaginable channels to provide for us.
2. God's Power Moves With Us to Bless Others
One particular story that really stands out is the time that Elijah helped a poor widow from Zarephath who had nothing else except a little oil and flour (1 Kings 17:8–16). During that time, a widow would be one of the poorest people in the region who could potentially starve to death.
That was about to happen with this widow who was planning to prepare what would be the last meal for her and her son.
But God intervened through Elijah, showing His power to provide by stretching the provision of the widow so that her oil and flour did not run out for a very long time.
More than just blessing us, He also uses us to be a channel of blessing to others as well. God is not just concerned with the needs of one but of all, and invites us to take part in being God's hands and feet to bring blessing to others.
3. God Will Show Up
What would be one of Elijah's greatest feat was winning the showdown with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:17-40). Elijah challenged 450 false prophets to prove which gods were real. Elijah of course won the challenge and proved that the God we serve is alive.
God will do anything He can to prove that He is worthy of honour and glory.
But are we ready to portray that? Or are we too busy proving our own honour and glory?
If we put God's glory first, everything else will follow afterwards. The story of Elijah proves that much.