17 Sept. 1 Kings 18:1-9,15-21

17 Sept.  Elijah challenges King Ahab

“During the third year without rain, the LORD spoke his word to Elijah: ‘Go and meet King Ahab, and I will soon send rain.’ So Elijah went to meet Ahab.”

“By this time there was no food in Samaria. King Ahab sent for Obadiah, who was in charge of the king’s palace. (Obadiah was a true follower of the LORD. When Jezebel was killing all the LORD’s prophets, Obadiah hid 100 of them in two caves, 50 in one cave and 50 in another. He also brought them food and water.)”

“Ahab said to Obadiah, ‘Let’s check every spring and valley in the land. Maybe we can find enough grass to keep our horses and mules alive and not have to kill our animals.’ So each one chose a part of the country to search; Ahab went in one direction and Obadiah in another.”

“While Obadiah was on his way, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognised Elijah, so he bowed down to the ground and said, ‘Elijah? Is it really you, master?’ ‘Yes,’ Elijah answered, ‘Go and tell your master that I am here.’ Then Obadiah said, ‘What wrong have I done for you to hand me over to Ahab like this? He will put me to death…’”

“Elijah answered, ‘As surely as the LORD All-powerful lives, whom I serve, I will be seen by Ahab today.’ So Obadiah went to Ahab and told him where Elijah was. Then Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he asked, ‘Is it you – the biggest troublemaker in Israel?’”

“Elijah answered, ‘I have not made trouble in Israel. You and your father’s family have made all this trouble by not obeying the LORD’s commands. You have gone after the Baals. Now tell all Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Also bring the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.’”

“So Ahab called all the Israelites and those prophets to Mount Carmel. Elijah approached the people and said, ‘How long will you not decide between two choices? If the LORD is the true God, follow him, but if Baal is the true God, follow him!’ But the people said nothing.”

          (1 Kings 18:1-9,15-21)

 

 

In the third year of the drought (c.867BC), Elijah went to Samaria, the capital city of Israel, to see King Ahab. En route he met Obadiah, Ahab’s chief steward, who had tried valiantly to rescue the LORD’s prophets from the clutches of Jezebel.

Elijah asked Obadiah to take him to King Ahab. At first, Obadiah objected, because Ahab had put a price on Elijah’s head, and had threatened to kill anyone who helped Elijah. But Elijah insisted on seeing the king, so Obadiah reluctantly agreed to take him to meet Ahab (see 8 on the map on 15 September).

On meeting the king, Ahab called Elijah “the biggest troublemaker in Israel” (1 Kings 18:17) for bringing about the three years of drought and famine. But Elijah rebuked King Ahab for abandoning the LORD and worshipping the gods of Sidon.

He told Ahab to assemble the people of Israel and the prophets of Baal (together with the prophets of the fertility goddess Asherah) on Mount Carmel (see 9 on the map). He then challenged the people of Israel to make up their minds – to serve Baal or to serve the LORD (Yahweh, the God of Israel).

The photo (by Chadner) shows Mount Carmel.

You can read more about Elijah’s challenge to the prophets of Baal and Asherah @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/elijah-challenges-the-prophets-of-baal/


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