Reading through the Bible together
This chapter introduces us to one of the Bible’s most outstanding characters – Elijah. From the moment we meet him in Scripture it is clear that Elijah is a man who knows who he is, who God is, and as such he is ever mindful of the One before whom he stands. Perhaps the most fitting summation of his character, aside from the meaning of his own name, “the LORD is my God”, is found in verse 24 where the widow of Zarephath exclaims concerning the prophet, “…I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” Would to God that others would be able to look at us and bear the same testimony!
As we follow Elijah through this chapter, we come to realise that his experiences demonstrate for us the unique blessings and advantages that come from a life of close communion with Christ. Fed by ravens, watered by a brook, and oil for the widow were incredible answers to prayer; God provided for Elijah's every need. All he had to do was listen, trust and obey, and really that’s still the only way we can be happy in Jesus.
In particular, mention must be made of Elijah’s recognition of God’s voice. He must have listened for that holy voice every day in order to recognize it so readily. In fact, the Bible says over and over again that Elijah’s constant, compelling mandate for his every movement from the king's palace, to the brook Cherith, and on to Zarephath came from “the Word of the Lord.” When Elijah’s brook dried up (v. 7), he didn’t panic. Instead, he simply stopped to listen, as though he were a soldier awaiting his marching orders, ready to hear what his next assignment would be.
Elijah’s actions speak volumes to us today. In an age where the still small voice of God is so easily drowned out by the noise of competing voices, God’s voice is the one voice we must hear daily if we would enjoy God’s leading in our lives. “The Bible is God’s voice speaking to us, just as surely as if we could hear it with our ears. If we realized this, with what awe we would open God’s Word and with what earnestness we would search its precepts. The reading and contemplation of the Scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Infinite One” (MLT p. 283). Elijah listened to and trusted in the Lord with all his heart. Will you? “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8).