2009 – Day 146.May 27 – Special People For Special Times
Passage of the Day: 1st Kings 16: 29 – 17: 1 … 29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him. … 34 In Ahab's time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.
1 Kings 17 : 1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."
My Journal for Today: Yes, if you were with me yesterday, you’re probably saying, “That’s the same Bible passage.” And it is; … because Swindoll is trying to drive home the point that our culture needs many Elijahs; and Pastor Chuck asks some pretty tough questions in his devotional message for today, … not the least of which is whether we would feel comfortable being in the court of Ahab.
In other words, if you were living in the times of Ahab and Jezebel, would you merge right into the anti-Godly culture where you worshipped idols and followed Ahab; or would you be willing to come behind or stand along side a man whose name and words declared openly, “The Lord is my God!”
Swindoll says it in truth; and I’ll just quote him to make the point that … "In our culture – our schools, our offices and factories, our lunchrooms and boardrooms, our ivy halls and our halls of justice – we need men and women of God, including young people of God. We need respected professionals, athletes, homemakers, teachers, public figures, and private citizens who will promote the things of God, who will stand alone, stand tall, stand firm, and stand strong!”
That’s why it’s so refreshing when you see entertainment or athletic winners, like Hollywood stars or professional athletes, who will take the opportunity when a commentator puts a microphone in their face to openly witness their faith or praise God so that all can hear them standing in the gap for their faith. These stand up Christians are, unfortunately, not as numerous in the public eye as those who support idolatrous causes like abortion or same-sex marriage. However, now and again you might hear an “Elijah” in our culture who will stand up and give testimony to their stand for God.
As I read Swindoll’s devotional today, I know where I stand; and I know that God does raise up special people for special times; and my friends, THESE ARE SPECIAL TIMES! These are the times of Ahab revisited. The question becomes are we God’s special people to stand in the gap for God’s truth and grace. And if you are saying, “I don’t think I’m one of those people,” you can take heart from many in the Bible who didn’t think they were the special ones God could choose for His special tasks.
Think about the reluctance of a Moses, who balked when God even showed him a burning bush. Think of a young Gideon, who was hiding in fear in a wine barrel when God came to him and called him a “man of valor.” And yes, even Elijah, at one time later in his life doubted God’s choosing him when he sat beneath a broom tree and prayed to have God take his life. We’ll likely be looking at that episode later in our study of Elijah; but if you feel God calling you to stand up in the culture and take a stand for God’s truth, remember this truth - GOD’S CALLING IS HIS ENABLEMENT! God will never call you to take a stand unless He gives you the enabling grace to carry out that task. That is the lesson Joshua had to learn in Joshua 1: 1 – 9 [linked]; and he was willing to move forward toward God’s promised land even when it was scary to do so. We can too; but we’ve got to be willing to take up God’s banner and carry it for Christ in our culture.
And so, when we have any opportunity to stand for truth over injustice, … for Godliness in the face of sinfulness, … or for forgiveness in the face of anger and hatred, let’s be an Elijah and let’s lend our voices to stand against the Ahabs of this world.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I repeat my prayer from yesterday … “raise up the Elijah in me … that I may be willing and able to stand for You, … no matter what! “ Amen