1 Kings 17 begins the story of Elijah. Of the forty-five chapters in First and Second Kings, nineteen of them deal with this prophet, or his successor, Elisha. Interestingly, this large block of material concerns the Northern Kingdom of Israel and only covers thirty-six years. Another way of looking at it is that nearly eighty percent of this book is spent on eleven percent of the time dealt with. We are, in essence, entering the very heart of the book of Kings.
As we enter, we do so with the call of Elijah.
It will make you think twice about being “chosen” by God.
In the first place, Elijah delivers the announcement of the judgment of God against the king of Israel – Ahab. No more rain. It must have appeared like treason because Ahab immediately puts a price on the prophet’s head and he has to go into hiding.
Who will take care of Elijah?
Ravens eat anything. Never mind what a raven might bring Elijah (the Bible says they brought bread and meat – wonder what kind of meat . . . roadkill?), the fact that the food had been first in the raven’s mouth is enough to turn my stomach.
Elijah drank water from a brook. And then the brook dried up.
So God sent him to a widow who had just enough food for one meal for her and her son.
He had to convince the widow to feed him first. She did, and always had just enough food for one more day for herself, Elijah, and her son.
Then the son died.
The call of God is not to an easy life, but to obedience and the work of God – a fact all God’s servants must keep in mind.