ELIJAH – TYPOLOGY PART TWO
In our previous talk on Elijah we visited his birth place at Tishbe. We also followed him to Samaria where he told king Ahab to forsake his sins or face a prolonged drought.
We also travelled to Lebanon where Elijah was sustained by a widow of Zeraphath. From here the Lord send him back to Ahab with an appeal to obey His commandments. Listen to this interesting dialogue:
1 Kings 18:17,18 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.
On top of Mount Carmel is a place called Muhraqa. The Arabic name refers to the burnt sacrifice. It was quite a thrill to stand at the place where a confrontation between the true and false religion took place.
Walking at this historical site I could hear Elijah’s taunting voice echo down the valleys:
1 Kings 18:27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or travelling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
In order to understand the message of the second Elijah, John the Baptist, we have to make a thorough study of the work of the first Elijah.
The very first thing Elijah did was to expose the false religion of his day. The learned name for this is Syncretism. They worshipped Baal and Yahwe simultaneously. This exercise takes a large amount of courage.
But you cannot tell people they are transgressing God’s commandments, without telling them about the plan of salvation
1 Kings 18:30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins.
What was the message of the repaired altar and the animal sacrifice on top of it? Just what it always was. Acknowledge your sins. Confess your sins. Break you’re your sins. Accept the innocent, spotless sacrifice of the coming Messiah in your behalf and you will be forgiven and saved.
While visiting the Negev desert I thought of Elijah’s experience. He had this tremendous mountain top experience. But when the bad Jezebel threatened to kill him, he became discouraged and suffered severe depression.
Instead of rebuking Elijah, God sent an angel to feed His discouraged prophet.
1 Kings 19:6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
I like the story of Elijah. He fled to Mount Sinai where God proclaimed His ten commandments. When Elijah gave up on himself, God was preparing him for translation. What a marvellous God we serve.
Are you a little discouraged? Please read the story of Elijah.
The discouraged prophet hid himself in a cave. Are you in a cave of depression? Are you running away from duty? Would you like to hear God speaking to you?:
1 Kings 19:9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
At this very mountain a terrible wind started blowing. It was so fierce that it tore the mountain apart and shattered the rock. “But the Lord was not in the wind.”
1 Kings 19:12,13 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.
The Lord speaks to discouraged people in a soft voice telling them to go back to work.