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Elijah The Tishbite (Part 1) – There Shall Be No Rain


May the study of one of the most illustrious characters of the Old Testament inspire us to become more dependant upon God. May you experience His unbelievable goodness and forgiveness in abundance.

1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”


On your way to Tishbe where Elijah was born, you pass the Jabbok River.

Pass the ruins of Jerash

And then you come to Tishbe.

Many thoughts went through my mind when I thought of the man who lived here

In Samaria, the capital of the northern ten tribes, Ahab and Jezebel occupied the throne.

At one time Ahab defeated Benhadad of Damascus with 32 of his allies who tried to besieged Samaria.

What does the Kurk stele of Shalmaneser III tell us of the battle of Qarqar in 853 BC?

Of the twelf nation coalition who fought him, Ahab had chariots and soldiers than any of them

The cuneiform refers to him as Ahabbu mat Sir-ila


Would you dare to tell the most powerful king south of the Euphrates to repent of his sins?

The ruins of Diban can be seen on the Kings Highway in the south of Jordan.

What did the German missionary F Klein discover here in 1868?

You are looking at the Moabite stone where the names of Omri and his son Ahab were found.

You can believe every word and promise in the Bible
Ahab’s diplomatic relations with the surrounding nations caused him to become the wealthiest and most powerful king of his time

His ivory palace was one of the most splendid of antiquity.

Standing at the ruins of thought of Elijah who had the courage to confront the king, telling him to repent of his sins.


King Ahab was initially a worshipper of Yahwe, the God os Israel. But then he married the daughter of king Et-Baal of Tyre and Sidon.

According to Josephus he was also a worshipper of Astarte which practised sensual rites.

Jezebel was a worshipper of Baal and after she married Ahab she erected in temple for her god in Samaria.

She imported priests of Baal from Baalbek in Lebanon who lured Israel into this immoral worship.

This was not the evil deed she did. She persecuted and killed the worshippers and prophets of Uahwe.

She was a powerful instrument in the hands of Satan to destroy the worship of the true God. Would you dare to rebuke someone like Jezebel?


The name Elijah means “Yahwe is my God”. While more and more of his people became worshippers of the Phonecian god Baal, he remained true to God.“Yahwe is my God”

One day in May, at the end of the rainy season, something strange happened in Tisbe where Elijah lived.

People began crying and he wanted to know why.

“Elijah. The priests of Baal tell us he died. He is the one who brings us rain and now he is dead.”

And one day when he visited his home town there was a feast. The people said to him:

“Elijah the priests told us Baal has risen from the dead. He is going to bring us rain. We rejoice over his kindness.” Archaeology tells us that sensual activities was part of it.

While looking at a reprentation of Baal I thought of those who came here to worship him. Some surces tell us that voices spoke through the idols to the worshippers

Will there appear a sensual, spiritualistic destructive religion at the end of time?


How did this religious disaster affect Elijah?

Do you get upset when see someone backsliding?

I am sure Elijah thought of the goodness of God and how He led His people from Egypt to Canaan.

Did he read the following Psalm?

Psalm 105:44,45 He gave them the lands of the Gentiles, And they inherited the labor of the nations, That they might observe His statutes And keep His laws. Praise the LORD!

Israel forgot the way God as led them in the past. Adolatary was systematiccally drawing them away from the Source of strength.


Please help me think. The Bible does not tell us. He could have been a young man, unmarried or widower.

But what we do know is that he had a tremendous burden for the salvation of his people.

Somewhere in the mountains of Gilead he could have prayed: “Dear Lord my people are drifting away from you. I have pled with them but without success. They are rejecting You in favour of Baal.

“Please, if need be send your judgments to bring them back to You. They believe Baal brings rain but send shut the heavens and destroy their believe in this god. And may this terrible drought bring them back to you.”


1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”

When did God answer this prayer? During fasting and prayer? Did he hear God’s voice?

“Elijah. I have heard you prayer. I want you to go and tell Ahab there would be no dew of rain for the next three and a half years. Tell him we will see if Baal would give them rain and we are gong to see who is the true God in Israel.”


What would be your reaction if the Lord would tell you to go and address the president of your country, telling him to repent?

And if he does not repent, his country would suffer drought and an economic disaster.

Will there be a time when we will have to address the serious sins of our leaders?

How did Elijah manage to do it?

He had faith in the unfailing power of God. He trusted the God whom he served. If this was not the case he would never have appeared before Ahab with the Elijah message from God.

You and I will have to trust God more than ever before. We will have take more time reading His precious promises.


Can you see him walking? Watch the expression on his face. See him falling on his knees, praying and walking again.

Hos did it take him to walk the distance of a 100 kilometers from Tisbe to Samaria? Did he walk day and night?

What did he see on his way? Waters flowing from different rivers like the Jarmuk and Cherith.

On his way to Samaria, Elijah had passed by ever-flowing streams, hills covered with verdure, and stately forests that seemed beyond the reach of drought. Everything on which the eye rested was clothed with beauty. The prophet might have wondered how the streams that had never ceased their flow could become dry, or how those hills and valleys could be burned with drought. But he gave no place to unbelief.

Eventully he saw the hill which was chosen by Omri on which to build his royal palace.

He fully believed that God would humble apostate Israel, and that through judgments they would be brought to repentance.


The fiat of Heaven had gone forth; God’s word could not fail; and at the peril of his life Elijah fearlessly fulfilled his commission.

Like a thunderbolt from a clear sky, the message of impending judgment fell upon the ears of the wicked king; but before Ahab could recover from his astonishment, or frame a reply, Elijah disappeared as abruptly as he had come, without waiting to witness the effect of his message.

Visiting the ruins of Samaria I pictured him walking into the beautiful ivor palace of the king.

How he passed the security police we are not told. He walks straight to the throne of the powerful king,look him into the eyes and delivers his Godsent message.

Can you see the two of them. Ahab in his royal clothes and Elijah in his very ordinary prophet’s clothes.

Minutes before the king could decapitate him, Elijah disappears.


At the ruins of Samaria I can see in my minds eye who the prophet disappears between the green trees.

Listen to the following verses and see God’s involvment in Elijah’s life:

1 Kings 17:2-4 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”

Verse 5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan.


After many years of searching, archaeologists finally identified the place.

But Wadi al Yabis also became symbolic of a place of refuge because Jesus fled here as well as the early Christians in AD 66.


That that this is the message to be preached to all – the grace of God and obedience to His holy law.

What was the first thing that Ahab did? How did this wicked queen react?

“Ahab did Elijah really say to you that the God of Israel would cause the rain of dew to stop falling?

“Did he dare to speak derogatively of the mighty Baal?”

“Ahab get the special forces and pursue this prophet of doom. When they arrest him, I will show what happens to any one who dare to oppose Baal my mighty god.”

Here at the brook of Cherith I appreciate the way God protected His prophet. The best security unit of the day, could not find Elijah.


What do you think did Ahab discover early the next morning?

Elijah’s prophecy has immediately been fulfilled.

King Ahab had to make a decision: Accept the prophetic Elijah message or reject it.

If Ahab accepted the message and returned to the faith of his fathers, the dew would have fallen the next morning.

The same would happen in these last days. People who accepts the Elijah’s message, would enjoy the soft dew of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

The rejection of the Elijah message eventually cost him his life.

The time of the early rain came, but the rain did not fall. The time of the latter rain came, but there was no rain. Why?

Disobedience prevented the falling of the refreshing showers.


The Elijah message teaches that the early and latter rain of the Holy Spirit will not be poured out on disobedient people.

The Elijah message calls people to break with their sins and to obey the holy law of God. Why?

God longs to pour out His Holy Spirit upon His obedient faithful servants.


The Spirit of God pled with disobdient Israel that entire first rainy season. But instead the kept on the false god Baal who did not bring them rain.

This attitude of disobedience continued the second year but no one repented.

Elijah kept on praying: “Please God, keep on pleading with your people to forsake false worship and repent and obey Your law.”

The unbelievable grace of God did not give up on His stubborn, disobedient and rebellious people.

Have discovered the tanacious grace and love of God in your life?

It is the most difficult thing for God to give up on us sinners. Love does not easily let go of us.

Rivers ceased flowing. Shrubs and even trees were destroyed by the burning son and absence of rain. The desert like ground testified of the curse of disobedience to the law of God.

Thousands of cattle and sheep died and thousands of burials of famine stricken people were conducted.

And still God’s soft still voice was speaking to His people to repent and live.


What lessons can we learn from the rain that refused to fall?

If we are to learn of Christ, we must pray as the apostles prayed when the Holy Spirit was poured upon them. We need a baptism of the Spirit of God. We are not safe for one hour while we are failing to render obedience to the word of God. FE 537.

When you sanctify yourself through obedience to the word, the Holy Spirit will give you glimpses of heavenly things. FE 435

The Holy Spirit will come to all who are begging for the bread of life to give to their neighbors.–Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 90

Hosea 6:3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD.
His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.


May we experience the working of the Holy spirit on our hearts as we study the story of Elijah the Tishbite

Updated on 21st Mar 2022

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