1 Kings 19: 1-21
I am so encouraged by Elijah today. Not because of his faithfulness but because, Elijah—prophet of mount Carmel, responsible for killing 450 prophets of Baal, witness to God setting a wet altar on fire, still struggles with sin like the rest of us. He lets fear guide him and runs away from the Lord. But look at how God deals with it. He pursues him as Elijah is running into a man-made desert. He provides for him and sustains him. Then ultimately, He reveals Himself to Elijah in a new way. It is hard for us to understand but Elijah has become numb to the display of God’s power. He just witnessed it on Carmel and now here on the mountain. What causes him to be in awe of God, (cover his face) is the gentle whisper. That whisper pulled Elijah out of the cave and with that simple act of presenting himself to the Lord in repentance, he was able to get out of the sin cycle. The sin cycle keeps you hiding, justifying and doing the same things. Faith moves you down your timeline with God. And that is exactly what we see happen. He is honest with God again and says, “Look, I don’t want to do this anymore. No one in Israel follows you anymore.” God is like, “Listen dude, you worry about you and what I am going to tell you what to do. I know everyone in Israel is running after Baal. But I also know that I will keep a remnant of faithful Israelites as I work out my timeline of redemption for the world.” I don’t know if at that point they hugged it out or what. I do know right now I have tears streaming down my cheeks because I am so thankful God is not afraid of our sin. He loves us so much that he will run us down so we can be restored to obedience and free of the sin cycle. That is a Good, Good Father. Amen.
Acts 12: 1-23
I was LOL-ing at this story today. I don’t mean at the martyrdom of James (author of the book of James) but at sweet young Rhoda. I’ll-cut-your-ear-off-Peter is left standing at that gate until these faithful believers realize the miracle they are praying for has been answered already! Also, can I say, EWWW! Herod dies of worms!!! YUK! But Herod was popular enough and in enough proximity to God’s message of Jesus that it was confusing people. So, because God’s one purpose is to get the real Gospel message out there, Herod has to go. So, worms it is. We should tell kids this story in Sunday school. That would scare them into obedience. J/K don’t really do that.