Out of all the characters in the Old Testament, my favorite is the prophet Elijah, probably because I can identify with him in so many ways.
Elijah came out of nowhere–Tishbi. Today, this would be like saying he came from Wisdom, MT, just another wide spot in the road where a few buildings cling to a precarious existence. One day he showed up at the seat of government, marched right into the throne room of the palace, and told Ahab, the king, in no uncertain terms— “There will be no more rain in this land until I say so.” Then turning around, he walked out and disappeared. Apparently, the king’s security detail was out to lunch because they never laid a hand on him.
Imagine if a wild-eyed, bushy beard from Wisdom, dressed in his ragged, dirty coveralls entered the Oval Office of the White House and spoke to Joe Biden that way. Wow, what a ruckus! Heads would explode. Or roll. But it would get attention, probably splayed all over the news as a photographic example of what the people in “flyover country” look like.
Anyway, one year without rain. Two years. Three. Extreme drought everywhere. Widespread famine and starvation. Then, all at once, Elijah showed up again, this time with a challenge to the king and the people: “How long are you going to waver and dither between the truth and a lie? Make up your mind!” You know the story. 1 Kings, chapter 18. Confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Calling down fire from Heaven. Praying up the “mother of all rainstorms” to end the drought. Wow! What a guy!
You would think that after all of that, he would have been invincible, but when Jezebel, the queen, 105 pounds soaking wet, threatened him, he turned and ran like a terrified rabbit with a hungry fox right on its tail. Ran so fast even God couldn’t catch him…until he found a place he could crawl into and pull the rocks over his head. But when he quit running, God caught up with him and began a very interesting conversation with a question. “Elijah, what are you doing here?”
Now, maybe I am reading this badly, but I can imagine Elijah pouring it all out, clueing God in on just how bad the situation was, as if God didn’t already know. And at the end of his tirade, “Oh, BTW, I am the only one left that you can count on, and my life is over if that woman catches me.” Jezebel, that is, not Hillary, and I say that only to eliminate any confusion.
And I can imagine God’s answer to Elijah. “Why you little, miserable, arrogant pipsqueak! Who do you think you are anyway? I have thousands of people all over Israel that you have never heard of and don’t know anything about, so get over yourself, get out of here, and get back to work!”
How does this relate to us?
We’re in a bad situation today, just as Elijah was then. People everywhere are straddling the fence between freedom and slavery, unable to decide which is the better way. We need people who are not afraid to speak truth to power. To stand up against injustice and evil. To smack down the false prophets of Statism. To persuade the common everyday person to make up his mind about what is true. To perform even when the odds are overwhelmingly against you, even when it seems that you are struggling all by yourself.
The most important thing about this whole story is the last thing God told Elijah before he was sent back into the battle— you are not alone. We are not alone! Only God knows how many Americans there are, scattered all over this country who are preaching, believing, and living the same message we are. Millions, I am sure. Probably tens of millions, all of them simply doing the work they were sent to do. I am not alone. You are not alone. We are not alone. They are not alone. This fact should give us hope for the future and good reason to double down in our efforts to breathe free, to extend that principle of ‘…liberty and justice for all’, until it becomes true for everyone.
Face your freedom. Embrace life. Live without fear. Know the truth about yourself. Change the way you think and the way you act. Be free to speak the truth boldly and fearlessly. America and the world are waiting for you to get over yourself, get out of your own pity party, and get to work.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?”