At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. – 1 Kings 18:36
Three-plus years earlier in the narrative, Elijah prayed and the skies dried up over northern Israel. The drought led to nationwide death and famine. It also put a price on the head of the LORD’s prophet! Near the end of this famine, the LORD told Elijah to present himself to Ahab and announce that the rains would return according to the word of the LORD. He encountered Obadiah, a faithful follower of the LORD, and told him to have Ahab gather all the prophets of baal and asherah, so the LORD would prove himself supreme before the people of Samaria. The story unfolded with two sacrifices presented to each deity, one to baal and one to the LORD. The only sacrifice consumed was Elijah’s, which had been doused with gallons of water and still burned up including the water that overflowed around it! Elijah, however, asked the LORD to show the people that he had done all this only at the LORD’s command.
The first thing we need to examine in Elijah’s prayer that day are the words, let it be known today that you are God in Israel. These words define the whole of Elijah’s actions that day in challenging the prophets of false gods to prove whose deity actually was supreme! Without setting this base, there was no point in going further. There would have been no purpose for a wanted man to come forth publicly and expose himself to arrest, trial, and execution. Then the prophet asked that the LORD demonstrate his supremacy in order to show the pagans that he was indeed a servant of the Most High and did this according to the LORD’s command only and not of himself. He’d have to have been mad to attempt this in his own power.
The moral of the story is that we need to ensure that if we are embarking something that it is ordered and commanded of the LORD. We risk incurring the consequences of actions that we employ that have not been directed of the LORD. Could you imagine what might have happened to Elijah had he just gone off on his own and challenged all of Israel? Think back to Abraham and Isaac when they lied to foreign potentates about their wives being their sisters! They suffered for that. Think of Joshua when he made a treaty with the Gibeonites when God said to not do so and to wipe out the people of Canaan! Israel still pays the price for that disobedience to this day!! If the LORD says move, then move! If he says park it for a while, then stay put! Be led of the Holy Spirit; don’t try to lead him!
Father, most wonderful and glorious One, you alone are worthy of glory, honor, and praise. To you alone be all these things, you who doesn’t share his glory with another! Thank you for loving me and not giving up on me! Thank you for leading me and showing when to turn left, right, and to stay down the center. Thank you for showing me when to move and when to stay put! Many times in the past I’ve launched out on my own only to fall on my face and embarrass both your name and mine! I want to take all direction from your Spirit and be sure that all endeavors taken are ordered and ordained by you! Your will be done, not mine! In Jesus’ name, Amen.