Elijah’s Message to Ahab

James Dobson tells of a friend of his during their days in medical school. One day this man was walking across campus laden with books and briefcase. He passed by a fast food stand, and ordered something to eat and a milkshake to wash it down. He balanced it all on top of his b … More




Soon after Elijah’s experience with the widow at Zarephath, the Word of the Lord came again to him. About three years into the famine God directs Elijah to present himself to King Ahab. There was a great famine in the land. Down in Samaria where the king lived the famine was very bad. The cattle were dying because there was no grass or water.


Caring more for their horses than for the people Ahab had gone out into the country to see if he could find any pasture land. One of his servants (Obadiah) met Elijah and was told to tell the king that he was coming to see him. Obadiah was fearful because he had hid 100 prophets in a cave to protect them from Jezebel, Ahab’s wife. When King Ahab saw Elijah he blamed him for the famine and said, “Are you the one who is bringing all of this trouble upon Israel?” 


In response Elijah spoke sternly to the king. He told him that he was the one who had brought the famine on the land because he had turned away from the living God and led the people to worship Baal. Then Elijah challenged Ahab to gather the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and promised to meet him there. Mount Carmel was about 30 miles southeast of modern day Haifa. This was regarded by the people as the sacred dwelling place of Baal. This would have given the bad prophets a definite advantage; but this didn’t worry Elijah.





It is interesting to think about the amazing miracles God accomplished through Elijah but just think about meeting Ahab and the prophets of Baal in their camp. What happened in Elijah’s life began with the same miracle that is available to me today. He responded to the miracle of knowing God.


I Kings 18:1-19 (English Standard Version)

After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, "Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth." So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly, and when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.) And Ahab said to Obadiah, "Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals." So they divided the land between them to pass through it. Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadiah went in another direction by himself. And as Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him. And Obadiah recognized him and fell on his face and said, "Is it you, my lord Elijah?" And he answered him, "It is I. Go, tell your lord, 'Behold, Elijah is here.'" And he said, "How have I sinned, that you would give your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you. And when they would say, 'He is not here,' he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. And now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, "Behold, Elijah is here."' And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the LORD will carry you I know not where. And so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the LORD from my youth. Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, how I hid a hundred men of the LORD's prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water? And now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, "Behold, Elijah is here"'; and he will kill me." And Elijah said, "As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today." So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him. And Ahab went to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, "Is it you, you troubler of Israel?" And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father's house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."

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