1 Ki 16-17; Acts 4; Psalm 104
Onto the stages of the Old Testament stride two of the key figures in the narrative. King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom, Israel – and the prophetic voice that will speak against him, Elijah the Tishbite. Ahab in some regards acts as it were for all the poison of the monarchy – we find in him elements of all the sins of his fathers, come as it were to the surface.
Elijah of course prefigures John the Baptist, the one who calls God’s people (emobodied as they are in their King), to repentance.
First there is the declaration of drought by the word of the Lord. Life giving rain is cut off, revealing the death culture of the monarchy and the people. And shockingly Elijah is sent beyond God’s people to bring life – a theme which is repeated in his successor Elisha and again prefiguring one who is to come. The Word of the Lord will not return to him empty. If the people of God are not worthy to receive life, so the gift will be given to those on the outside.
This story is of course soon to be re-enacted in Acts as the life giving word goes to the gentiles.
Herein also is a warning to us. God’s Word Will not return to him empty. Let us be continually open to his word and live in obedience, lest we suffer drought . . .