The Calm Before the Storm
Mighty God, in You I live, and move, and have my being. Although I am mortal, I rest in the truth that because I know You, I will live forever.
Read 1 KINGS 18:1-46
and put his face between his knees. 
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
We see power struggles all around us: personal, domestic, political, national, international. Many of these struggles are destructive, dragging down. By contrast, manifestations of God’s power are constructive, building up!
Ahab and Jezebel are quite a couple. Jezebel is off murdering the Lord’s prophets. Ahab is worried about losing his animals, while being quite prepared to kill Obadiah. Meanwhile Obadiah and Elijah present quite a contrast. Obadiah is queasy, insecure, fearing the worst. Elijah seems to be a fierce man, radical, speaking with bull’s-eye directness, no holds barred. But they both have Ahab on their mind.
Ahab recedes to the margins, despite his blustering. He just does what Elijah says; he is an onlooker. Where is Jezebel? The normally taciturn Elijah has a lot to say in this chapter. A prophet is known by his words. Elijah prepares meticulously and is by turns lacerating (to the people), contemptuous (about Baal), ardent (36-37) and finally silent with his head between his knees.
What follows is certainly a dramatic story; the miracle is overwhelming. Lightning cannot fall from a clear sky–this is the Lord’s fire (Lev. 9:24; 10:2; Num. 16:35). Baal, supposedly the god of fire and rain, is helpless. Note how many times (14) the Lord is mentioned in this passage. You will know, if you are interested, how missionary history is peppered with power encounters. Recognition of power is not enough, however; it needs to be amplified and reinforced by understanding truth and changing allegiance. Miracles and revivals are often associated with crisis, desperation and martyrdom.
The peoples’ reaction is sincere–but superficial. Before long they are worshiping baals again. Syncretism is much more comfortable than religious loyalty. Kings neither censures nor celebrates Elijah’s slaughter of the prophets of Baal (40). How does God want me to express my undivided loyalty to him in my pluralistic world?
Read James 5:17-18. What lessons can you learn from the experiences of Elijah? In what ways do you understand how God shows his power?
Powerful One, I long to see Your power evident in my life. Show Yourself to me in new and startling ways. I wait before You.