Faith stretches us and others.
“32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised, who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” (Hebrews 11:32-34).
Prophets come and go throughout the Old Testament. Many appear suddenly, nameless, and disappear just as quickly. Others linger. We know their names, their actions and their messages. They are God’s messengers, often unappreciated and even persecuted. Sometimes they slip up. Often they get discouraged. But they show up on the pages of Biblical history as people of courage and steadfastness in the face of huge challenges. They are true heroes of the faith.
Hebrews 11 doesn’t mention many of these by name. The writer simply refers to them as a group. In this study we will choose one to follow. Elijah was one of those heroes. And though his exploits were notable and God used him mightily, we can identify with him because of his own personal struggles that tested his faith and commitment.
Elijah first appears in 1 Kings 17. Ahab, and his wife, Jezebel, ruled Israel in those days. Of Ahab it was recorded: “Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him…[he] did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.”
When we look back at the story of Samuel we discover that, though Samuel could not control his sons, he did apparently invest in the lives of other young men who were committed to obedience to the Lord, and formed a school of prophets. According to 1 Samuel 19:18, Samuel was their leader. From this group, Elijah bursts on the scene, one of a number of prophets of his day.
At the intercession of Samuel God interposed in behalf of Israel. Samuel himself was their leader, the only occasion in which he acted as a leader in war. The Philistines were utterly routed. They fled in terror before the army of Israel, and a great slaughter ensued. This battle, fought probably about B.C. 1095, put an end to the forty years of Philistine oppression. In memory of this great deliverance, and in token of gratitude for the help vouchsafed, Samuel set up a great stone in the battlefield, and called it "Ebenezer," saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (1 Sam 7:1 12). This was the spot where, twenty years before, the Israelites had suffered a great defeat, when the ark of God was taken.
This victory over the Philistines was followed by a long period of peace for Israel (1 Sam 7:13, 14), during which Samuel exercised the functions of judge, going "from year to year in circuit" from his home in Ramah to Bethel, thence to Gilgal (not that in the Jordan valley, but that which lay to the west of Ebal and Gerizim), and returning by Mizpeh to Ramah. He established regular services at Shiloh, where he built an altar; and at Ramah he gathered a company of young men around him and established a school of the prophets. The schools of the prophets, thus originated, and afterwards established also at Gibeah, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, exercised an important influence on the national character and history of the people in maintaining pure religion in the midst of growing corruption. They continued to the end of the Jewish commonwealth.
Ahab was king for twenty-two years. During that time he and his wife were responsible for many of the evils in Israel, but key among those was the establishing of the worship of Baal and the Canaanite goddess, Asherah. The battle was between Baal and God, and the state-sponsored worship of Baal, had begun. But God’s judgment on Ahab according to 1 Kings 17:1 had consequences far beyond the palace walls.
“Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except at my word.’”
The absence of water would have a profound effect on everyone, even on those within the confines of Israel who had remained faithful to God.
Baal, god worshipped in many ancient Middle Eastern communities, especially among the Canaanites, who apparently considered him a fertility deity and one of the most important gods in the pantheon. As a Semitic common noun baal (Hebrew baʿal) meant “owner” or “lord,” although it could be used more generally; for example, a baal of wings was a winged creature, and, in the plural, baalim of arrows indicated archers. Yet such fluidity in the use of the term baal did not prevent it from being attached to a god of distinct character. As such, Baal designated the universal god of fertility, and in that capacity his title was Prince, Lord of the Earth. He was also called the Lord of Rain and Dew, the two forms of moisture that were indispensable for fertile soil in Canaan. In Ugaritic and Hebrew, Baal’s epithet as the storm god was He Who Rides on the Clouds. In Phoenician he was called Baal Shamen, Lord of the Heavens.
The absence of rain, and its effect on the fertility of the land, was to be a clear message that it was God who was sovereign over the elements and over what was produced from those elements.
This message did not make life easy for the messenger and after delivering the message God sent Elijah into the wilderness for safety purposes and there provided for His prophet.
“Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have instructed the ravens to supply you with food there.’ So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening and he drank from the brook.” He is east of the Jordan, beyond Ahab’s reach. It is interesting to note that Elijah eats better when fed by the ravens than the common people would have eaten. Kings had meat daily but the common people only had meat on special occasions. Here Elijah is given meat twice a day—he is honoured by God. Though there is no mention of it, we can only imagine the strength of Elijah’s faith here to believe that birds would be God’s way of preserving his life.
A Man of Power
But eventually even Kerith would dry and up and Elijah would have to be on the move. At God’s command, as told to us in 1 Kings 17:7-16, Elijah is instructed to go to Zarephath where someone will look after his needs.
Zarephath was a Phoenician coastal town between Tyre and Sidon (now modern day Lebanon). Elijah is not sent back into Ahab-controlled territory. Ellicott comments: “The words, ‘which belongeth to Zidon,’ appear to be emphatic, marking the striking providence of God, which, when the land of Israel was apostate and unsafe, found for the prophet a refuge and a welcome in a heathen country, which was moreover the native place of his deadliest enemy.”
Apparently, this town was within the jurisdiction of Jezebel’s father! The famine reigned here as well and Elijah’s faith and as well that of the widow is tested. The woman who is called on to provide for the prophet has nothing but a little flour and oil to make a last meal for herself and her son. Then she faces a cruel death from starvation. She must trust that Elijah really is a prophet speaking in the name of God and not just a con-artist about to deprive her of her last meal. Elijah doesn’t hesitate to make the promise since it was God who instructed him to come to her for provision.
We often wonder if God is really going to provide—to look after His own. Elijah says: “…this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says…” When we have a “this is what the Lord says” then we must demonstrate faith in believing that he doesn’t lie and will not fail. “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.”
But even among those who exercise faith, things don’t always go smoothly. Faith doesn’t remain stagnant; to grow it must be pushed to higher levels.
There are differing opinions on whether or not this woman was a believer or not, though her words “…the Lord YOUR God” in 1 Kings 17:12 might an indication that she wasn’t. But as the story continues the widow’s son becomes sick and dies. It appears that she is aware of her “sin” whatever that might be—perhaps her worship of Baal or dualism in worshipping both Baal and God, or something else and believes that Elijah is God’s instrument of punishment on her. Or, possibly, she is suffering from a false guilt, one sometimes brought on what something bad happens to us and we assume we are being punished for something.
She comes to the prophet for an explanation: “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
There is no indication that Elijah even asked God if the woman was right in her assessment of the situation. He seems to know, perhaps because he is a man of faith and possessed by the Spirit of God, that what has happened to the boy is something other than what the widow believes it to be though he doesn’t know what the boy’s death means. He removes the boy and goes to the Lord: “Then he cried out to the Lord, ‘Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die…Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!’”
And the Lord responds by returning life to the widow’s son. But the resurrection of her son convinces her of what she might not have been convinced of before—that Elijah was a prophet of God, and more importantly, that what the word of the Lord says is true. Is it possible that her act in making that cake of bread was not so much an act of faith in either Elijah or God but simply resignation to the inevitability of death? What difference does one more meal make but to prolong the agony?
In the story of the cake of bread it is implied that the widow and her son will be provided for until rain comes, but here the boy dies and the rain hasn’t come. Elijah’s credibility is on the line here as is God’s superiority to the Baal that so many worshipped. And even though the oil and flour have continued, their provision pales in comparison to the miracle of life over death.
Who controls life—Baal or Yahweh? Though in the moment the widow may not have understood why God would seemingly come back on her and take her son, but after the fact, she would have learned a powerful lesson. We are told that Elijah took the boy to his room and during his plea to God he laid himself on top of the boy three times. Doing something three times was common in ritual or customary acts.
At the beginning of this episode the mother had no expectation of her son coming back to life. But when he does her confession of faith is loud and clear: “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
Israel was not prepared to acknowledge God but this foreign woman was. The veracity of this story is confirmed in Luke 4:24-28 along with the hardness of the hearts of those who should have believed. Jesus tells his critics: “’Truly I tell you,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his home town. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon…All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.”
A Man of Courage
The time comes for Elijah to face Ahab once again.
According to Luke 4:25 and James 5:17 the drought lasted three and a half years. Ahab went out with Obadiah, his mayordomo, to look for grass for the animals. Obadiah was a follower of Yahweh though it appears he kept that information under wraps. Behind Ahab’s back Obadiah had been hiding and providing for the other prophets, likely out of the stores kept for Ahab and his household. The time has come for the showdown to happen. Obadiah may be a follower of God and a risk-taker but not so much as to want to confront Ahab with the news that Elijah is back in the neighbourhood. Elijah wants Obadiah to arrange a meeting between him and Ahab, but for some reason Obadiah is concerned that Elijah would not turn up for the meeting which would likely have serious repercussions for Obadiah. Perhaps over the course of the years of drought there may have been a few “Elijah-sightings,” the prophet appearing and disappearing. Or, after his first disappearance it was obvious that God had hidden him somewhere since he didn’t turn up with any of the other prophets that Obadiah had hidden, and Obadiah could not predict if God might whisk him away again and Obadiah be left facing the king alone.
MacLaren notes in his expositions: “This Obadiah is one of the obscurer figures in the Old Testament. We never hear of him again, for there is no reason to accept the Jewish tradition which alleges that he was Obadiah the prophet. And yet how distinctly he stands out from the canvas, though he is only sketched with a few bold outlines! He is the ‘governor over Ahab’s house,’ a kind of mayor of the palace, and probably the second man in the kingdom. But though thus high in that idolatrous and self-willed court, he has bravely kept true to the ancient faith. Neither Jezebel’s flatteries nor her frowns have moved him. But there, amid apostasy and idolatry he stands, probably all alone in the court, a worshipper of Jehovah. His name is his character, for it means ‘servant of Jehovah.’ It was not a light thing to be a worshipper of the God of Israel in Ahab’s court. The feminine rage of the fierce Sidonian woman, whom Ahab obeyed in most things, burned hot against the enemies of her father’s gods, and hotter, perhaps, against any one who thwarted her imperious will. Obadiah did both, in that audacious piece of benevolence when he sheltered the Lord’s prophets-one hundred of them-and saved them from her cruel search.”
The danger facing Elijah, and other believers in Jehovah, under the leadership of Ahab and Jezebel is great, a matter of life and death. Obadiah reminded Elijah that though he had hidden prophets from her, Jezebel had already killed many. But Obadiah took the risk.
“So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, ‘Is that you, you troubler of Israel?’”
I am so reminded when I read this that history continues to repeat itself. Those who sponsor evil and practice it themselves always believe that those who stand for truth and righteousness are the problem. But Elijah stands his ground and challenges, in the Lord’s name, the prophets of Baal to a contest, whose results will prove who is God in Israel. This encounter between Elijah, Ahab, and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:16-46 is one of the most exciting stories in Scriptures. The contest is to take place on Mount Carmel.
Mount Carmel (the site of modern-day Haifa) is a coastal mountain range that stretches toward the sea (from which Elijah’s servant would have been able to see the cloud that would bring the rain that Israel had not enjoyed for more than three years).
The Pulpit Commentary describes it this way: “No one who has seen the locality can have any doubts as to which part of the mountain was the scene of the sacrifice, or can fail to be struck with the singular fitness of the place to be the theatre of this thrilling history. Carmel is rather a ridge than a mountain, some twelve miles in length. Its western (or strictly N.N.W.) extremity is a bold headland, some 600 feet in height, which dips almost directly into the waters of the Mediterranean. Its highest point, 1728 feet above the sea level, is about four miles from its eastern extremity, which, at an elevation of 1600 feet, rises like a wall from the great plain of Esdraelon. It is at this point, there can be no question, we are to place the scene of the burnt sacrifice. The identification has only been effected in comparatively recent days (1852), but it is beyond dispute.”
The site of the confrontation had once been a place of worship for Yahweh, but the altar had fallen to ruins during the period of state-sponsored Baal worship of Baal and his consort, Asherah. The plan is to see who, Baal or Yahweh, will send fire from heaven on their respective altars.
The moment is right for this all-or-nothing confrontation to determine who is sovereign, who is really God.
Ahab has said that it is Elijah who is the problem in Israel. Elijah declares that Ahab’s abandonment of God for the idols of his wife, is the problem. The people of Israel seems uncertain as Elijah challenges them to decide: “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” Some translations use the term “limping”
Though Ahab and Jezebel might think that the country follows their imposed forms of worship it would seem that their subjects are not engaged whole-heartedly in the worship of Baal, or of God. They are like those in Revelation from the church of Laodicea as John records: “I know your deeds that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth…so be earnest, and repent.”
Decide, says the prophet, and here is the evidence that will help you make that decision!
The people said nothing in reply to Elijah’s challenge—a sign of their indecisiveness. It is possible that many of the people of Israel had tried to worship both Yahweh and Baal but God demands exclusive allegiance.
As the prophets of Baal and the people of Israel gather on Mount Carmel for the test, Elijah, in his passion and the tension of the moment, makes a statement which reveals something that the prophet has forgotten. “Then Elijah said to them, I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left…” Some commentators give Elijah the benefit of the doubt here by saying that what he implies is that he is the only prophet of the Lord there, on that mountain, at the moment, taking a stand for the Lord. Others believe that Elijah is feeling the isolation that he has lived for so long. Even hearing from Obadiah that there are others, they don’t exist for him because he can’t see them and hasn’t been in contact with them for a long time, if ever.
But Elijah is certain that God will prevail. His faith that God will answer and send fire, his faith that though he is surrounded by his enemies he will be protected, is strong. Even as he gives instructions that the altar of the Lord should be bathed in water, along with the wood and the sacrifice Elijah is confident that God will answer despite any obstruction. That Elijah would use precious water, in short supply in Israel after three and a half years of drought, is yet another indication of his faith. He knew who would win the contest and when that contest was won, God would send rain once again.
We have to admire the courage of this man, courage fueled by faith. He is facing his enemies and the test of a lifetime. He has made the test even more difficult by dousing the altar and the offering with water and asking for fire to consume it all. He ridicules the priests of Baal as they vainly attempt to get Baal to answer them, thus inciting them, and their patrons, Ahab and Jezebel, to hate him and wish him dead even more fervently. He seems unafraid. He believes that God will answer.
And He does.
Fire was a common indicator of the presence of God and judgement:
Genesis 15:17, 18 — “When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking brazier with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram…”
Exodus 19:18 — “Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.”
Hosea 8:14 — “Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; Judah has fortified many towns. But I will send fire on their cities that will consume their fortresses.”
Amos 1:4 — “I will send fire on the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.”
But obstacles mean nothing to God.
It is important to take a stand for truth whether you do it as part of a united front or have to do it all alone.
There is no God, but God. As fire falls from heaven to consume the offering that Elijah has prepared, the people of Israel express their decision: “When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!’”
It is when we arrive at 1 Kings 19 that we can best identify with God’s prophet. For most, if not all, of us, being fed by ravens, raising the dead, calling down fire from heaven, are not features of our daily lives. But what Elijah is about to experience is as much characteristic of our lives as it was of his. And faith again plays a crucial part of that experience.
After such an exhausting and emotional experience on Mount Carmel, and the hiding out from Ahab and Jezebel that went on before, Elijah must have been beyond tired.
On a totally personal level and certainly nothing to be compared with Elijah’s experience, I am my most vulnerable spiritually after I have expended myself in ministry. I can only imagine that Elijah was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. So when Jezebel sent him a threatening message, he simply could not deal with it.
“Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, ‘May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.’”
It only took Jezebel’s threat to push him over the edge. He fled.
On another level I wonder if Elijah had greater expectations of Ahab and Jezebel. The country had just suffered more than three years of drought and all that came with it. When God said that the drought would now come to an end did Elijah imagine that this meant that this one demonstration of God’s power would drive Ahab and Jezebel to their knees in repentance? Jezebel’s threat, no, promise, would have dashed those expectations to the ground and contributed to his dismay, desperation, and depression. Did Elijah feel like a failure because he had not managed to convince the two most important doubters in the land?
Jezreel is about 17 miles east of Mount Carmel. Elijah went this far after the events that happened there, running ahead of Ahab’s chariot. We don’t know if he stayed there or not, but wherever he was Jezebel’s message reached him and he ran to Beersheba in southern Judah, left his servant there, and then ran on, eventually ending up in Horeb.
Fear, exhaustion, depression. According to 1 Kings 19:3, 4 once he arrived at an isolated spot in the wilderness Elijah begged God to take his life. But if he had really meant that he could have managed to accomplish that by not even leaving Jezreel—Jezebel would have been happy to arrange his death! Elijah’s cry is a call for help, it’s an “I really want to live, but I am so tired of the fight!”
Many of us can relate. Sometimes overwhelmed by the circumstances of life we just want to find some peace, that elusive item that the enticement that comes with the thought of ending it all, mimics. And what does God do with this request?
As the story goes God simply let His prophet rest. He provided food for him. He did not rebuke him for his fear or his depressed state. God showed him compassion, knowing that his man was just worn out. Then God called him again to continue his journey: “The angel of the Lord came a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.”
I see a progression here. Elijah was in shape embrace any profound messages when he first arrived in the wilderness. He simply needed to recover physically and emotionally. But the trip to the mountain of God was his opportunity to recover spiritually. Once Elijah reached Horeb, God did not put up with Elijah’s self-pity. As we read 1 Kings 19:9-18, Elijah is asked a critical question, not once but twice.
The question to Elijah was: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Twice Elijah responds with the same complaint: “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” Picture the scene. After God asks the question the first time and Elijah responds, God does the following: “The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
The wind, the earthquake, and the fire would be what the Israelites expected to experience when God revealed Himself. Moses, and Israel, at the foot of Mount Sinai after their escape from Egypt is one prime example of this. But this time God did not reveal Himself in those signs but in a whisper. Elijah acknowledges the presence of the Lord by covering his face, but when the question is repeated, he responds with the same complaint. That was not the right answer!
Did Elijah not understand or only partially understand that he had not been abandoned, either by God or by his colleagues, and that there was still work to be done?
The Pulpit Commentary gives Elijah the benefit of the doubt. It states: “What are we to understand from this repetition of the former answer? Has the lesson of this theophany been lost upon him? Has he failed to grasp its significance? It is probable that he only partially understood its meaning, and it certainly looks as if he still felt himself an injured and disappointed man; as if the recollection of the way in which his work had been frustrated still rankled in his soul. But though the words are the same, it is possible, and indeed probable, that the tone was entirely different; that instead of speaking, as he had spoken before, querulously and almost defiantly, he now, catching his inspiration from the still small voice, speaks with bated breath and profound self humiliation. The facts are the same. He repeats them, because they and they alone explain why he is there, and because he cannot see as yet how they are to be remedied. But he is now conscious of a misgiving as to the wisdom and piety of his course. He feels he has acted hastily and faithlessly, and has wanted to do God's work in his own rough way. He will go back, if it be God's will; he will be content to wait God's time, and to follow His leading. The commission which is straightway given him almost proves that he had experienced a change. It implies that he is now fitted for his high ministry.”
Whether Elijah let fear rule him, or tiredness defeat him, depression overcome him or dashed hopes disillusion him, he needed to answer the question “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Are you still ready to serve me, or what? Will you step out again in faith and obey me whether you understand or not?
This episode reminds me of that time just a few months into my own calling as a missionary when, out of step with God and wanting to quit, no peace to be found, that I was faced with a similar question: “What are you doing here, Lynda? Do you still feel called to Colombia? If so, what’s wrong with where you are now and why you are here?”
The question had to be asked, the challenge given, a response expected.
God then gives Elijah a series of instructions which include finding Elisha, who will eventually replace Elijah in ministry, and appointing him as the next prophet. This choosing of a successor was not a judgment on Elijah. But if his weakness was forgetting that there were others like him, a consistent (and, as it turns out, a persistent) reminder in the form of Elisha would help.
Whether this was to be a constant reminder that he wasn’t alone or a means by which the heavy burden of responsibility would be shared or a succession plan, it wasn’t a reflection on Elijah’s service or his faith—or lack thereof, but help for a weary prophet. We need each other because “no man is an island.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reminds us that we aren’t alone.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
The three-strand cord described here is a perfect example of how our journey needs to look. We don’t journey alone—for this the church exists for all of us. Together we are strong. With Christ as that third cord, we are invincible!
The apostles and followers of Jesus were sent out two-by-two. Paul always travelled with companions. The church is described as a body—all parts being essential to every other part.
There was still much to do for Elijah, but now he would have someone by his side who could fulfil that description of keeping him warm in the faith when the journey became difficult.
CONVERSATIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS
1. Elijah’s story, as representative of the faith journeys of the Biblical prophets, is rich in lessons for the believer today. What, in your mind, are some of the highlights of Elijah’s story that resonate with you?
2. How have you seen God provide for your needs, whether those be physical, emotional or spiritual?
3. Do you have an Elisha in your life? If you do, how has the presence of that person benefitted you both?
4. Describe a time when you have felt alone as you dealt with a situation in which you had to stand up for your faith. How did God show Himself faithful to you in that situation?
5. Report on how you are doing in strengthening your relationship with God as a vital part of your faith journey.
 1 Kings 16:29-34
 2 Kings 2:3
 Easton’s Bible Commentary
 1 Kings 17:2-6
 1 Kings 17:14-16
 1 Kings 17:18
 1 Kings 17:20,21
 1 Kings18:34; 2 Kings 13:18; Exodus 23:14; Numbers 24:10; 1 Samuel 20:41
 1 Kings 17:24
 1 Kings 18:16, 17
 Revelation 3:15, 16, 19
 1 Kings 18:39
 1 Kings 19:1, 2
 1 Kings 19:7-9
 Exodus 19:16-18; 34:5-8