Today's Verse

And Elijah said to Ahab, "Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain." — 1 Kings 18:41 NIV

Devotion

It is God's nature to keep promises. He holds out hope in His Word and fulfills it. God is neither fickle nor moody. He never lies. His word is His bond. In 1 Kings, God promised a drought and Ahab could do nothing to deter it. It is only God who would determine the end of that drought. God's Word is final. In 1 Kings 18:1, the Word of the Lord came with a promise of rain after three years.

Elijah claimed the promise. He had been silent for three years when the land was without rain because of Ahab's sinfulness. Death and desolation became inevitable. At His own time, God came to rescue the nation. He broke the silence and instructed His servant to declare His will (1 Kings 18:1).

Elijah was certain that the rain was coming, not because he heard the sound of rain itself nor even far-off thunder, but because he was claiming the stated promise of God. He claimed that promise through prayer.

Elijah knew that the promises of God are realized and internalized in and through prayer. There are five wonderful components in Elijah's prayer as he claimed God's promise:

1. He separated himself: "…but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel," (1 Kings 18:42). Never underestimate the place of prayer. The place of prayer is important. We must move from the noise, hurdles, hassles, and wares of life to meet God.

2. He humbled himself: "…bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees" (1 Kings 18:42). The most vulnerable moment is right after a great victory. Humility does not follow readily on the heels of awards and achievement.

3. He was specific: "'Go and look toward the sea,' he told his servant." (1 Kings 18:43). The mission to the servant was to look for a sign of rain. Elijah was expecting the fulfilment of God's promise: rain. He was confident that God will fulfil the promise.

4. He was persistent: "Seven times Elijah said, ‘Go back.'" (1 Kings 18:43). When testing comes, it often comes when we have to wait. Waiting, however, brings needed perspective. We must learn to be patient. God's timing is not based on our clock. He is never late, but deliberately delays. He loves it when we go back seven times or even more.

5. He was expectant: "The seventh time the servant reported, ‘A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea'" (1 Kings 18:44). The hand-sized cloud was enough to convince Elijah that the promise of God had already come. He confidently believed God's promises.

Do you live expectantly? Do the little things excite you? Do you imagine the improbable and expect the impossible? Life is full and running over with opportunities to see God's hand in the little things. Elijah's God—our God—was the God who kept His promises. He was the God of impossible things. He fulfilled His promises (18:45-46).

By Thomas Resane, Bible League International Staff, South Africa

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