Wednesday, May 24, 2017
When reading some of the Biblical stories, I often wonder about the details. Are the details about literary embellishment, or do they point to something of spiritual significance? I wondered about this the other day while reading the later Elijah narrative. Most folks know about Elijah's contest with the 450 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, but there is also the later part of the narrative which centers around Elijah's encounter with King Ahaziah, the son of Ahab. When Elijah refused to come to the King as he was commanded to do, an armed unit of a captain and fifty men were sent to bring the prophet to the King.
Elijah refused to go, saying to the captain, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty. Then fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty men." (II Kings 1:10, 12) Twice this happened. What is intriguing is remembering that it was fire which fell from heaven to consume the offering on Mt. Carmel. And, to add to the intrigue, there is that verse in which we hear the old hairy prophet saying to his Mt. Carmel audience, "...the god who answers by fire is indeed God." (I Kings 18:24)
The consistent revelation of God's power through fire from heaven causes this reader to wonder if something is being missed. What spiritual insight is being laid out there that is being missed? When my mind went into a neutral mode today, I wondered about this way that God worked in Elijah's life. Obviously, it was something which had become a part of the way God and Elijah did things. More than anything, I keep wondering if there is something about the way God has made Himself known in my life over and over and over that I should have learned by now to expect and I am still missing it.