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Teaching And Research By: M. E. Arbaugh
Last Update: Sunday, 10-Sep-2017 16:39:26 EDT
Teaching And Research By:
Declaring Elijahís Return
We have been discussing the life and times of Elijah and what we can learn from it.
Some of the learned truths are:
Donít be overwhelmed by education or the lack of it. God chooses willing people. He does not look on the outward appearance. 1 Samuel 16:1 God is not a respecter of persons. Elijah was a human with a constitution just like ours. The power needed to do Godís will comes from God. He endows willing people with superhuman courage and ability.
We learn that whatever you are out of, give some away. Need a smile? Give some away. Need money? Give some away. Need a blanket? Need a friend? Show yourself friendly. The list can go on and on.
Another great truth received is that there are no limits with prayer and with God, all things are possible. What looked like a disaster turned out to be Godís provision.
1 Kings 18:1-2 After many days, the word of God came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab and I will send rain upon the earth. So Elijah went a to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria."
Now at this very dry time ó all the animals were dead or dying, water was scarce the vegetation had dried up. People were hungry and thirsty. King Ahab was very angry ó famine had a strong grip on the land. Maybe, we would have said, Lord, how about a little rain first? Then Iíll go show myself to Ahab. But the Lord had already proved himself to Elijah by the brook and in the foreign land at the widowís house. Elijah had been obedient and the result was manifested by the lord.
This portion of the story deals with being good in bad places. Not everyone gets to go sit by the brook. Elijah was removed from Jezebelís territory, Obadiah was not. During those dark years, Obadiah had to remain in the palace with Ahab and Jezebel. While living a secret life, taking provisions to Godís prophets he had to interact with the King and Queen on a daily basis..
The book of Ephesians tells us to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. And I wondered how that applied to Obidiah, so I looked up fellowship. It means to be joined together with another person or group by reason of common interests, ideals and experiences.
There is nothing wrong in a child of God holding any position, if he can do so without the sacrifice of a principal. As governor of Ahabís household, Obadiah was in a difficult position. Yet he did not bow to Baal and he was instrumental in preserving the lives of many of God's servants. Even though surrounded by devil worshipers, he held fast to God.
Other examples of being good in bad places are Joseph, Daniel, The three Hebrew children and the saints in Caesarís household
There are however some places that you ought to leave, to name a few, the mafia, strip joints, drug selling and bars. Employment in these can cause you real problems. Bars are Satanís counterfeit churches. In them you will find a person who listens to you and dispenses advise along with spirits and fellowship with people of like minds. God says, that you cannot dwell in some places and then come to church on Sunday and think that takes care of everything. Jeremiah 7:7-9
Okay, so we go along with that, but what about the office where negative thoughts, dirty stories and sorry language abound? Also school, construction work, prisons, police work and countless other places? If it is so important what I see and hear, how am I going to manage to be good in a bad place if all I get for eight hours or more a day is filth and garbage? How do I protect myself? Iím afraid it will affect me. I understand.
I spent a number of years working on a locked psychiatric unit. This is not a place where one meets a lot of ladies and gentlemen.
Jesus said that even though we are in the world, we are not of the world. That sounds good, but what does it mean? It means that we are not to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. You are not to have common interest and ideals with the world. Well, Mary this is not news, preachers have been saying that for years, what I want to know is, HOW CAN I DO IT?
Well, folks you do it by having a renewed mind, and you get a renewed mind by thinking the word, speaking the word, and doing the word. Joshua 1:8
Jude verses 17-24 But, beloved, remember the words which were spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how they told you there would be scoffers in the last time, whose whole purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in all manner of evil. Separating themselves, from things of the Spirit. But you, beloved, must make yourselves strong in the Lord, building on the foundation of your holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Stay inside the boundaries of Godís love where He can reach you and bless you. Keep waiting patiently for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Have compassion, making a difference in the lives of those who argue against you: be merciful and kind to those who are drawn into the flames. But be careful that you are not pulled into their sins. Now unto him that is able to keep you from slipping and falling, able to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. Paraphrased by me.
1 Kings 18:5-16 Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, to all the fountains of water, and to all the brooks: we may find grass and water to save the horses and mules, maybe we wonít lose all the beasts. So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. And as Obadiah was on the way, Elijah met him: and Obidiah knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Is it really you, Elijah? And Elijah answered him, I am: go, tell your lord, look, Elijah is here. And he said, What harm have I done that you would send me to my death? As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom, where the King has not sent to find you: and when they said, He is not there; he made them take a oath of the kingdom and nation, that they were telling the truth. And now you say, Go, tell the lord, look, Elijah is here. But as soon as I do, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you away, who knows where, and when Ahab comes and canít find you, he will kill me; yet I have been a true servant of the Lord all of my life.
Has no one not told you what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in two caves, and fed them with bread and water? And now you say, Go, tell the king, Elijah is here: if I do that, he will kill me. But Elijah said, I swear by the Lord, in whose presence I stand, I will show myself to him to day. So Obadiah went to tell Ahab, that Elijah was here and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, "So itís you, is it? the man who brought all this trouble on Israel." Elijah answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your family, in that you have refused the commandments of the LORD, and you have followed Baal.
"ó and Ahab went to meet Elijah." Wonder what the thoughts of Ahab were? Perhaps they were, "What's going to happen now, the prophet is seeking me, Ahab. Last time Elijah did that it stopped raining."
Wicked men are generally cowards, when in the presence of God's faithful. King Herod feared John the Baptist (Mark 6:20) knowing that John was a just and holy man. Felix the roman governor trembled before Paul, when the apostle reasoned righteousness, temperance and judgement to come.(Acts 24:25)
Ahab refuses to accept responsibility for his own sins having a hard heart.
The word of God says we are to grow up. Accepting the responsibility for our own actions is one of the surest signs of maturity.
Jeremiah 5:3 "You have stricken them, but they have not grieved: You have consumed them, but they have refused to take correction or instruction they have made their faces harder than a rock, they have refused to repent and return to you."
What did we learn in this lesson, from the life and times of Elijah?
We learn that we must accept the responsibility for our deeds.
We learn that Elijah was still living by the word of God, instead of sight. There is still no rain, the drought is still there in full force, but Elijah acts according to the Word.
We learned that it is possible to be and do good while in a bad place by having a renewed mind. Tuned in to the will of God obeying Him instead of evil.
We learn that we need not fear even when things look hopeless for light shines on in darkness and the darkness never puts it out. What we have to do is stay plugged into the source of power ó by having a renewed mind.
Next: Lesson Five