1 Elijah (1)
‚eaith of The prophet

‡TKings 17:1 -7
Hebrews 11:1 -2
‡T As the priest's people, we, too

From this week, I want to take up persons of the Old Testament. Israel of the Old Testament was proud they were the people of God's selection. Current Israel has the same consciousness, too, and therefore they will not withdraw decidedly against Arabia and any other races. God chose an ancestors Abraham and said "Go to the land which I show you", and He led them to Palestine. As long as they have the history that God's person like Joseph, Moses and David built a country there, they will insist on their good reason even if it makes an enemy of the world. However, they have the history that they've left the land which was given from God, and became the people of wandering 2000 years, for a long time. It is because that they held on to only a pride of the chosen people, and forgot the word of God which was said to them, "and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."(Exodus 19:6).

The reason why they have been chosen as the priest's country is that they should stand between God and other races, and they have responsibility to tell God's word and introduce them to God; and also it should have been explained that foreigners are having been remembered by God, too. But, they forgot to pray for the other people and only insisted they are people of selection. Preaching words of God, it means that he himself listens to that word, too. In this sense, from old days of Abraham, there was prophet to pass on words of God to them. Though Israel was proud of that prophet was in them as an evidence, and they are God's selection people; but as a matter of fact, they had to put the power into listening to the word of prophet more. Will you think that the same thing apply to the present age of us, Christian, too? I wish that we study our posture by watching prophet. I want to follow persons of the Old Testament for a while, the genealogy of prophets, and at first, it is Elijah.

‡U The genealogy of prophets reaches Jesus

Therefore I want to trace some prophets before Elijah a little. As for the people who were made prophets are exceeds 100 people, from Genesis to ‡TKings Chapter 17 which Elijah appears; but I want to pick up some of them and try to investigate a role of prophet here. First, a person called prophet in the Bible first was Abraham, but he was said by God this way, "for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you," (Genesis 20:7). Here, prophet is imaged as an existence which has a prayer for the intercession. He stands before God for someone. The next is Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob that I want to pay attention to be next. He was informed of a plan of God in a dream, and, in great famine, he was the Israeli pioneer who emigrated to Egypt and saved a race. In addition, about Moses it is said, "Since then no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, for all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Paraoh, all his servants, and all his land, and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel." (Deuteronomy 34:10 -12). It was the times of Judge including Samuel that a lot of prophets appeared, but they were called a person of foresight. It will be a thing named a person foreseeing the future. In the times of David, a prophet Nathan appears. This Nathan prosecutes David's crime; he fell in love with Bathsheba, a wife of subject Uriah, and sent Uriah to the hard-fought field and killed him in the battle of there and at last he got Bathsheba as his wife.

Even if his partner was a man of power, however one of the important duty of prophet was to accuse the crime and to convey the judgment of God. Prophets, it may be said that they are the people who clarify the thought of God; sometimes it is to do the things that was shown from God and sometimes it is to talk the words of God. When Israeli people recognizes a prophet is a person who was sent by God naturally, and when we think about that they were listening to that word with the absolute, we are known that prophet is moved by a spirit of God, and he is a missionary to lead people to God as a leader of rich charisma. Prophet was called a person (Messiah) poured oil, it was also with the king and the big priest. It is needless to say that Jesus is called Messiah (Greek, Christ), but the genealogy of prophets reaches Jesus.

‡V Faith of the prophet

By the way, Elijah, he appeared in the times of the seventh king Ahab of north Israel kingdom. And 100 years passed, it was in BC850 that Israel was divided in the north and south. Probably because the north kingdom was divided by king Jeroboam who was a general of king Solomon, most of kings of the north kingdom are called bad kings. He brought in paganism worship to assume Baal a representative, and spoiled the significance of existence that Israel was the chosen people of God and snatched even the pride. Social problems such as immorality or a crime occurred frequently, and great confusion happened. Above all, Ahab was counted to the worst King, and Elijah assumed Israeli revival mission of faith in such an age.

I want to divide this Elijah into several times, but this morning, it is the scene of Elijah appearance. "Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.'" (‡TKings 17:1). He would have met King several times as a prophet recognized by people. "Except by my word", it is a meaning which is "but till I say stop", and a famine begins as that word. There was not a detailed record about this famine, but it seemed that gave a very cruel blow to the north kingdom, and Ahab aimed at his life supposing that was because of Elijah. There is the words of God here, "Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. And it shall be that you shall drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there." (17:3-4); and this was the stage of the Elijah appearance. Of course it depended on instructions of God to go to the brook of the Cherith, but there may have been a meaning to escape from a hand of Ahab. Wadi, it is thought that it would be a small river dying in the dry season, but it flows into the Jordan out of the highlands which are next to Arabia desert and it run through the dry red earth which long along continuing sterile land. It would be the perfect place to hide himself from Ahab.

He went to the Cherith alone as said by God, and lived in that bank. And it is here, "And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook." (6). It would not determine that a raven divided game into somebody and gave it, and moreover, such meat which a raven carried would be stained for the Israeli, but he ate it. And, in the small Cherith withered in the dry season, oh, there was water and it spread!; as for its not raining, it might be only an area where Ahab rules but it is not around the Cherith yet. It is here, "And it happened after a while, that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land." (7). However, the writer of ‡TKings seems to testify that this was an event of God, and the happening of the Cherith and a raven, both were to save Elijah, and he caught that. Elijah was a prophet who was supported by God, and lived. But this writer may have wanted to clarify that the prophecy activities of Elijah began with his faith. The people of the Old Testament are introduced here, in Hebrews "For by it the men of old gained approval." (Chapter 11); but we want to hear that the most important for prophet was faith, from this article of Elijah appearance.