2 Elijah (2)
How do you believe this?
áT Kings 17:8-24Matthew 15:2-28
áT A seed of the Gospel be sowed
It is the second of prophet Elijah, but we have watched his Israeli history stage appearance from 17:1-7 last week. He had announced famine previously to king Ahab like this; "surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word", and he hid himself to the little bank of the east Jordan to avoid famine as it was told, "Go and hide yourself by the brook Cherith. The ravens will provide you." It may have been to escape from a hand of the King who assumed famine his reason. That neighborhood would be the birthplace of Elijah in Tishbite, it was good old land to him. It is thought around 1 year, but the period which was fed by bread and meat which ravens carried and water of the Cherith was the first faith experience for him
"And it happened after a while, that the brook dried up, becauseĀ@there was no rain in the land.", and there is word of God once again. "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you." (8-9); another faith experience of Elijah begins. These are two events of 8-16 and 17-24. Sidon was an old town next to the north Israeli with Tyre of Phoenicia which faced the famous Mediterranean Sea (now, small city of Lebanon), and the racial pride that did not surrender to Israel which invaded and attacked was left. Was it because it was such a town? Ahab did princess Jezebel and a political marriage of Phoenicia. It was said that he should go to such Sidon. It seems that this article of a widow of Sidon was talked about the things which was done and told by Elijah; and a prophet whose name doesn't become known recorded it, and it was compiled by editors of Kings, but the seed of the faith to Yahweh was sowed to the land of foreigner, and prophet Elijah would be deeply concerned with that riverhead. And I think that the confrontation with Ahab, Jezebel and Elijah beginning from now on will be the message from a editer of Kings. I want to hear from this faith.
áU The faith which was offered
Elijah who arrived at the town of Zarephath, at the gate of the town, he saw one woman known a widow by a glance from clothes. "Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.", in the exquisite timing, the second arrow is shot more. "Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.", and if it was only with one cup of water, she would begin to go to draw water obediently even if he is an unknown person of a foreigner. However, it was one slice of bread......, but now she was trying to make bread from the last powder and the oil which was left, and after that was eaten, she was going to die with the son. It would be her birthplace, and probably she would be helped by the people of this town many times until now. However, because of the famine which lasted for many years, they were not able to afford to take care of her. But if it is only bread, she might eat with young child and two people by any means. Because strength of mother who held a young child is not averageness. However, for her of this time, it is thought there was a deep loneliness that could not have any sympathy from anybody. From her answer, it seems that the severe sad thought which completely tired is conveyed
She said in this way. "As the Lord your God lives,"; this pointed at Israeli God Yahweh, but she would watch Elijah as the Israeli prophet who wore a fur coat and closed a leather belt. "You will be an Israeli prophet. Why does a prophet said to see through any kind of thing ignore my sorrow? Or do you say to such us that we should live still? Do you think that the hope which we lost can be recovered? Do you say that your God is the One who gives 'Hope' to a person with no hope?" However, her suit isn't heard. "But make me a little bread cake from it first, and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son." It demanded absolute obedience from her. And a message from God told, "For thus says the Lord God of Israel, 'The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.'".
She believed it. Then, she offered the powder and oil a little to Elijah, no, to God. However, that faith can feel extremely negative and passivity. And I think it occupies a big part of the faith problem that we have in this present age. I think that our posture to stare at words of God from more reality side is important here.
áV How do you believe this?
Here, another wonder was recorded. It began, "the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick; and his sickness was so severe, that there was no breath left in him." (17). She appealed with "What do I have to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance, and to put my son to death!" (18). Of course she did not say that Elijah caused death of her son. She only appealed to God for death of her beloved son. Why my son must die now? That time, God kept us alive! She wants to hear vindication from God. She was determined to compete against God. Though her original problem might be said as the crime here, but she would understand that it was "a crime" above all now to compete against God here. At this point in time, she did not think that her son returned. She did not shout her son should be returned. However, she was not able to understand death of her son. Is that reason that I am a criminal? If so, I am a mother. "Why did not make me a victim?" She, who was lonely and who was going to die, was said, "Bring bread.", and she believed God even if it was passiveness. She put up a face decidedly, and stared at God now.
Elijah prayed three times. "O Lord my God, I pray Thee, let this child's life return to him." (21) There is it here; "and the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived", and the words that may be said with her faith confession were written down. "Now I know that you are a man of God, and the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.". By the way, it should listen with attention that prophet is the existence who shows God so much, but as for her deep relations with God like this, when we think of that princess Jezebel of Phoenicia marries Ahab, and brought in God worship of paganism in Israel, we feel a really suggestive thing. A certain person discerned "This is a miracle since Moses and Joshua, but it is showing that Israel was made to stand in a forked road again.", but it will be really right. I think that the appearance of prophet Elijah would show the work of God to Israel falling into a heathenism, as a mark of the intervention of God who is living and working.
I remember the talk of a woman of Cannan and Jesus in this district later, she wished "O lord, have mercy on me." "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed the crumbs which fall from their master's table." "O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish." (Matthew 15:21-28) The depth of their faith and height, their faith that were not passiveness, their face would shine in front of Elijah and Jesus. In comparison with it, what kind of faith will we be going to bring up when we hear the Word? We want to pray that our faith to believe Jesus will be high and deep like these women.