This week’s feature Psalm is Psalm 23.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Psalm 23:1-3 nasu
Today’s reading is 1 Kings 17: 1-16 which you may have found a little strange. But I happen to see it as an illustration of David’s Psalm.
Before 1 Kings 17, no one seems to have heard of Elijah the Tishbite (From Tishbe, a town in Gilead, east of the Jordan River). Everyone knew who Ahab was, the King of Israel, the “tolerant” man who encouraged all kinds of religious expression to many different “gods” (demonic spirits). The state officially supported many priests of these wicked “gods”. But the creator, who loves Israel and righteousness, sent Elijah, not to be tolerant, but to call on his people to choose who they will serve. Why did he do that? Because. He knows the horrible consequences of choosing another god, not just in the life to come (heaven or hell) but also in this life.
Demonic gods love the earth and hate the people living on it. They want to convince us that we are a problem, a parasite. But we know that the Almighty, in love, created the world for us, in. Demonic gods want us to sacrifice (kill) our babies and innocent children, who are the heritage The Almighty has blessed us with. They would have us cheat in our marriage, a bond that the Almighty gave us, lying to us about the joy we could have with another when really it only hurts us and everyone around us. Elijah came to the King of Israel and announced the Almighty’s plan to gain peoples attention. The sun god, who demanded child sacrifice before he would allow rain, was about to be squashed and Elijah was about to become public enemy number one to the Israeli administration because he spoke the truth.
“YHVH is my shepherd….” He is the one who leads us to do his will. He is the one who protects us from the rage of the enemy. Elijah had to speak to Israel, ‘You cannot keep killing babies,’ that is not the way to get rain. The people had believed a gross lie. Popping the bubble of lies seems to make people angry, really they are just a reflection of the rage of the enemy who controls them (Ephesians 6:12). To protect Elijah from this rage, the Almighty brought Elijah to a lush green place beside still water. He provided food for him using birds that are known to be thieves at picnics to do it.
It is stressful to have people get angry with you when you are the messenger of truth. After the soul of Elijah was restored beside those waters, the Almighty led him to another soul that was broken with sorrow. A starving woman who thought she was about to fix a last lunch for her son before watching him die a horrible death of starvation. Have faith! That means, do what the Almighty says to do, then watch the miracle that takes place.
Does your soul need restoration? These are dark times we live in. I challenge you, with all of the tenderness that Elijah must have had for the widow and her son, be faithful to the Word of God. It is the most important thing you can do day by day. Then, watch the miracles take place. Maybe you will be "still waters and green pastors" for other troubled souls.
February 24, 2016