By Chris Watkins - Student Minister
This past Sunday in the Student Ministry we studied the story of King Ahab and Elijah at Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18: 20-39. This story is one of my all time favorites in Scripture. I mean, a story where you see God in control of the weather, giving confidence to a prophet to stand before a king and all the people of Israel, and the ability to send fire from Heaven to burn up an altar before all of Israel. One of my favorite parts in the story is Elijah’s humor, making jokes about Baal and the prophets calling on Baal. However, through this great story that I have read over and over, as I am sure you have as well, this week God reminded me of something new in this passage. Let’s take a look:
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near me.” So all the people approached him. Then he repaired the Lord’s altar that had been torn down: 31 Elijah took twelve stones—according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel will be your name”— 32 and he built an altar with the stones in the name of the Lord.
In this passage where we are about to see God do something HUGE we are reminded that God has already provided. Through a small detail in how Elijah built the altar the people of Israel can first be reminded of who God is in their lives, even before the fire fell from Heaven. Elijah gathered twelve stones to remind Israel why they are Israel. The Lord has been with Israel even when Israel was choosing to not be with Him. The twelve stones if you remember from Joshua 3, that our Executive Pastor, Jeff Kimes wrote about last week, were to be a “spiritual marker” in the life of Israel. When they passed by the twelve stones stacked they were to be reminded of God’s provision for them.
How often when we are expecting something from God, do we look back at what God has already done? I was reminded in verse 31 through this small detail that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When we are in a season of expectation we can have the confidence that Elijah had because he knew that God was in control the same way that He was for Israel all those years ago. The goodness of God is great and I look forward to seeing the same for our church. God has been faithful, He is faithful, and will remain faithful as we continue to remember who He is in our lives daily.