In our text, we see a couple – Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth – who came from the priestly lineage of their forefather Aaron. They were righteous, they walked in God’s commands and ordinances, and they were blameless ... but they were barren. They had no children, but even with the prospect of children quickly fading, they never stopped serving the Lord, and they had never stopped praying for their miracle.
I’ve prayed the impossible prayer in my own life, and I’ve seen God move in situations where there seemed to be no hope. I believe that when we are walking in God’s will and serving God in His kingdom, we can ask for the impossible and expect the impossible when it aligns with His plans and purposes.
A prophet must listen to God, and a prophet must obey God. Elijah heard the word of the Lord, and Elijah obeyed the word of the Lord, even though, logically, it probably didn’t make sense to him. Verse 9 says, “So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks.” There she was, exactly as the Lord said she would be. This was the place, and there was the widow, so Elijah pressed ahead and obeyed God.
We know that God could have kept the water in the brook flowing, so why did the brook Cherith dry up? This may seem irrelevant to us; after all, not many of us will find ourselves in the wilderness dependent upon water from a brook. However, there are other kinds of streams in our lives that we depend upon, and sometimes God allows those streams to dry up as well.
Too often, the Church is fearful when they should be faithful. Elijah must have known what would happen when he marched into the king’s court and pronounced a famine. Ahab was wicked, and the threat of death for doing what God asked Elijah to do was very real. If we are going to live the Elijah life, then we must be driven by faith and not by fear.
My question is, where are the prophets of God? Where are the men and women who will courageously stand up and declare that according to God’s Word, the immoral eethos of our time is neither right nor normal? The body of Christ must never placate or acquiesce to this state of affairs. Yes, we should be compassionate toward the people who are in bondage to sin, but we should never, in the name of compassion, become complicit in the evil that is afflicting the world.
Paul said that not only is death defeated, but it will also be destroyed. There will come a time (in a place where there is no time) when death will no longer exist. Death came into existence through the sin of Adam, but through Jesus Christ, life has been given as a gift to all who believe in Him and in the power of His sacrifice on the cross.
Doubt hinders our prayers and blocks our blessings. This doesn’t mean that we won’t have questions. Job had all kinds of questions, but in the end, God blessed him double for his trouble. But doubt must not be allowed to win.
When we are shining the light in the darkness, the lost will be drawn to us so that we can point them to the cross where sins are defeated. When we are shining the light of God’s love and grace in a world of anger and hatred, people will come. When the joy of the Lord is beaming from our countenance like a beacon of hope in a broken world, they will be drawn to the light.
Do not fear. God said, “Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish” (v. 11). When life comes at us, we need to remember that God’s got this. It might take us a minute to steady ourselves and get past the initial wave of bad news, but God is there to hold us and help us overcome.