This article will cover 1Kings Ch. 17: 5-7 Elijah had challenged Ahab on his belief in the power of Baal vs. the power of the True God of Israel. This Baal was known as the “the storm god”. It was alleged that Baal was responsible for all the rain, showers, mist and dew for the parched lands of Palestine. He was depended upon to help provide fertility to the land. As we all know, this is not so because the true God of Israel, our Creator, is the controller of the climate. Elijah challenged the power of Baal to produce any rain at any time anywhere with his confrontation to the king Ahab and to Queen Jezebel. There would be devastating drought as proof that this pagan deity was a sham.
Of course, like our own day, if you go against establishment – chop chop! Character assassination or worse for you! Elijah was immediately considered public enemy number one. Therefore, he vanished from view. He dropped out of sight and submerged into the desert. Of course, he did this at the command of God. God’s ways are not man’s ways. Sometimes His greatest accomplishments are achieved in the least ways. Elijah would have been happy to remain and suffer the consequences but God had to prepare him more for that - so he was sent into the desert to purify him for the coming fierce battle against the enemy.
Elijah went to Brook Cherith which flows into the Jordon and there he was very obscure and now alone with God. This was not only his dark night for his soul – it was sort of a humiliation. He was to be fed by the ravens. Ravens were always looked upon as omens of misfortune and now he is told by God that this is how he will be fed. Ravens consumed scraps, fragments of dead animals or rotten waste. He had to survive on this sustenance! It is written in the passage that the ravens brought bread and meat day and night but we can be sure it was not of the first rate kind. Proof positive that to follow Christ – it is no picnic! He had to endure isolation, defamation, drought, polluted stream water, hot temperatures and humiliation – he was now ready for anything! God had put him into a furnace of affliction to refine his faith in God. (A note to all of us who think we deserve better!) Elijah knew this was all from God. He was given the grace to see that God’s will for him was in all of this. His was now faith in action, confidence in God.
This desert prophet was now keenly alert and sensitive to the voice of his God. We can relate that when life for us gets really dark and we seem to be alone, as long as we turn to prayer, God is more near to us than ever before. He does reveal Himself.
A lesson to be learned from Elijah is his willing and quick obedience to God. What the Lord said, he did! We, as Americans, have trouble with that. We are fed so much about “freedom” (which is about to be totally taken from us) that we refuse to look at our inspirations as from God. We think we have a “choice”. We need to ask our Guardian Angel to help us be attentive. We need to ask Our Blessed Mother to give us the necessary graces to turn to God immediately and do His Will and not our own.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – pray for us!
St. Elijah – pray for us!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!