“Then Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.’ So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, ‘Go up now, look toward the sea.’ So he went up and looked, and said, ‘There is nothing.’ And seven times he said, ‘Go again.’ Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, ‘There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!’ So he said, ‘Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”
(1 Kings 18:41-46)
This is a fabulous depiction of the power of prayer and the Sovereignty of God.
The children of Israel had endured a drought for three years because of their idolatry of Baal under the leadership of King Ahab. They believed that Baal was the god who could produce rain. “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word,” said the Lord through the prophet Elijah. (17:1)
Now the time for rain had come, but only under the direction and power of the Lord God.
If you’ll remember, Elijah and 450 prophets had battled over who would consume their sacrifice by fire, Baal or the Lord God of Israel. Obviously, the Lord won the challenge.
And now Elijah says to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”
Was it raining yet? No. But the Lord had spoken this to Elijah in verse 18:1, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.” Elijah stood on the Word of God. There was a promise in his spirit and he knew he could stand on it with confidence.
“…for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”
Oh my goodness! Let that drop into your spirit, my friend, “for there is the sound of the abundance of rain.”
I don’t know about you, but I could use some rain about now…
What happened next?
Elijah went to the top of Carmel to pray. Six times he sent his servant to look toward the sea in search of storm clouds. Six times there was nothing. So Elijah continued to pray. Elijah stood on his conviction that the Lord had told him now was the time for rain.
Notice Elijah was not arrogant with God. God was not his puppet.
God was God.
And Elijah knelt in prayer, submitting to the sovereign authority of God.
And…he never gave up.
Elijah prayed expectant prayers.
He sent his servant out a seventh time and this time the servant returned with a good report, “There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising out of the sea!” (verse 44) Elijah instructed his servant to go to Ahab and tell him to “prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.”
And then the sky grew black with storm clouds, the wind began to howl and the rain poured.
God is good.
And God does what He says he will do.
He is Sovereign.
He is faithful.
And He responds to fervent prayer.
Praise You, Lord! You are faithful and You will watch over Your Word to perform it. Nothing is too difficult for You. Father, I pray You will speak words of encouragement into my friends today. These are difficult days. We are in seasons of drought. I believe these are times of preparation for the days that lie ahead. Thank You for showing Yourself strong in our lives. You are worthy of our praise. Yes, You are trustworthy and mighty in power. Thank you for Your love and for the promise of Your Word.