And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. I Kings 16:31-33
Just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do. But instead of the nation spiraling into darkness, God intervenes and sends his prophet. At this dark moment God sends Elijah without notice. Starting in chapter 17 of I Kings, Elijah bursts on the scene. You notice there is not introduction, no background check, no explanation, none of the modern sensitivities – because God does not do things that way. Elijah just shows up and speaks for God.
At Elijah’s word, there was no dew or rain for 3 ½ years. After worshipping Baal, the god of thunder, storms, rain and fire, there was no rain. God’s judgment fell for the rebellion of his people.
So what is God doing? What is the purpose of sending his prophet to proclaim judgment? When our hearts are stubborn and we need to change, it may take time. It may take things going wrong. God may have to get our attention through difficulties. Yahweh is not a genie to make everything ok. He is a holy God who holds the scalpel. He knows what we need and will do whatever it takes to bring us back to himself. We don’t need any more cotton candy and quick fixes. What we need is a surgical knife to cut out the deep cancer in our souls.