ELIJAH - by Bob Eagle

Based on 1 Kings 16-19; 21 and 2 Kings 2

Scene 1 - Samaria 874Bc

It is just over 500 years since Solomon brought peace and prosperity to the promised land of Israel. But the Jewish nation has been split by civil strife into two kingdoms: Israel and Judah. Each successive generation of kings in Israel has been as bad or worse than those who reigned before. None more so than Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, who reigned in 874BC. [1 Kings 16:29-33] (Let's take it easy)(Samaria City) Elijah tells King Ahab that because of his evil behaviour there will be no rain in the next few years. (I must warn you)

Scene 2 - Kerith and Zarephath

Not popular as a result, Elijah is sent by God to the Kerith ravine where ravens bring him bread and meat. When the brook dries up, God sends him on to Zarephath. There he finds a widow gathering sticks. She complains that she has no bread; only a handful of flour and some oil. Elijah asks her to make a small cake. But no matter how much flour and oil she uses, there is always the same amount left. [1 Kings 17:1:16] (Zarephath)

Some time later the widow's son is taken very ill. He dies. She takes out her anger on Elijah. Elijah carries her son upstairs, lays him on the bed and asks God why he has brought tragedy on the family. He calls for God to restore life to the boy. The boy is fully healed. [1 Kings 17: 17-24] (Tragedy)

Scene 3 - Samaria (3 years later)

Meanwhile, in Samaria, the lack of rain is taking its toll. There is a severe famine. Ahab is anxious about his animals and suggests to his servant Obadiah, a God-loving man, that they should go separate ways to try to find grazing land. Jezebel continues her evil ways and has taken to killing God's prophets. But Obadiah has taken one hundred prophets and hidden them in caves so he is anxious in case Ahab and Jezebel should find out. (A Problem) Elijah sends him to Ahab, but Obadiah is afraid fearing that Ahab will have him killed. [1 Kings 18:1-15] (She won't find me) When they arrive Ahab accuses him of being the trouble maker of Israel. Elijah argues that the fault lies with Ahab. He urges Ahab to call the prophets of Baal to assemble at Mount Carmel. Elijah challenges them: "If the Lord is God, follow him. But if Baal is God follow him". [1 Kings 198; 16-21] (The Challenge)

Scene 4 - Mount Carmel

There is a contest. Two bulls are brought and two sacrifices made ready. Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to get their god to light the fire without the use of matches. Despite their best efforts nothing happens. (O light the fire) Elijah arranges for his sacrifice to be doused several times in water. He calls on the name of the Lord. The fire of God falls and burns the sacrifice. [1 Kings 18:22-40] (A simple faith) Jezebel if furious and plots against Elijah. (I'll get even)

Scene 5 - Carmel

Elijah leaves and goes to Carmel. He sends his servant to look out at the sea and bring news. Six times the servant is sent but returns saying he has seen nothing. On the seventh occasion he sees a cloud on the horizon no bigger than a man's hand. (I must go down to the sea again) The clouds on the horizon turns out to be rain clouds. They continue to get nearer until it begins to pour with rain. [1 Kings 18:43-46] (There's a cloud on the horizon)

Scene 6 - Samaria

Ahab has taken a fancy to Naboth's vineyard. But Naboth won't sell. Ahab sulks. But Jezebel plots to obtain it for him. She sends letters in Ahab's name and obtains false witnesses to testify against Naboth. Naboth is tried and executed. Ahab then takes possession of the vineyard. (Leave it to me) When Elijah hears of this he accuses Ahab of murder and threatens to bring a disaster on him. [1 Kings 21:1-28] (Last straw) Ahab regards this as the last straw. Jezebel plot to kill Elijah who escapes. (The Plot)

Scene 7 - On the way to Horeb

Elijah travels to Beersheba and sits dejected under a broom tree, praying that he might die. (Small wonder I'm losing my mind) But an angel appears to him, telling him to get up and eat. There by his head he finds a cake and a jar of water. God invites Elijah to stand on the mountain as he passed by. There was a great and powerful wind. But God was not in the wind. There was a great earthquake. But God was not in the earthquake. There was a great fire. But God was not in the fire. (The Storm) But after the fire comes a gentle whisper. (Shelter of the storm)

Then Elijah hears the voice of God saying: "What are you doing here Elijah?" Elijah protests that he is isolated. God reminds him that there are 7000 people who have not bowed the knee to Baal. [1 Kings 19:1-18] At the end of his life Elijah is taken up to heaven in a chariot of clouds. [2 Kings 2:1-12] (Lifted up on high)

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