Home > Bible, Christianity, Church, Spiritual formation > The Fastest Man in the Bible…

The Fastest Man in the Bible…

Elijah is perhaps one of the most famous Old Testament characters today. The stories of his taking on the prophets of Baal, of being fed by the widow of Zarephath and of being visited by the still small voice of YHWH are both instructive and memorable – they are great stories that should be and are often told.

As a prophet of YHWH, Elijah is for us a good example living boldly for God. He was also, apparently, incredibly fast. In 1 Kings 18, after Elijah has defeated the prophets of Baal, he notices a small rain cloud developing, which will bring epic amounts of rain onto a dry and weary land. And so he encourages Ahab to get on his chariot and ride quickly to Jezreel in order to beat the rain. And then we get this gem: “The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.”

Talk about speed! Perhaps this was the true beginning of the marathon…and the world record before they were ever kept!

Despite his incredible speed, I’m drawn to Elijah’s faithfulness in spite of knowing what was ahead.

When we are introduced to Elijah, he is prophesying to King Ahab that there is a severe drought coming upon the land for the net few years. The land will dry up, rivers will stop flowing and the earth will crack open like a broken jar.

And then YHWH says to Elijah, “Go to the nearest ravine where you will be fed by ravens and drink from a brook.”

A severe drought is coming.

Drink from a brook.

Without hesitation, Elijah does as he is told. He knows a drought is coming, and he knows that God is telling him to go to a brook.

What faith is this – to know the road ahead, a hard and difficult road, and to still follow it. The brook dries up, just as YHWH says it will, and Elijah does not escape this reality.

And yet, here I am, not knowing whether the road ahead is hard or easy, and afraid to step onto it.

Elijah knew the road was hard, and he still followed.

Lord, help me to be more like Elijah. Both in speed and in faith.

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  1. December 7, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    One of the things that I have thought about was how much of a “downer” it must have been to Elijah when he thought Ahab may actually change only to be greeted by Jezebel with the threat of death and the complete silence from Ahab about what God had done on Carmel and only mentioning what Elijah had done to the false prophets.

    • December 7, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Thanks for the comment, Eugene. It is fascinating to imagine what the interactions/feelings of these three might have been. Isn’t the Bible wonderful? And interesting? Thanks for your visit and interaction.

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