Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 130/260: Elijah

Read 1 Kings 18:1-19

Who is the Troubler?

After three years of drought, God sent Elijah to king Ahab. Upon seeing the prophet, the king declared, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17). One can imagine the amount of political propaganda Ahab had produced to blame the prophet for the drought, since Elijah was God’s mouthpiece in delivering the news (1 Kings 17:1). Hence, the king saw Elijah as the troublemaker, the one at fault.

Elijah made it clear, however, that the drought was Ahab’s doing. Elijah said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals” (1 Kings 18:18). When one turns his back on God, he has no one to blame but himself for what happens. Still, the sinner will try to shift the blame.

This has been the habit of man since the beginning of time. The serpent tempted Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and she did. Then she gave to her husband, and he ate. When God confronted Adam, what was his response? “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” (Genesis 3:12). The man blamed not only his wife, but even blamed God Himself! To paraphrase, Adam said, “God, if you hadn’t made her in the first place, I wouldn’t be in this predicament now!”

Eve’s response to God was no better. “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (Genesis 3:13). In essence, she claimed, “The devil made me do it!” Friends, the devil cannot make you do anything! Sin is a choice that we make. He can tempt you, but he cannot make you do anything!

Ahab wanted to blame Elijah for the drought, but it was Ahab’s rebellion against the truth that caused it. Elijah was not the troubler of Israel; Elijah wanted Israel to do what was right! Ahab was the man who “did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him….Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:30, 33).

When confronted with sin, what is your response? Do you call the one who attempts to restore you the troublemaker? Do you shift blame to others? Or do you accept the responsibility and consequences for your own actions?

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