“And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab: ‘As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” (1Kin.17:1)
This story takes place when Ahab was king of Israel. He was one of the most wicked kings Israel ever had. He became even more wicked after he married Jezebel, a heathen Sidonian woman and gave himself to the worship of the Sidonian god Baal. Not long after, much of Israel began worshiping Baal also. It shows us what ungodly leadership can do to a people, a church, a family! All I can say is: “God help us!”
Given the gross sin of idolatry in which His people had plunged, God had no choice but to chastise Israel, allowing for a severe drought to fall upon the land. We need to understand that when we forsake God and His ways, we leave Him no other choice but to chastise us! The Bible says: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and He scourges every son He receives.” (Heb.12:7,8). I cannot but wonder about people who call themselves Christians, live like the world does, yet no chastisement comes their way. If you ask me, and I’m glad you did, I doubt they are actually saved! The verse I just cited says: “He scourges every son He receives.” One who is not chastised by the Lord when disobedient must not be His child, in other words he or she is not part of His family. When my children used to get out of line I chastised them without fail, yet if my neighbors’ children did the same I didn’t do it for they weren’t mine! In fact if I had done it, I would have been in jail, as you can well imagine!
As I said, a severe famine fell upon the land of Israel because of their disobedience. Ahab and his servants went all over the country, desperately looking for green pasture for their livestock, for it was dying fast for lack of nourishment. All Ahab had to do to solve this acute crisis, was to repent of his sins, then call upon his people to do the same and all the suffering would have been over! That’s all he had to do! The Bible says: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” (2Chr.7:14).
Is it possible you’re finding yourself in the same place as that of Israel of old? Your marriage, your finances, perhaps your relationships are falling apart because of disobedience to your Heavenly Father? Listen, God loves you, He really does, and is trying to get your attention, to bring you back to Him and bring about restoration in your life! Try repentance! It’s the only way to get back into a right relationship with the Lord and thereby be restored. It’s repentance that brought us into the Kingdom of God, and repentance is what will restore us into a right relationship with Him! Nothing else will do! Ahab tried other things, Israel did too, yet to no avail! The Bible says: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Act.3:19) Are you looking for a time of refreshing in your life? Repentance is the only answer! The least popular too, I understand that, but popular is not what you need right now, what you need right now is a way out of the sticky mess you’re in and repentance is the only thing that will do that for you! After all it’s disobedience that has brought you to the place you’re in right now. There can’t be no true restoration without genuine repentance! I should know that, I’ve been there! And let me tell you, repentance worked for me, it worked for others, and it will surely work for you! How do I know that you might ask? Because He said so, and I don’t know about you, but that’s sure good enough for me!