Elijah’s world did not sound much different than ours. Leadership suffered under foolish choices and turned away from the God of the people. The nation suffered under civil and political unrest due to “unholy” alliances with foreign powers. Israel was no longer a people of the Most-High God as many took cues from the ruling parties and turned their backs on the God who saved them.
Enter Elijah, a man of strong faith and a strong commitment to his Lord. This man, in spite of those around him, continued to follow the teachings of God. He was the prophetic voice who stepped into the middle of the fray and spoke truth into a society that did not relish honesty. You might say that they followed what came to be known as the first “fake news.” Fact morphed into fiction, and the Word of God was the farthest thing from one’s moral compass. They failed to be an obedient church.
Our example of Elijah’s faithfulness was the one small flicker of light in a world of darkness, but nobody stopped to look at the beauty of the fire. We know the reality of serving other gods when we let go of what we know is right and surrender to whatever feels good. Pretty soon, new things lose their sparkle, but the light (very small but steady and sure) still glows. There is a way back to the One who loves us, just as we are.
Unfortunately, we know what happened to both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. The choices they made eventually led to a very hostile takeover of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The price for constant rebellion came at a very high cost. Their defiance led them down a path that led to destruction.
Eventually, the Hebrew people returned to the land and rebuilt their towns. A recommitment to the covenant with the Holy One helped reestablish the tradition of the followers of the God of second chances. Praise be to the One, who never gives up on His people. God remains with us in every situation and continues to encourage us as we walk along the path leading to life.