Shaped in Isolation
1 Kings 17
by Stephen McIlory
Join with Stephen as he reflects on the experiences of the Prophet Elijah, under the reign of Ahab, King of Israel. Within this brief study of the book of 1 Kings, you will glimpse the difficulty which the prophet faced under an oppressive leadership. This in turn leads him on a journey into isolation. Finally, we can see the shaping of his character being made ready to serve his God further. Paradoxically, what man meant for evil, God meant for good.
In order to contextualise 1 Kings 17, we need to glance at 1 Kings 16: 30. Here, we are told that King “Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of YHWH, more than all who were before him.” This was the spiritual and moral climate of Israel when the Prophet Elijah entered onto the scene. Read more…
The time spent in isolation by the Prophet Elijah allows us a glimpse at how our God often chooses to shape and mould His children. Smith’s quotation spoke of Elijah learning his “nothingness” before God in this solitary arena.
Have you ever gone through a period of ‘isolation’ where people and maybe even God seemed far away?
If not, maybe you have gone through what is described as a ‘wilderness experience’, or know someone who has?
How did this experience feel? Did you learn anything, and if so, what was it?
The Scripture shows a man of God who appeared very human yet possessed something very supernatural too. If the Spirit of the living God dwells within His people, then we too can know something of this supernatural encounter.
In our current ‘lockdown’ period, do you sense any comfort from learning about a man who was taken into solitude and isolated from society by God, to be shaped into the person whom God wanted him to be?
Some of Malaysia’s Christians have experienced forced isolation and lockdown. Within this context they have been treated very badly, simply for being faithful followers of Jesus by some who display intolerance towards other.
Have these dear believers anything to teach us about faith, perseverance and hope?