June 23, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for 1 Kings 19-22
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Context: Elijah came off a high, winning victory for the Lord and delivering a devastating defeat for Baal, only to receive a message from Jezebel. She intended to kill him - sooner rather than later. Elijah ran far and fast. Why? While Elijah was victorious, he was also drained from the experience. He took his eyes off the Lord, just as Peter would later do, and faltered. In his weakened state, the Lord cared for Elijah, providing him with much need rest, food, and exercise, three things which help when discouraged. God also gave Elijah one amazing pep talk! God prepared to bring Elijah home by calling another prophet, Elisha. Israel, the 10 northern tribes, is attacked by Syria, but God is not yet willing to allow his people to be destroyed and brought into captivity. They are given chance after chance to repent. Even with a bad king such as Ahab, God delivers Israel from their enemy. God is once again proving that He is the one true God and that Baal is a false god. In chapter 21, we see Ahab covet what is not his and then pout like a child when he does not get what he wants. Ahab's wife comes up with a plan to get the coveted vineyard by killing the owner for false charges. Due to the couple's ruthlessness, God pronounces judgment on them, which is carried out in chapter 22.
World History: During Elijah's ministry, the Celts were invading England. Assyrians were inventing inflatable devices to allow their soldiers to cross rivers.