Profile: Elijah

Though scarcely a handful of pages are needed to tell the story of this amazing man, so crowded with incident and importance is the telling that it fairly takes one’s breath away. Only God could fashion a tale so fantastic, beginning with the name itself, which means “Yaweh is my God.”

From the first moment of his appearance Elijah speaks truth to power, bluntly informing the wretched Ahab that because of his wickedness and worship of Canaanite gods, “during these years there shall be no dew or rain except at my word” (1Kgs 17: 1).

Speaking nine centuries before Christ, the voice of the prophet echoes along the corridors of our age, rebuking the ungodly for their idolatries. “I have been most zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts’ (1 Kgs 19:14), he warns, hurling thunderbolts against all who prefers darkness to light.

Determined to purify God’s people, Elijah will be fed by ravens, raise the dead to life, summon fire from the sky with which to destroy the altar of Baal, and, sheerest miracle of all, be swept “up to heaven in a whirlwind” (2 Kgs 2:11) after bestowing a double portion of his spirit upon his successor, Elisha. That he appears alongside proof of a faith triumphant over adversity and death.

– Regis Martin

 

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