“Hey Jamie, I need to talk to you for a minute.”
“I didn’t do it.”
“You don’t know what IT is.”
“Still not my fault.”
I cannot tell you how many times we’ve had this conversation!
As we open up 1 Kings 18, we see King Ahab has the same attitude: things are bad, but it’s not his fault. Let’s set the scene.
For starters, King Ahab was an awful king. 1 Kings 16:30-33 says:
“Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him.
He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him.
He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria.
Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.”
Ahab was a bad dude.
Because Ahab led the people of Israel to worship Baal and Asherah, God sent Elijah the Tishbite to tell Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” (1 Kings 17:1)
That’s exactly what happened. For three years, there was no rain, and Israel was in a desperate situation. King Ahab searched high and low to find Elijah and kill him for what happened. But God protected and provided for Elijah.
Then after three years, at God’s command, Elijah presents himself to King Ahab.
The first thing King Ahab says to Elijah is: “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17)
Excuse me? Elijah caused trouble for Israel???? Let’s rewind.
King Ahab married Jezebel.
King Ahab worshiped Baal.
King Ahab set up an idol for Baal and built a temple for Baal in Samaria.
King Ahab set up an Asherah pole.
King Ahab forsook God’s ways and led the people to worship idols.
Now it was Elijah’s fault????
I don’t think so.
That’s exactly what Elijah replied, “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.” (1 Kings 18:18)
We mustn’t go too quickly past these verses and onto the great showdown between Elijah and the prophets. Why?
Because today, in 2022, the world is speaking the same lies about followers of Christ that King Ahab said to Elijah.
It happens every day. Christians who stand firm to Biblical truth are told that we are responsible for society's problems.
We are unloving. We are hateful. We are intolerant. We aren’t woke. We are bigots. We are homophobic. We are prudes. On and on, the accusations go as they try to squelch Judeo-Christian voices in our nation and around the world.
It happens in the public square, but many believers face these same accusations in their private lives when they stand firm to Biblical beliefs.
What we need to recognize is:
1. This is not a new thing. Since the time of Elijah, the voices of evil have been trying to tell those standing for God, “It’s all your fault.”
2. It’s a lie. It wasn’t Elijah’s fault that there was no rain. He was just a messenger sent from God. The reason there was no rain was because of sin. God was withholding rain to make their earthly lives uncomfortable so that they would repent and think about their eternal lives.
3. When someone lies about you, follow Elijah’s example.
What did Elijah do when this lie was thrown at him?
He didn’t cower. He didn’t back down.
Instead, he stood firm for Biblical truth.
That’s exactly what we need to do.
Why? Because we aren’t the problem, we have the answer.
Just like the answer to the drought was repentance, abandoning idol worship, and returning to the ways of God, the solution to the problems that plague people’s individual lives and our country is repentance and a return to Biblical Christianity.
When we speak the truth, it offers people hope for their current lives and their eternal lives.
When we bow to the lies of culture and twist the truth to make it politically or socially correct, we allow people to continue on the path of destruction in the here and now and in eternity.
In the spirit of Elijah, we need to stand against the lies of the culture that want us to bend, bow, and alter the message of the Bible. In a spirit of love and humility, we need to stand firm and say, “No, this is truth. Because I love you, I am going to tell you the truth about God, salvation, eternity, and sin.”
As Ephesians 4:23 says, “Speak the truth in love.”
It’s what Elijah did, and it’s what we are called to do.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.