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  The Great Bible Story #66
Elijah the prophet

Jacob Ninan
Ahab was the worst of the kings of Israel so far and he did much evil. He married Jezebel, a princess of Sidon, and started worshipping Baal their god. He made a house and an altar for Baal. It was during this time that Hiel from Bethel tried to rebuild Jericho and then his first son died when the foundations were built and another son died when he set up its gates, just as Joshua had prophesied.

God sent Elijah the prophet to tell Ahab that it would not rain or dew in Israel till he said so. A famine developed in the whole land due to the lack of rain. God told Elijah to go and hide near a brook called Cherith. Every day some ravens would bring him food and he would drink water from the brook. Then the brook dried up. Then God told him to go to Zarephath in Sidon where He would instruct a widow to take care of him. When Elijah went there he saw a widow collecting dry sticks as firewood. He asked her for a drink of water, and as she was going to get it he said he would like to have some bread too. At this the woman turned around and said she had only a bit of flour and oil with which she was going to make the last dinner for her and her son after which they would die. Elijah told her not to worry because God was going to keep the flour and the oil coming miraculously till it started raining again.

One day this widow's son became so sick that there was no breath in him. She took him to Elijah and asked him if this was God's way of reminding her of her old sin. He took the boy to his room and prayed, asking God to give the boy his life back. When Elijah gave the boy back to his mother alive, she said she was convinced he was indeed a man of God.

Now God told Elijah to go and tell Ahab that it would rain again. Ahab was actually looking for Elijah to hold him responsible for the famine. He told Obadiah who was in charge over his house to search for Elijah in one part of the kingdom while he himself searched in the other. Obadiah was a man who had reverence for God and had saved many prophets of God when Jezebel had tried to kill them. As he went searching he met Elijah who told him to tell Ahab he was there. Obadiah was at first scared that by the time he told Ahab God would take Elijah somewhere else! But after Elijah convinced him not to worry he went and told Ahab.

Elijah told Ahab that God had stopped the rain because of Ahab worshipping Baal. Now he wanted Ahab to bring all the prophets of Baal to Mount Carmel.

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