1 Kings 18:41-46 tells the story of the prophet Elijah, and provides an insight into the outpouring of the Spirit of God in these last days, giving us hope that this shall come to pass.
In this chapter we start with Elijah talking to Ahab, after the incident with the prophets of Baal, where they tried with everything they had to get their God Baal, to respond to them. Baal was believed to be able to control all weather. They had been in a drought for several years, as foretold by Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1. Now Elijah…told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives…there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” God had showed him that they would all experience a drought.
Starting in chapter 18, v. 41, “Elijah tells Ahab….. I hear a mighty rainstorm coming.” Then Elijah went back up to Mt. Carmel, and bowed down to the ground with his face between his knees. He began to pray. He asked his servant companion to go and look to the “sea” to see if he could see anything like a storm coming. He did this six times, and each time, his servant came back and said there was no evidence of anything changing!
Then, on the seventh trip, the servant came back and said I see a small cloud the size of a man’s hand rising out of the sea. The first thing Elisha said was hurry to Ahab and say, “ Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you”.
The sky soon became black with wind and clouds, and the rain began to fall heavily. Ahab began to ride away to Jezreel where his wife, Jezebel, was residing. It is said that, at that time, Elijah girded up his belt to enable him to take off running, that “hand of the LORD came upon him and he outran Ahab’s chariots to the entrance of Jezreel.” (See 1 Kings 18:46)
Some of the wonderful illustrations of the Power of God and the purposes of God are given to us through this wonderful story.
Ahab, the wicked King, who was apparently controlled by the enemy through the influence of his wife, Jezebel, was told that there was a “storm” coming. To the wicked it seems this huge storm can destroy everything. But, we know it was sent of God, to not only bring precious rain to water the ground, but also that all would benefit from this outpouring of life giving water. This is a perfect example of the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon this earth.
- First of all the Bible says in James 5:17, “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly.” By this we learn that Elijah was a man of prayer. So we must pray that we can not only see but experience the “rain of God” in an outpouring that will be so great that ALL will benefit from this particular rain.
- While Elijah was praying, he had someone who was willing to “watch”. Are you the one who will be on “watch”, looking towards the heavens waiting for a sign? Remember Elijah had his face to the ground. The servant is the one who was willing to run to the cliff and look out over the sea. In scripture the “sea” is often the term used to refer to the multitudes of humanity, and out of the sea comes a small cloud the size of a man’s hand. Interestingly, the fist of a man shows us that it is from mankind that the Holy Spirit will bring the rain, and it is His people who will be the vehicle God uses to bring the rain of His Presence.
- The servant was asked to go seven times! Each time he had to run to the cliff and look out, and for six times he came back running to Elijah and said “nothing”. Can you just imagine how he must have felt? Discouraged because he was looking for the life-giving rain, just as we are looking for the life-giving rain of His Presence. Yet Elijah kept praying and the servant kept running. Then, in God’s perfect timing, there appeared signs of the “outpouring”. We, as Christians, have been given many such signs the past few years of an outpouring of His rain. In the book of Genesis God made the earth and the heavens for His pleasure. Adam was made on the sixth day and on the seventh day God rested and said all is good. So interestingly it was on the seventh trip that the appearance of the “man’s hand” became apparent.
Elijah wanted Ahab, symbolic of all non-believers, to know that God was going to bring an “abundance of rain”, so that he could find a shelter. God does not want any to perish but that all would come to a place of acceptance of His great plan.
So, whether we are like Elijah and called to pray, or like the servant who was called to run and watch for His signs, all of us are waiting for the “Rain of God”. Believers and non-believers alike, all will experience this “rain” will certainly know it was of God, when they get soaking wet by this rain.
Be prepared to experience an outpouring of the Spirit of God, such as this world has not experienced yet. For this earth is very dry and parched for lack of God’s rain.
There is a “SOUND OF AN ABUNDANCE OF RAIN”!