Lesson 13 of the Gospel Advocate’s Foundations study (Elijah the Tishbite, p. 159) asks, “What qualities did Elijah exhibit that Christians should seek to imitate? How do we develop these qualities?”
While John was the ultimate embodiment of Elijah-like characteristics (Matthew 11:12-14, Luke 1:13-17) it is never a bad thing to display the good characteristics of godly people from the past. Such being true, here are a few qualities I believe are worth displaying:
- Don’t bow to pop-culture (especially the religious variety). Elijah’s willingness to seek God via the avenue of God’s choice instead of the people’s choice took faithfulness. The truthfulness of Matthew 7:13-14 was revealed long before Jesus used it as a warning when it comes to choices made en masse.
- Help others despite differences. Remember the widow who garnered God’s grace through Elijah? Different country, different culture and a different religious history, but still the same grace of God! Remember to look at the inward common soul and not outward barriers created by humanity (Luke 19:10).
- Pass along the knowledge and faith gained from a life lived with God. People need to be taught in order that they may build upon the example that can save years of personal struggle. Elijah did such with the sons of the prophets … especially Elisha! The encouragement of personal example will keep many on the path toward God (Hebrews 12:1; 2 Timothy 2:1-2).
Feel free to share other qualities of Elijah you believe to be of value.
Read 1 Kings 18:41-19:10 and you’ll find Elijah wrestling with some unhealthy emotions.
Such is the reason the Gospel Advocate’s “Foundations” Study Book (Winter 2017, Elijah the Tishbite, Lesson 5, p. 65) asked, “Why do you think Elijah felt so alone? What can we do when we feel this way?”
Here are a few answers from my perspective to each question. Continue reading
In relation to 1 Kings 17:8-24, Lesson 2 (December 10, 2017) of the of the Gospel Advocate’s “Foundations” adult study asked,
“What can we learn from this passage about submitting to God’s will even when it doesn’t make sense to us?”
I’d like to share three answers that came to my mind: Continue reading
Most of us in the southeastern US could use one or two million raindrops right now. As of this moment in particular, middle Tennessee is getting a little relief. It makes me wonder if some “Elijah” around here has something against the rain.
Elijah’s prayerful effect upon the weather was not only noteworthy enough to be included in the Old Testament scriptures – it managed to make its way into the New Testament cannon as well!
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:17-18 – NKJV)
To be honest, when it comes to prayer (which is really what James’ point was all about…that combined with righteous living and emphatic purpose) we should all be submerged in it regardless of the weather. At least this is something that I can preach to myself about.
Pray, pray and pray some more. God wants to hear from us. And if we listen to this point when it comes to God’s will, then God’s will may become intertwined with our own…or perhaps I should flipflop that; regardless, it’s something that God wants us to do.
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,” (Luke 18:1 – NKJV)
I have been thinking about our resurrection body lately. I read N. T. Wright’s “Surprised by Hope” and it caused me to review the subject again. John writes that when Jesus come, we will see Him as He is and we will be like Him. I believe this is in regard to the kind of body we will have in eternity. It was pre-revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration. Whereas before the incarnation, Jesus was Spirit without body – “God is Spirit”. But “inasmuch as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same”. When Jesus was raised, the grave clothes were left behind. The body had been transformed and there was no further need not use for earthy clothing. We find the same thing happened when Elijah was caught up in the whirlwind. He left his clothes behind! (2 Kings 2:13). From this I conclude that his body was transformed as it was taken by the fire-horse driven chariot. When Stephen looked into heaven, he saw Jesus standing beside the glory of God. As for God, Stephen saw glory; as for Jesus, Stephen recognized Jesus. He recognized Jesus because His resurrected body was recognizable, as it had been before His ascension. Perhaps I am overstepping, but I do not believe so. Jesus has a body, the same body that was on earth but glorified and transformed, and that body is a model of what ours will be (1Jn 3:2). So here are a few thoughts offered to provoke more thought.
In the little book of Jude, verse 9, we read that there was a dispute between Lucifer and Michael. The disagreement was about the body of Moses. That is all the information provided there. What was involved in this controversy? I offer a possible solution. During the ministry of Jesus we have the unusual occasion of what we call His transfiguration (Mt 17, Mk 9, Lk 9). On the mountain top Jesus’ appearance was wondrously transformed into a shining, glorious presence. Even His clothes took on a glistening white. It must have made an incredible impression. But that is not all. Moses and Elijah suddenly appeared, talking with Jesus about His soon-to-come death. We aren’t told how the apostles knew it was Moses and Elijah. Perhaps Jesus called them by name or maybe they wore name tags. Nor does the text mention if they appeared glorious as well, but inasmuch as Peter suggested constructing a tabernacle for each, I think it is more likely than not.
What does this have to do with Jude 9? Perhaps nothing and perhaps a great deal. First of all, it was the body of Jesus that was transfigured. His face and His clothes are specifically mentioned. Apparently the apostles were allowed a glimpse of what our bodies will be when raised in glory at the resurrection. But what about Elijah and Moses? Elijah is unique in that he never died, but was lifted up to heaven both spirit and body. This would have required a peremptory alteration of Elijah’s body. Its terrestrial state was not suitable for the heavenly spiritual world. Thus, it would seem most likely that Elijah appeared speaking to Jesus in his transformed condition. Anything else would have required that his body be reverse transfigured for this event and then returned to its former glory following. In view of the divine economy, I think Elijah was chosen precisely because he retained both spirit and body. But what of Moses? Moses died and his body was buried by the Lord (Deut 34:5). So how could Moses appear transfigured, talking with Jesus and Elijah? Transfiguration has to do with bodies! The spirit is not transfigured; the body must be transfigured. For Moses to appear on the mountain in similar likeness to Jesus and Elijah, he required his body. Might this be the occasion of the dispute between Michael and Lucifer? Lucifer perhaps brought an accusation against the Lord for raising the body of Moses before time. The power of death was Lucifer’s greatest weapon: “the wages of sin is death”. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive”. Jesus is the first-fruits of resurrection.