Touché – June 3,2016
Posted on June 3, 2016 by under Touché,

Notes from the Elijah Underground

 Taylor is on vacation this week. Wesley Joseph will be preaching and leading worship this week. This is a special guest Touché from Wesley.

They say history is written by the winners. Whoever they are, they clearly haven’t read the Elijah story.* King Ahab, according to I Kings, built entire cities from the ground up and built a house made out of ivory for himself to live in. So why does the writer of Kings spend the first chapter of Elijah’s story talking about a widow’s kitchen? Ahab built a brand new temple for the god Baal and raised up a new sacred pole for Baal’s wife, the goddess Asherah. So why does the writer of Kings spend the second chapter of the Elijah story talking about a broken-down old altar on top of Mt. Carmel?

Elijah could have been successful playing the political game. He had a flair for the dramatic, a mind that could come up with killer put-downs for his opponents, and a real personal magnetism (which we’ll hear about this week!). He could have tried to make an alliance with Asa, the king of neighboring Judah, who did follow God’s ways. He could have tried to organize the rural poor into a military force. He could even have tried to declare the word of the Lord to be that rain would come, that the drought and famine would end.

And Elijah knows his God is the god who holds all the forces of nature, economics, and politics in his hand. So why does he go underground? Why does he make a play for the allegiance of a widow in a foreign country when he could have made a play for the hearts of all of Israel? Elijah could have been the winner that got to write the history books.

But more importantly, what kind of a God is Elijah’s God: one that loses every battle, but still wins the war to write the history books? What kind of a God is it who works underground? Could it be that this God is still alive and at work in our day, not writing the history books with the winners but showing his power in the lives of poor women and men on the run?

Yours from the underground,

Wesley Joseph

* I Kings 17-19, 21 and II Kings 1-2; why not read the whole story this week?