Every year during the Feast of Passover an extra place is set at the table for the prophet Elijah in expectation of his return. In the Bible it is written, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Yehovah).” – Malachi 4:5
Those who set a place for Elijah; who welcome him, heed his message, support his mission, or operate in his spirit, will be provided for, even in drought and famine. The drought and famine which came upon Israel in Elijah’s time was a type or figure of an endtime spiritual famine.
1Ki 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
1Ki 17:7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
1Ki 17:8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
1Ki 17:9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
1Ki 17:10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
1Ki 17:11 And as she was goingto fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
1Ki 17:12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have no a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
1Ki 17:13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
1Ki 17:14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
1Ki 17:15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
1Ki 17:16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.
The famine came about because Elijah gave a decree to “shut up the heavens” so that no rain fell for a period of three and one half years. Three and one half years is mentioned in Revelation 11:3, 12:6 &14, & Dan 7:25. In 1 Ki 17:1, the exact number of years isn’t specified, however, Luke tells us the rain was shut up by Elijah at Zarephath which belongs to Zidon (Gk. Sidon), for 3 1/2 years. —
Luk 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
Luk 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. A ‘widow’ in the Bible is an apostate ‘church’ from whom God’s Spirit has departed! Isa. 47:7-9 & Rev. 18:7
Elijah went to only one of the many widows in Israel because God directed him to go to a certain place (Zidon) where He had appointed a widow there (a Gentile) to sustain him. She was preparing her last meal when Elijah found her, 1 Ki 17:12. Why did Yahweh choose a poor, starving widow to sustain Elijah? She and her son were near death from starvation, yet she gave her last portion of bread and oil to the prophet! Most of us give out of our abundance, not out of our need. For her act of kindness, God rewarded her with abundant supply; Sidon (H6718) means provision, food. After she fed Elijah, God miraculously caused her cruse of oil and barrel of meal to stay full! When we show mercy, God returns the favor – Lk. 6:36 & 38. Those who aid God’s prophets will receive a prophet’s reward (Mt 10:41), but woe to those who harm them (1 Chron. 16:22 and Psalm 105:15).
To “SET A PLACE AT THE END OF THE TABLE FOR ELIJAH” means to make room for him; welcome him, his message, and his mission. It also means to show him respect because he’s one of God’s messengers. As dignitaries of a city, country, or kingdom are seated at the end (or head) of a table to honor them, so should we treat God’s messenger.
“LISTEN WELL TO HIM” means listening attentively so you can carry out his instructions with precision and diligence. Giving him your full attention is also a way of honoring him. Heeding Elijah during the last days is vital to obtaining God’s provision through it.
* The Rhema, Set A Place For Elijah.… was given to me on Feb. 26, 2003. At that time I believed it to be a personal word for myself alone, but now believe it’s also for the corporate Body of Christ for the end time tribulation. I believe this because when a cross reference led me to Lk 4:24, my my eyes fell upon verses 25 – 27 where several things stood out to me; the 3 1/2 year period, the drought and famine, and that Elijah went to only one widow though there were many. After praying and meditating on that passage and the one which Luke was referring to, there seemed to be a connection between Elijah, the end time, and the provision of God. The King James Version of the Bible gives 1 Ki 1:17 as a cross reference for Jms 5:17.
Elijah was a man subject to like passions as as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months – James 5:17 and Luke 4:25. During the end time there will be great tribulation (Mt 24:21), drought and famine, the type of which occured in the days of Elijah. Those who come in the spirit of Elijah, like that prophet, have the power to shut heaven, THAT IT RAIN NOT IN THE DAYS OF THEIR PROPHECY (Rev 11:6).
Rain is a metaphor for the doctrine or teachings of the Word of God – Deu 32:2, My doctrine shall drop as the rain; My speech shall distil as the dew, As the small rain upon the tender grass, And as the showers upon the herb. Isa 55:10 For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater; Isa 55:11 so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: Jas 5:7 Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain. Latter Rain (G3797) literally means the ‘spring rain’ of March and April, but figuratively means the latter, or end time, outpouring of God’s Spirit and revelation of His Word —
Hos 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and you daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (Joel 2:28)
We have yet to receive the fullness of the Latter Rain; the heavens have been shut up because men’s hearts have grown callous to the Truth, and have turned aside from it and their Maker, to follow other gods; SELF, pleasure, mammon, fame, material possessions, status, and power –
Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.
Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
Amo 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst.
Isa 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
Isa 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be1 eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
Isa 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
Isa 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
Isa 5:8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!
Isa 5:9 In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant.
Isa 5:11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!
Isa 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.
Isa 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
Isa 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
Isa 5:15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
Since the LORD (Yahweh) is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, His truth is applicable to every Age, ours included (2 Tim 3:16, Rms 15:4, Lk 4:4). Though the Isaiah 5 chapter was written to Israel, it’s principles apply also to us in this present Age. From examples of how God dealt with backsliding Israel, we see that He doesn’t wink at those who go whoring after other gods in any form. Nothing and no one is to take His place in our hearts; Yahweh is always to be first in our thoughts and deeds. We often fall short of this standard and when we do, we need to confess our sin (G266 hamartia) to God and repent (G3340; change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins) Mt 4:17, Lk 13:3. When we do, He immediately forgives and cleanses us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9), but repentance, or at least a sincere resolve to turn away from sinning and back to God, must follow our confession or else we deceived ourselves (James 1:22-24, 1 Cor 6:9, Gal 6:7) and, “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7
In the end time many of God’s people will ‘fall away’ or ‘apostasize’ from the faith (2 Thess. 2:3). Many have substituted worship of the Creator with worship of fleshly, earthly pleasures, lusts, and pursuits; which Yahweh calls IDOLATRY! All who worship these things, even those among God’s people, are guilty of idolatry, and unless they REPENT (Rev 2:22), will continue to suffer severe lack of spiritual nourishment. That’s the punishment or natural consequence of apostasy and turning away from God and His Word —
Pro 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Pro 1:25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Pro 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Like the widow of Zarephath, God’s people are extremely thirsty and hungry for spiritual nourishment during this end time famine of the hearing of his words. We desperately need a revival of hearing the true words of God, and of a mighty outpouring of his Spirit – like rain upon parched soil!
We need reviving not only that we may be sustained, but that we may have power to witness to the nations, and preach the Gospel to every creature under heaven. Let’s fast and pray that we may be revived again, and fulfill the Great Commission of spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth! We are called to be His Witnesses, may we not fail our gracious Savior and Lord who paid for our Redemption by the shedding of His precious, sinless Blood.
When there’s no rain, what shall we do?
Repent! If there’s unconfessed sin in our lives, we need to confess it so we can be cleansed, then repent or turn back to the Lord and keep His Word. Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
‘times of refreshing’ means REVIVAL! G403 anapsuxis, From G404; a recovery of breath [Strong].
‘converted’ – G1994 epistrephō; to turn to the worship of the true God; turn back, return, come back [Thayer]. Compare to Pr 1:23 ‘turn’ H7725; turn back, return, repent!
Make music! Praise and worship Yahweh with instruments and singing. Through music, the power, means, and direction of the Lord may be bestowed —
2Ki 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.
2Ki 3:16 And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches.
2Ki 3:17 For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.
2Ki 3:18 And this is but a light thing in the sight of the LORD:
2Ki 3:20 And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
In this passage we see Elisha, Elijah’s successor, getting direction from God through music. The YAD H3027, or ‘open hand’ of God, bestows His power, means (provision), and direction.
God provided because the prophet Elisha heard and heeded the direction God gave him, “Make this valley full of ditches,” and because the men heard and heeded that word through Elisha. The valley was possibly a wadi, or brook which had dried up and with no rain in sight, it didn’t look good for the men and their beasts. What appears hopeless or impossible to us, is “a light thing” (H7043 qâlal; small, easy, trifling) for the LORD. God can make water appear out of nowhere, even from a rock (Exo. 17:6).
Dig ditches! If your wadi is dried up, start digging! Make trenches to contain the water so that when it comes, it won’t run off into the desert and evaporate in the heat of the scorching sun (trials and tribulations). In other words, PREPARE yourself, get ready to receive the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When we acknowledge our emptiness, God can then come and fill us! If we insist we have need of nothing (Rev. 3:17), nothing is all we’ll have.
Their digging ditches before they saw clouds or felt any raindrops, showed their faith. Likewise, we show our faith when we take steps to prepare ourselves for what God has promised to do in our lives, long before we see any signs of it’s fulfillment.
During the end time, which began in Jesus’ day (1 Jn 2:18, Heb 1:2, 1 Pet 1:20), there’s a great famine of the hearing the Words of God because of which, God sends his prophets to “prepare his way, and make ready a people for their God.” We need to depend upon the LORD for our sustenance; he will provide. – Malachi 3:1, Mt 3:3, Isa 62:10
May all who hear (shama H8085) His Voice pay heed (qashab H7181), now and forever, Amen.
Debra R. Stout © Feb. 28, 2015
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