And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. 1 Kings 18:18.
Through the long years of drought and famine, Elijah prayed earnestly that the hearts of Israel might be turned from idolatry to allegiance to God. Patiently the prophet waited, while the hand of the Lord rested heavily on the stricken land….
At last, “after many days,” the word of the Lord came to Elijah, “Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.” …
The king and the prophet stand face to face. Though Ahab is filled with passionate hatred, yet in the presence of Elijah he seems unmanned, powerless. In his first faltering words, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” he unconsciously reveals the inmost feelings of his heart. Ahab knew that it was by the word of God that the heavens had become as brass, yet he sought to cast upon the prophet the blame for the heavy judgments resting on the land….
Standing in conscious innocence before Ahab, Elijah makes no attempt to excuse himself or to flatter the king. Nor does he seek to evade the king’s wrath by the good news that the drought is almost over. He has no apology to offer. Indignant, and jealous for the honor of God, he casts back the imputation of Ahab, fearlessly declaring to the king that it is his sins, and the sins of his fathers, that have brought upon Israel this terrible calamity….
Today there is need of the voice of stern rebuke; for grievous sins have separated the people from God…. The smooth sermons so often preached make no lasting impression; the trumpet does not give a certain sound. Men are not cut to the heart by the plain, sharp truths of God’s word….
God calls for men like Elijah, Nathan, and John the Baptist—men who will bear His message with faithfulness, regardless of the consequences; men who will speak the truth bravely, though it call for the sacrifice of all they have.
Conflict and Courage p. 208
—–Please pray for Mary Jean and her family. Her mother-in-law died today. Also pray for Cristina who just found out that she has cancer. Esther
—–Please pray that God will protect and guide Mike when he comes out here for a visit. Eileen
Many years ago, our first grade class visited a dairy that was a few blocks from our school. Our teacher lined us up in two lines, and watched as we walked in front of her. School was much different in those days. We were not allowed to talk to one another or two get out of line.
Once inside the dairy, we quietly looked around at all the new sights and sounds as we listened to the man who was guiding us through the dairy. The place smelled so strange. One room was filled with an odor so repulsive, that I wished that I could escape to breathe some fresh air. Looking around, I finally found the source of that nasty odor. On the floor, was a large puddle of milk that had spilled and soured and its stink affected the air in the whole room.
Sixty-five years have passed since that day, yet the memory of that room with the sour milk and its disgusting smell has lingered far beyond any other memory of that day. Just so, the sins that we commit affects not only us, but our influence has an effect upon others. The things that we do, the words that we speak, our attitudes leave an impression on those around us—an impression that can last for many years. James tells us, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10 Solomon puts it this way, “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.” Ecc 10:1
We may be fairly successful at hiding our sins, but they do not stay hidden forever. Often circumstances cause the smell of our sins to be evident fairly quickly. Sometimes they are not revealed until the time Jesus spoke of in Luke 12:2,3: “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light, and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
We exclaim in sorrow, as did Paul, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Rom 7:24 “We feel as did David, “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” Ps 37:4 We pray, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me….Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit. 51:1-12
Praise God! There is a way of forgiveness! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. . . .My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 1:9-2:2 With words of assurance our Great Redeemer tells us, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me, for I have redeemed thee.” Isa 44:22 Wonderful Saviour! “He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust.” Ps 103:10-14
Let us, today, while there is still time, accept His marvelous grace. Let us serve Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let us continually give Him all the praise, all the honor, all the glory for His forgiveness and great gift of salvation.