Thursday, January 31, 2013

On Droughts and Blessings

“As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” This is Elijah the prophet speaking in 1 Kings 17:1. This story is one of my favorites in the Bible. It is so bold and telling of how we need to serve the Lord.

The story starts in 1 Kings 16:29: Ahab became king of Israel and he “did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him.” Many of the kings before Ahab, like Omri and Jeroboam, had done evil, but Ahab “considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam.” So Ahab committed those sins in addition to other sins, including the worship of idols. Ahab set up places of worship, such as Asherah poles and altars for Baal, and led the Israelites away from the one true God.  

Baal is the focus of the story in 1 Kings. This is one of those places that it’s important (MUY IMPORTANTE) to know some of the cultural and historical background that the Bible doesn’t cover. Here you need to know that Baal was the god of weather.

When Ahab wanted it to rain, he would pray to Baal. When the Israelites wanted it to rain, they asked Baal to send the rain. 

Image from
God, through Elijah, told Ahab, “There will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
God withdrew the blessing of rain because the Israelites were worshipping Baal. “Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.” There was a drought.
Israelites would cry to the “god of weather” and no rain would fall. The priests of Baal would cut themselves and no rain would arrive. None. God withdrew that blessing, because He will not bless his main competition. 

I realized this again today. I realized that God will not bless me in the things I put before Him.

I had been hearing a lot lately that whatever you think about most is what/who you worship. I had been thinking about this boy a lot. I had been steering conversations in order to talk about him; I had been texting him quite a bit; I had been stalking his facebook. I had been putting this boy before God.

I had forgotten what God has taught me. Freshman year and part of sophomore year, I was obsessed with a boy and nothing ever came of it. After that, I didn’t seriously like any boy for about 8 months or so. My focus was finally on God. My prayer life was prosperous (my prayers were being answered) and I felt so close to God. In that time (about 4 months), I got asked out twice and a half times.

When I wasn’t focusing on boys, I was getting boys. Why? Well, I wasn’t putting boys above God, so I believe God was allowing my “romantic” life to flourish.

Today, I realized that my focus was on this boy. Of course, I only realized this after a drought of three weeks. Three weeks of not seeing him, not talking to him. It was implied recently that he is (and has been) avoiding me.

I had been sent a drought.

The Israelites had rain taken away because they were worshipping rain, basically. I had the attention of this boy taken away because I was seeking his attention more than I was seeking God.

God will not bless his primary competition. He is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14). In Deuteronomy 32:21, God said, “They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols.”

God deserves our attention and He wants it; therefore, He will not bless everything that you focus on more than Him. Whether your main focus is work, school, grades, image, money, boys, it does not matter. You will not be blessed in that area as long as it is number one on your priority list.

The Israelites realize this in 1 Kings 18. In verse 39, after an amazing display of God’s power and the resulting humiliation of Baal, the supposed god of weather, the Israelites cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

Then Elijah said, “There is the sound of a heavy rain.” Soon after, in verse 45, “the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on...”

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