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.” – (1 Kings 17:1)
The drought that Elijah would predict over the land of Israel during the reign of Ahab and Jezebel had nothing to do with rain or crops, but everything to do with the destruction of Baal. Baal was a Canaanite fertility god, whose worship was now being practiced throughout the land of Israel thanks to the poor leadership of Ahab and Jezebel. It was believed that if the Israelites worshipped Baal that he would provide a fruitful, fertile land for them, bringing rain to feed and grow their crops. Therefore, the absence of rain meant the destruction of Baal.
Sometimes God takes us through seasons of drought, solely for the purpose of destroying our idols. The drought should never be our focus, although, I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s the only thing I can see. Sometimes, it gets my main energy and attention, because I just want the drought to be over. Yet, there’s something in the drought God is destroying to demolish old patterns of behavior and sinful tendencies in our lives.
After three years God finally sends Elijah back to Ahab to let him know that rain will come once again upon Israel. The climax of the story comes when Elijah meets on Mt. Carmel to have a showdown to see whose God will burn up the sacrifice. The prophets of Baal cry out, slash themselves and try to invoke their god to send fire, but nothing happens. Elijah steps up and in no time the Lord brings fire down upon a sacrifice that Elijah drenched in water.
You see, God wants to put His power on display in our lives. He sends the drought because there’s preparation that He’s doing in our lives that we cannot see, but we must trust. I feel like I’m living in this place where God keeps sending the drought because He wants me to prepare my fields for rain. He wants me to cultivate the soil of my heart, and train my hands for war against the devil of my soul. I am learning that training for war really means sitting in a place of cultivation with the Father. It means allowing Him to dig up sinful patterns and behavior. It means letting go of my idols so that He, the Lord, might send the rain.
Lord, I trust you. This is so hard for me to be in a place of waiting. I do not like it, but I know it is for my good. I know that you are asking me to prepare my fields. I know, that in your goodness, you will send the rain. Jesus, be my joy, I believe in your love. You are so good to me, in Jesus name, Amen.