There was famine in Israel after Prophet Elijah had proclaimed that there would be no rain for three and half years because of the sin of the people. He prayed later for rain. On Mount Camel, he heard what no other person heard, not even Ahab, the king. What Daddy Elijah heard was good news to the ear. It was the sound of abundance of rain. May this be your season, my season too, of hearing good news!
God makes a difference between His children and those of the world. When it is casting down for them, it is lifting up for us. You may not be known by your state governor or your local government chairman, yet the Almighty God knows you. He gives you revelations your unbelieving Pastor does not know. His blessings are your throne right because you are His child. I do not know how tall Elijah was, nor his academic qualifications. Perhaps, by human assessment, he was not a handsome man, but he heard what no person heard. It was the sound of not only rain, but its abundance. God has made it to be our privilege of accessing the plans of heaven!
The men of Israel, like many people in Nigeria today, were in the middle road, not knowing which God to worship, Baal or the Living God. Baal worshipping was popular, having the blessing of the monarchy. Without considering its population advantage, nor of the support of the royal family, Daddy Elijah challenged them to an open contest so as to know the true God. As would be expected, the prophets of Baal were 450 while Elijah stood alone for God. In his error, however, he thought that he was the only true prophet of God in Israel. May we learn from this, realising that God has people beyond our human conjecture and that such believers may be found even in the countries and churches we may not expect.
The contest was open and very simple. It was not a day of waxing eloquence, storytelling, and rationalisation, claiming the feats of what one’s God could do. It was a day of practical demonstration of who was who. A few years ago, two of the staff members in my farm would always quarrel, each claiming how he would have beaten the other silly but for our presence. One day, I told them that they were making empty claims of strength. “Why can’t you contract an okada rider to take you by 10 pm and drop you half-way to this village,’ I told them, ‘for you to slug it out without anybody separating you?” They did not try it nor quarrel again.
The contest, like my proposal to my farm ‘combatants’, had nothing to do with INEC and counting or not counting of one’s votes. Sacrifices were to be offered to God and to Baal by the adherents so that the people would see which God would devour openly the sacrifice. ‘Here are two cancer patients, given six months to die by doctors,’ Elijah seemed to be saying. ‘Take one of them and give me the other, let us plead with the God we serve for their healing, and thus see the God that would answer.’ Elijah was so confident in his God that he conceded the first opportunity to Baal prophets. They did all the things they could do, shouting and lacerating themselves. But Baal, being an idol, could not respond. Chai!
When it was the turn of Elijah, he first of all repaired the Altar of God that was broken down. This explains why a child of God should live a holy life and if he commits any sin, he must repent of it before approaching God. ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart,’ says the Bible, ‘the Lord will not hear me’. Elijah made the condition of his own sacrifice worse by pouring water on the Altar before offering his brief prayer. God, being God, responded immediately, consuming the sacrifice. Elijah, who had been in-charge, not the unbelieving king, commanded that the prophets of Baal be destroyed.
That was the ripe time for God to magnify His name. He spoke and Daddy Elijah heard Him. Yes, it was the sound of abundance of rain he heard. Saul, before he became Paul, was travelling to Damascus to arrest and imprison God’s people. The Lord Jesus confronted him on the way, an encounter that transformed his life. He heard clearly what the Lord told him. The people around him heard also but saw no man – Acts 9:7.
What you hear impacts your life because faith comes by hearing. That was why I stopped following the man, who was giving me a ride when I was a young graduate. Most of the roads in Lagos were under construction, giving rise to hold-ups. It was not easy to go to work. Danfos were prohibited from ferrying people to Lagos Island. Imagine, after coming out from the presence of God during my quiet time, the man would rubbish it with his negativities, complaining about his company, profession, job, and all things around him. After leaving him, one day, I paid for it, but it did not bother me. As I was struggling to enter the bus, I found myself at the back of two men. They raised me up while their colleagues robbed me, dismantling my wristwatch before they ran away.
God is always speaking. And so does the devil. Those that are circumcised spiritually hear God when He speaks. Satan’s worshippers hear him also. What type of sound do you hear? Is it, ‘Where is Abel, your brother? What have you done? His blood cries out to Me from the ground’. What do you hear concerning Nigeria? Is it the abundance of wahala: drought, famine, war, suffering…? I have never heard a prophecy of blessing or forgiveness from the deities. It is always death.
What the children of God hear is the abundance of rain, in spite of the harsh economy. God blesses and prospers His children. Isaac, the son of Abraham, must have heard a similar sound when he was in Gerar during a famine. Some people there, perhaps as Elimelech did, (leaving Bethlehem for Moab during a famine), might have been busy seeking a visa to travel out. But Isaac sowed and the harvest was prolific, defying the famine. I hear, ‘My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus’. I hear, ‘Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more’. I hear, ‘Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’. I hear, ‘Fear not, those who are with us are more than those with them’.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0909 041 9057; firstname.lastname@example.org