Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I did this for a school assignment - what would you do if you saw it? How would you grade and comment it?
If you let me know I  will tell you what the aim of the assignment was.

1 Kings 17:1-6:

Firstly the name Elijah means Yahweh is God, and he points to the one who will be a forerunner or bride for Christ – the one who comes after him, Elisha (meaning Jesus is God). Elijah lived in Gilgal, meaning "whirlwind", which indicates how Elijah will be swept up in a whirlwind back to his God and Bridegroom when he finishes his ministry of the Word on earth – also since Tishbite can mean stranger. Therefore we see the stranger in the world sent to preach the Word of God, who will signal the coming of the true Word of God – which is Christ. As the New Testament agrees, Elijah is a picture of John the Baptist.

The ancient John then goes head to head with Ahab, the husband of Jezebel – the Satan figure. Here we see Christ’s bride face up to Adam, the one who sleeps with Satan. The church-Elijah then holds back the promises of God from the natural man while he himself goes to the Kerith Ravine, or the Cherith Brook. He goes to the death-river called ‘drought’, instead of the river that symbolizes life through death – the Jordan.
During her time on earth, the church will not be fed by the provision of the world – through natural means, but by the very bread brought by the winged messengers of God Himself. The raven, although an unclean animal, symbolizes - as we see from Noah – that the earth is still not yet producing fruit. And the dove of peace has not come – this is not the new creation.

Yet the Lord uses unclean means to bring provision to His people, both bread and meat, in the morning and evening – every day He is fed by the Lord Himself. So when the people of God preach the Word of the Lord, they declare judgment on the world, and withhold its blessings, while the Lord blesses them richly in secret – though the world assumes they die by the death-brook of drought – they know how to live daily on the Word alone. Elijah holds his baptismal water away from the Pharisees of the church, and he alone has true holy communion with Christ.

In a side point, we also see the ravens, though unclean, can still be used for God’s purposes. The creatures, accustomed to eating carrion, can also be made clean – to serve His purposes. But also a warning, Jesus claims that many will do things in His name, but still be unclean. We must be wary of this – that our outer works are not our assurance, but only faith in Jesus Christ.


Anonymous said...

There are some great points in this, though some of the others might need a tiny bit of clarification first!

I love the point about the Tishbite from Gilgal - the stranger from the whirlwind... only here until the whirlwind carries him away. So much richness in that! Glory!

Elijah has always been the Biblical saint who most moves me personally. Whenever I think of him I feel deeply moved.

Elijah was so passionately zealous for the LORD Christ, so passionate for His glory, so full of trust and love. He was not appointed to be a prophet [at least that is not recorded of him] and yet his prayers were so effective, his service so fruitful. He is an ordinary man, just like us, who loved Christ with all his heart, mind, soul and strength.

Elijah had such a close experience of the Angel of the LORD who treated him with such gentle and practical care. Elijah seemed to have no fear, no hesitation, no doubts. YET, Elijah was so fragile. He seemed so strong and untouchable, yet when Jezebel threatened him we see the inner fragility, the sensitive heart, the depressive tendency. When Elijah is so completely exhausted, when he has nothing at all left to give, Jesus does not demand anything of him at all. Elijah doesn't have to manage an hour of prayer or a time of worship. No, Christ simply serves Elijah with food and rest and teaching. It is so glorious for us all. When I am at the lowest point, when I am so exhausted or when I feel that I cannot go on, Jesus will not make life harder for me! If I will only look to Him, in all my weakness and apathy, then He will renew my strength. "Stretch out your withered hand"... it seems impossible, and yet as the hand is stretched out, it is renewed. So, when Elijah is at his last He is renewed by the Angel of the LORD and then, in a miraculous way, he is ready for new missions, new service.

Yemsee, as always you are mining the depths. So much to think about. I think that if I was your tutor and you handed in this assignment, I would book out a triple length tutorial to get into everything!

yemsee said...

thx anonymous?

Paul i presume? =)

Anonymous said...

What makes you think that? :)

yemsee said...

ok.. why don't you tell me then? =)


the question for the assignment was this:

"use your imagination to develop a far-fetched allegorical interpretation. come up with a super-spiritual meaning for as many details as possible. misinterpret the passage intentionally. be as creative and therefore wrong as you can"

what do you think?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is amazing. There are a couple of details that left me thinking hard, but I thought you had done a great job of explaining the heart of the incident.

Here is an example of 'far-fetched allegorical interpretation'...

David fights Goliath... but David is not thinking about Jesus and nor is anybody in the crowd. Rather David is thinking about HIMSELF... and all the people in the crowd are thinking about David too!!... and that is just what God wanted them to do!!?!

Tim V-B said...

First commentator - that must be Paul B, surely? If not, s/he is a good imitator of Paul's style.

Yemsee, if that's allegory then bring it on!