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April 18 Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 15-17
“The ravens brought him bread.”
1 Kings 17:6
1 Kings 15 brings to our memory good king Asa. His reign was long and prosperous. God the Holy Spirit tells us that his heart was perfect with the Lord all his days, “and Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.”
A Good King
When Asa was seated as king over Judah, he expelled the sodomites from the land and destroyed the idols his father had made. He even removed his mother from being queen and destroyed her god, because she was an idolater.
What an evident token of divine judgment it is that the Lord God has given us sodomites, idolatrous will-worship Arminians, and religious infidels to be our political rulers today! What a blessing it would be if our God would raise up rulers in this day like good king Asa!
1 Kings 16 should cause us to remember that all workers of iniquity shall come to a shameful and terrible end under the wrath of God. The history of the ungodly is always the same, no matter their rank or station in life. They are captives and slaves, the servants of sin, people who cannot cease from sin. That describes all Adam’s fallen race. And the wages they have earned shall be given them, death and after death the second death in hell. How sad!
Such we all are by nature, sinners, captives, slaves to every lust obscene, a people who cannot cease from sin. But we are washed, we are sanctified, we are justified by the Spirit of God and the precious, sin-atoning blood of Christ. When he died in our stead upon the cursed tree, justice paid us our wages, for we died with our blessed Substitute. And, now, since we died in Christ and with Christ at Calvary, we shall never die! Being made the righteousness of God in him, we shall have our just reward — Eternal Life!
In 1st Kings 17 we are introduced to God’s prophet Elijah. His name means “Jehovah My God,” and Jehovah showed himself God in the life of this man Elijah. — “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isaiah 46:10-11).
What a man of faith Elijah was. He believed God; and God proved himself faithful to his faithful servant. But where did Elijah obtain the faith by which he lived? Was it not the Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets, who showed them the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow? Indeed it was (1 Peter 1:11). It was the same Spirit of Christ in the prophets who gave them life and faith that gives life and faith to God’s elect today. Yes, Christ is the almighty Author and Finisher of our faith. It is Christ who gives his Holy Spirit to chosen, redeemed sinners and by him gives us faith. He is the cruise of oil that shall never fail to supply our souls with his Spirit, his grace, and his gift of faith while we live in this world. He is that vessel of meal that can never be emptied by use. O my soul, use him, use him for every need! Spirit of God, give us grace to use our Savior, trusting his blood, his righteousness, his grace, his providence, — trusting him in all things and for all things!