It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way~ Charles Dickens
The opening to Charles Dickens’ classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, could also describe the prophet Elijah’s era. From God’s perspective, Israel wallowed in its lowest moral point in history, yet the king considered his nation on its way to modernization and prosperity. Apostasy flourished. Yahweh worshippers seemed invisible in a nation so immersed in Baal worship, the Lord’s people nearly forgot Him. At the time of Dickens’ novel, Great Britain felt the shocks of the French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment. Citizens rebelled and philosophers challenged the widely accepted beliefs in God’s Word and creationism. New ideas sprang up and many cast aside traditional beliefs, especially those of a religious nature.
Much similarity also exists between our era and Elijah’s time. Culture watchers and news anchors deem America a “post Christian” nation. Naysayers not only challenge, but mock ideas about truth, morality, and God’s existence. At times of such epochal change, a great cultural crossroads confronts Yahweh’s followers. Will be discard our faith and replace it with the newest cultural “truth”? Or will we boldly say, “The LORD is God”? Will we stand alone in a crowd, defending God’s glory, or will we hide? Within this cultural challenge, Elijah’s boldness inspires us, his obedience challenges us, and God’s faithfulness transforms us. God marked Elijah’s life with limitless power, and ours could be, too, if we choose prayer, faith and obedience as Elijah did.
God used one person to turn the cultural tide of an entire nation, and that person passed on a legacy of faith and obedience to his protege, Elisha. One person willing to stand for God. One person who said, “Yes, LORD, I will obey you!”. I do not know many Elijah’s today. I do know of a world, a nation, communities and homes desperately in need of one. Could it be you?
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