Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
April 13 Scripture Selection: I Kings 16-18
Food for Thought: I Kings 17:8-15; 18:2-4
Those were horrible, dangerous times for the true believers who served God. Jezebel was going around massacring the prophets of the Lord. But thanks be to God, He raised up people to sustain those persecuted for their faith. Today, the suffering for one’s faith is even more wide-spread than ever. As Jay Sekulow put it in a recent interview, “It is 9-11 every day.” That is to say, daily thousands are being attacked and dying for their faith. And the Lord continues to raise up devout believers to minister to the needs of the ones in harms’ way: us.
But what can we do? We can do as the poor widow who fed the prophet Elijah did. She gave to him first of what she had, and the Lord miraculously multiplied the flour and oil so that, in addition to the life of Elijah, her life and her son’s were spared in the terrible drought. God does much even with little, and we can trust that the Lord will multiply what is given in faith. As II Corinthians 9:10, 11 says, “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”
Like Obadiah, we can also seek ways to provide shelter and other practical daily needs for those who have had to flee from their homes. While we may not be where those travesties are taking place, there are plenty of organizations and ministries now around the world whose whole purpose is to minister directly to our persecuted brothers and sisters who have endured so much pain. Voice of the Martyrs is just one of many. With the stroke of a pen, or just pressing a few buttons, our support can be there for them.
And there are things that can be done in the political realm. Public policy can be turned in support of the persecuted Christians and Jews. Leaders can be influenced to set captives free or do justice on behalf of the persecuted ones. Letters, phone calls, petitions, and the like all have their place and can turn the tide, something our silence and inaction can never do.
Let’s not forget the power of prayer, too! It is not our last resort; it is more effective than we may know on this side of heaven. It can literally save lives, heal the wounded, and push darkness away. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the needs to pray about.
Thank God for brave, generous people like Obadiah! What an honor it must have been for him to secretly hide and support the Lord’s prophets. And that is exactly what it is for every one of us who does our part to minister to those who find themselves in such life-threatening conditions.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):