41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. 44 And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” 45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. 1 Kings 18:41-46
Picture the scene. Up on the highest point of Mount Carmel, Elijah is bowed low to the Creator, giver and withholder of rain. The dances, the cutting, the wailing out to Baal all have ceased. God answered mightily with fire from heaven. He has shown His power and authority over His people. And they have turned to Him again, the God who sees, who hears, who answers. The culmination of Elijah’s ministry has played out – this showdown with the prophets of Baal is no doubt one he is most known for.
And now, quiet. Stillness. The air is thick. Hot. Elijah licks his dusty lips as he flattens his body before the God who heard. He will hear again. With boldness, Elijah prays and waits. He is sure there will be a cloud. Rain is coming. He can feel it. Imagine the surge of energy and victory and praise filling Elijah’s body at hearing his servant proclaim after checking the seventh time: “Behold, a little cloud…” A cloud! A cloud! That’s all we need is a cloud! The rain is coming. It’s time to receive. It’s time to rejoice in what God has done. He is here and He is in control. He cannot be controlled by dancing, by performance, by manipulation. He will not be moved by our destructive ways. There is no need for desperation to get his attention. He hears his servants and the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Can you imagine the smile spread ear to ear on Elijah as he beheld that first small cloud? Not long after, the sky grows completely dark. The wind heralding the coming drops of life. Water bringing sustenance.
Today, take time to reflect on these lyrics from “There Is A Cloud” by Elevation Worship. As you do, praise your Maker for the ways in which He has brought and will bring life-giving rain in your life through no power other than His own.
“Hear the Word, roaring as thunder. With a new future to tell. For the dry season is over. There is a cloud beginning to swell. To the skies, heavy with blessing lift your eyes, offer your heart. Jesus Christ, opened the heavens. Now we receive the Spirit of God. We receive your rain. Like a flood we receive your love.”
By Ellen Rosenberger