Elijah announces to Ahab that it is going to rain.
I find it remarkable that Ahab obeys Elijah time and time again, and yet won’t submit to God who has clearly revealed Himself in power. Ahab knows Elijah’s authority over Him but refuses to submit to God’s authority.
How foolish we can be!
Elijah is fully convinced that God will hear and answer his prayer. He tells Ahab about the rain before he prays. Then he goes and prays, an ordinary man, just like us, prays.
Elijah has his servant go and check the horizon for a cloud. There’s nothing there. Elijah doesn’t shrink back. He doesn’t think that maybe God’s not going to answer. He doesn’t change his prayer and try to adapt to the circumstance. He believes and he prays.
Elijah prayed for the widow’s son three times. What if he had stopped after praying just once or twice, having decided that God wasn’t doing anything?
He prays this time seven times before his helper tells him that he sees a tiny cloud in the distance. That’s all Elijah needs. He trusts God is answering his prayer. He doesn’t need to wait and see if it’s really going to happen. He waited for God to show it was time, and he believed.
He announces again to Ahab that it’s going to rain, so he should get going.
Elijah knew God would come through. He just demonstrated that with fire from heaven, but that was to defend God as the God of Israel. This was to defend the word of His prophet.
Can we trust God to defend us, to be on our side? Do we trust Him to hear and answer?
Elijah is acting on God’s word. They are a team. Elijah lives before God. When you are with Him, you won’t be going astray seeking after things He doesn’t want for you.
This section ends with Elijah outrunning Ahab’s chariot. There seems to be not much point to it. Elijah just seems to be having fun, like suggesting that the false gods were using the bathroom and couldn’t send fire right then. God lets him, though. They are a team. They understand each other, as much as Elijah could understand the God of the universe.