In 1 Kings 17 we’re introduced to Elijah. This prophet we’re familiar with. He goes to Ahab and tells him that it will not rain, that there won’t even be dew, for “these years” except at his word.
Did you notice what was missing? It doesn’t say what we typically read, about the word of the Lord coming to the prophet. This seems to be one of those instances where a servant of God is speaking on his authority as a servant of God.
In James 5, we’re reminded that Elijah was just a human being like us, but he prayed earnestly. God answered his prayer. There is no rain until Elijah prays for it more than three years later.
Instead of “thus says the Lord,” what does Elijah say? He says, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand…” There is his power. He stands before God.
I think of expressions which shows up in the Psalms. “I have set the Lord always before me.” “My eyes are always on the Lord.” “I will keep my eyes always on the Lord.” “My eyes are fixed on you.”
Elijah knew the secret of abiding, of living in God’s presence. He knew God’s word. He knew God promised a curse of drought on those who worshiped other gods. Ahab and Jezebel were big time Baal worshipers. Elijah was pronouncing God’s own word, if not prompted with a specific word.
I used to think that when Jesus only did what the Father did and only spoke what the Father said, that He was like a robot, God spoke; He spoke; God acted; He acted. But now I can read the gospels and see the human side of Jesus. It says He spoke what the Father taught Him, not only what was dictated moment to moment.
I don’t think God gave specific permission to heal each and every person. I think Jesus knew the Father’s will to heal and so could heal ALL who came to Him. Jesus lived in perfect abiding fellowship with God, His father. He acted in perfect accord with His will because they were one. They dwelled together in the secret place.
Elijah lived in the secret place. He could see God was always with Him. He lived and moved and had his being in God’s Spirit-life. Then, God moves him off by himself for what could have been a year. Elijah needed to keep his mouth closed for a while.
God handled it. It wasn’t punishment being sent to the brook to be provided for by ravens. It was a blessing, a provision, and I would suspect a time of training and teaching.