Author: Dr. Kris A. Jackson
“And Elijah the Tishbite…said…” (1 Kings 17:1)
You’ve seen those gloomy days when the sun bursts forth from behind a storm cloud offering revived hope. So it was under the dark reign of wicked Ahab, when all of God’s prophets were either in Jezebel’s chains or Obadiah’s caves. All prophetic voices were muted by the government when, bang, Elijah showed up out of nowhere like a lightning bolt – “As the Lord God of Israel lives…there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (1 Kings 17:1). He hijacked the heavenly water department. Just like Wesley, Tyndale, Edwards, Moody and the like, the camel-hide clothed, rawhide voiced prophet from Tishbeh was waiting in the wings for his assigned hour. I wonder if this might also be your hour, or mine?
Now I’ve heard of snakebite, dog bite, frostbite and gigabyte, but nothing bites like a Tishbite! Elijah the Tishbite. When Elijah made annunciation and denunciation he didn’t bite his tongue. Instead his words bit the conscience of a generation. He was God’s troubleshooter, on call twenty-four seven, but wasn’t summonsed out of his prayer closet until there was national emergency. God’s generals make their emergence in emergency. In a day of tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, anarchy on the streets and rampant sin we have the perfect conditions for the advent of an Elias.
First, consider the bite of his OBSCURITY, a no-name from nowhere. God’s finest fittest vessels may be unknown right now to the establishment but God knows who and where they are, alone in prayer. My fear has always been that “nobody knows me”, yet God knows me. Turning the skies into brass for his first sermon was a bit brash. Shouldn’t he ease into the position, maybe preach something that would warm him up to the Carmel crowd? Never. He showed up and showed out from the start because he had the backing that the rest of us preachers only fancy about. All heaven stood behind him.
Second, consider the bite of his AUDACITY as Ahab becomes the target of the Tishbite’s teasing taunts. He stuck his finger in the king’s nose and cried, “I have not troubled Israel, but thou, and thy father’s house…” (1 Kings 18:18) Thank God for every Nathan, Elijah and John the Baptist that’s bold enough to preach, “Thou art the man”, even on the steps of Capitol Hill! As R.G. Lee preached, “Don’t blame the firehouse siren if the house is on fire”. The Tishbite wasn’t the cause for Israel’s national woes; he just brought it to the news editor’s attention. Someone has to diagnose the system as being broke and in need of repair.
Third, consider the bite of his INTEGRITY. He didn’t back down when the whole religious community, 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves, was against him. No “let’s all just get along” ecumenicism for the Tishbite. He was of like “passions” as we, but are we of like passion (and prayer) as he? He could call on the God that answers by fire because he lived a consumed life. Elisha later called on “the God of Elijah”. Elijah was known for the God he served and represented. Look how tall he stood atop Mt. Carmel (Carmel, not caramel). He was outnumbered there but not out-sized. God and Elijah made a formidable majority. True, he battled bouts of depression yet he maintained integrity till the day he was caught away in a chariot of fire. And remember, man of God, your catching away is not that far away either.
Fourt, there is the bite of his HUMANITY.
Would you like to have the bite of a Tishbite? Be advised, there is some suffering and sacrifice that goes along with the job description. Mt. Carmel is not unlike Mt. Calvary. It is lonely on the top of the hill. Like the later Elias, John the Baptist, he wore camel hide instead of a Botany 500 suit. His room service was locusts and honey, not lobster dipped in drawn butter. Elijah wasn’t “looking for a meeting” – the need searched him out. Plus, the man had a federal warrant out for his arrest. He was long-haired, long-hated and long-hunted. A ministry that “bites” definitely has its setbacks, but then again, it also has its crowns. Elijah went out in a blaze of glory; that’s a lot better than finishing one’s ministry playing checkers. Dear God, sharpen our teeth! Put some bite back into the ministry. Make each of us “a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth…” (Isaiah 41:15) Then gives us the guts to chomp.
Article Source: beljourn.com/article_story/nothing-bites-like-a-tishbite/138/