Having the Courage of Elijah
I don’t think I would have been comfortable being King Ahab. The Bible says in 1 Kings, chapter 16, that the king “did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those [kings] before him” (v. 30). It also says King Ahab “did more to provoke the LORD … to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him” (v. 33). He must have really been something.
Now, just imagine that you were Elijah, the prophet, and that you had been chosen to confront this evil person with a word from the Lord that would displease him very much. That assignment would not be a walk in the park, would it?
As you know, Elijah was up to the task. He obediently did confront Ahab, contested the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, was threatened by Jezebel (which filled him with fear), was ministered to by the Lord under the broom bush, and eventually continued to stand firm for the Lord until Ahab was finally killed in battle.
Well, my friend, the assignment that Elijah accepted is similar to the task that our Lord has for you. You, as a kind of Elijah, have been consigned by our Lord to defend righteousness and confront evil. As the servant of God, it is your assignment to take a stand.
Taking a stand for the Lord is not always easy or safe. When a contemporary of Elijah, the prophet Micaiah, son of Imlah, was called upon to confer with Ahab, he was urged to prophesy in agreement with the 400 prophets of the king. But Micaiah courageously said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me” (1 Kings 22:14).
Every day presents us with challenges — things we can take a stand for or against, issues that might not be too popular with some in the community, topics that might even stir up our congregants. Will you take a stand, even if your words and actions displease people? Will you have the courage of Elijah to speak truth even if you become a target for people’s hostility?
As pastors, we have to do what’s right rather than what’s popular! I pray that God will give you the courage.
“Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?” (Psalm 94:16).
©2012 HB London. Originally posted July16, 2012 on HB London’s Blog.